2021 JITC Best Paper Award Recipients

The Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) Best Paper Awards celebrate excellence in scientific research and are awarded to researchers demonstrating leadership in the field as well as innovation and high-quality execution and discussion in their manuscripts. Papers published in the 12 months leading up to the voting period were eligible for nomination for these awards.

JITC Best Basic Tumor Immunology Paper

Papers nominated in this category present research that covers tumor antigens, innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune mechanisms, immune regulation, immune response, cancer and inflammation, preclinical models, chemotherapy and radiotherapy interactions/combinations of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and other combination treatments with the antitumor immune response.

Iuiliia Efimova

Ghent University

Elena Catanzaro, PhD

University of Bologna

Vaccination with early ferroptotic cancer cells induces efficient antitumor immunity
Iuliia Efimova, Elena Catanzaro, Louis Van der Meeren, Victoria D Turubanova, Hamida Hammad, Tatiana A Mishchenko, Maria V Vedunova, Carmela Fimognari, Claus Bachert, Frauke Coppieters, Steve Lefever, Andre G Skirtach, Olga Krysko Dmitri V Krysko

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020;8:e001369 (13 November 2020)


JITC Best Clinical/Translational Cancer Immunotherapy Paper

Articles nominated in this category present clinical research that has a clear potential to optimize patient care, with particular emphasis on high-quality randomized control trials, novel combination therapies, novel diagnostic or prognostic insights, and new insights into mechanisms of action.

Alessio Cortellini, MD

University of L'Aquila

Integrated analysis of concomitant medications and oncological outcomes from PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors in clinical practice
Alessio Cortellini, Marco Tucci, Vincenzo Adamo, Luigia Stefania Stucci, Alessandro Russo, Enrica Teresa Tanda, Francesco Spagnolo, Francesca Rastelli, Renato Bisonni, Daniele Santini, Marco Russano, Cecilia Anesi, Raffaele Giusti, Marco Filetti, Paolo Marchetti, Andrea Botticelli, Alain Gelibter, Mario Alberto Occhipinti, Riccardo Marconcini, Maria Giuseppa Vitale, Linda Nicolardi, Rita Chiari, Claudia Bareggi, Olga Nigro, Alessandro Tuzi, Michele De Tursi, Nicola Petragnani, Laura Pala, Sergio Bracarda, Serena Macrini, Alessandro Inno, Federica Zoratto, Enzo Veltri, Barbara Di Cocco, Domenico Mallardo, Maria Grazia Vitale, David James Pinato, Giampiero Porzio, Corrado Ficorella and Paolo Antonio Ascierto

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020;8:e001361 (5 November 2020)


JITC Best Immune Cell Therapies and Immune Cell Engineering Paper

Papers nominated in this category present research that discusses approaches, new targets, novel functionalities, clinical trial results, correlative studies in patients who have received cell-based therapies, novel engineering strategies (molecular switches, conditional expression, logic gating), gene-edited cells to knock out or knock in novel functions, and/or synthetic gene circuit.

Kathrin Davari, PhD

Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH

Tristan Holland, PhD

Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH


Development of a CD8 co-receptor independent T-cell receptor specific for tumor-associated antigen MAGE-A4 for next generation T-cell-based immunotherapy
Kathrin Davari, Tristan Holland, Laura Prassmayer, Giulia Longinotti, Kenneth P Ganley, Lisa J Pechilis, Iulia Diaconu, Prashant R Nambiar, Michael S Magee, Dolores J Schendel, Daniel Sommermeyer and Christian Ellinger

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2021;9:e002035 (25 March 2021)



JITC Best Immunotherapy Biomarkers Paper

Articles in this category present research that presents predictive/prognostic biomarker studies, gene expression studies in cancer immunotherapy, serological immune biomarkers, multiparameter flow cytometry-defined immune biomarkers, high content immunohistological studies, and/or clinical trial analyses and identification of novel immune biomarkers.

Luca Cassetta, PhD

The Queen's Medical Research Institute, The University of Edinburgh


Differential expansion of circulating human MDSC subsets in patients with cancer, infection and inflammation
Luca Cassetta, Kirsten Bruderek, Joanna Skrzeczynska-Moncznik, Oktawia Osiecka, Xiaoying Hu, Ida Marie Rundgren, Ang Lin, Kim Santegoets, Utku Horzum, Ana Godinho-Santos, Gennadiy Zelinskyy, Thalia Garcia-Tellez, Sunčica Bjelica, Bartłomiej Taciak, Astrid Olsnes Kittang, Benedikt Höing, Stephan Lang, Michael Dixon, Verena Müller, Jochen Sven Utikal, Derya Karakoç, Kerim Bora Yilmaz, Emilia Górka, Lubomir Bodnar, Olympia Evdoxia Anastasiou, Christine Bourgeois, Robert Badura, Monika Kapinska-Mrowiecka, Mirjana Gotic, Mark ter Laan, Esther Kers-Rebel, Magdalena Król, Juan Francisco Santibañez, Michaela Müller-Trutwin, Ulf Dittmer, Ana Espada de Sousa, Güneş Esendağlı, Adema, Karin Loré, Elisabeth Ersvær, Viktor Umansky, Jeffrey W Pollard, Joanna Cichy and Sven Brandau

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020;8:e001223 (8 September 2020)


JITC Best Oncolytic and Local Immunotherapy Paper

Papers nominated in this category present research that focuses on the role of therapeutic agents designed for targeting tumor cells and/or the tumor microenvironment. This includes oncolytic viruses, microbial agents, innate immune agonists, direct and systemically delivered proteins and DNA/RNA products that act within established tumors. Articles on translational and clinical investigation involving new oncolytic immunotherapy agents or those that include an oncolytic approach as part of combination therapeutic regimens are also represented.

Giulia Marelli, PhD

Queen Mary University of London

Louisa S Chard Dunmall, PhD

Queen Mary University of London

A systemically deliverable Vaccinia virus with increased capacity for intertumoral and intratumoral spread effectively treats pancreatic cancer
Giulia Marelli, Louisa S Chard Dunmall, Ming Yuan, Carmela Di Gioia, Jinxin Miao, Zhenguo Cheng, Zhongxian Zhang, Peng Liu, Jahangir Ahmed, Rathi Gangeswaran, Nicholas Lemoine and Yaohe Wang

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2021;9:e001624 (26 January 21)