A Message from the President
Cancer immunotherapy education is important even in the summertime. The FDA continues to grant immunotherapeutic approvals in new disease states, as well as integrate tumor biomarker status into indications. The most recent examples of approvals include pembrolizumab for PD-L1-positive cervical cancer patients and combination nivolumab and ipilimumab for patients with MSI-H/dMMR-positive colorectal cancer.
Therefore, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) will soon begin the sixth year of its Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) series. These regional education programs based in academic medical centers and in online education provide opportunities for healthcare professionals – particularly those in the community setting – to get up to date on immunotherapy and discuss patient management. SITC will host 15 ACI programs throughout the United States and Canada during the 2018-19 series featuring disease-specific sessions on lung cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancers, genitourinary cancers and hematologic malignancies. These 4.5-hour programs are CME-, CNE- and CPE-certified programs presented by the local experts in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. Clinicians, students and patient advocates may attend for free. Note that registration is now open for the ACI in Madison, Wis. (Sept. 6, 2018) and Boston, Mass. (Sept. 27, 2018) (we’ll continue to announce future dates and locations). The Sept. 6 ACI will also be live streamed, so you can attend from wherever you are!
On July 17, SITC published the highly anticipated, “The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer consensus statement on immunotherapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC),” the society’s sixth manuscript of the series, in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), the society’s open access, peer-reviewed online journal. The guideline includes recommendations on treatment scheduling concerning the most recent U.S. FDA-approved immunotherapies, a discussion about late-breaking data from 2018, the use of predictive biomarkers including PD-L1 and tumor mutational burden and managing immune-related adverse events. A big thank you and congratulations to the SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines NSCLC Subcommittee, chaired by Roy Herbst, MD, PhD (Yale Cancer Center), and co-chaired by Julie Brahmer, MD (Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins), Ramaswamy Govindan, MD (Washington University School of Medicine), and Naiyer Rizvi, MD (Columbia University Medical Center), for this important contribution to the field.
SITC will host a one-hour, free webinar on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. EDT, featuring members of the NSCLC Subcommittee. This webinar will review the guidelines and provide a unique Q&A forum between participants and faculty.
Lastly, SITC is about to announce a new educational initiative that I am particularly excited about, the “2019 SITC Winter School.” Planned for February 2019 in Phoenix, Ariz., SITC Winter School will educate early career scientists and physicians about the core principles of cancer immunotherapy, biomarker technologies, clinical trial design, grant writing and more, over an intensive and interactive five-day program.
I hope that you all enjoy the rest of your summer. It’s a great time to catch up on all things immunotherapy!
Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD