Immune Monitor - June 2020

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

While the global coronavirus pandemic has held our attention since March, this edition of the President’s Message will focus on the greater mission that brings us all together.

June is Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month™, and so, first and most important, I would like to thank our members for the countless ways you contribute to advancing and delivery of cancer immunotherapy. Originally founded in 1984 as the Society for Biological Therapy by 40 charter members, SITC has proudly grown to more than 3,000 members representing 48 countries around the globe. Such growth could not have been possible if it were not for the sound, strategic leadership of my predecessors, who maintained their strong belief in this field despite substantial skepticism in other parts of the scientific community and the limited success of earlier therapies. Therefore, with the opportunity presented by Cancer Immunotherapy Month™, I would like to acknowledge all of SITC’s Past Presidents for their guidance, expertise and their continued contributions to our society.

This month, SITC will call attention to the many ways our society, through the contributions and dedication of its members, are positively affecting the field of cancer immunotherapy. On our website and social media channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, SITC will feature a different program, resource or SITC initiative each day of the month. Further, we will celebrate and honor the scientists, clinicians and many others in the field by wearing white on Friday, June 12. You can download SITC’s 2020 “Why I Wear White” flyer, take a selfie with a decorated flyer, and post it to social media. And don’t forget to tag SITC!

SITC staff and meeting organizers continue preparing for our society’s upcoming 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting (Nov. 10–15 in National Harbor, Md.). We look forward to seeing all of you there and I encourage you to register for what will be another outstanding meeting. We are monitoring world events closely and continue to place the safety of our members as our top priority. Please also note that enduring materials from the 34th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2019) are now available by open access to the general public. To access these and numerous other quality resources published from past SITC meetings, please visit the SITC Resource Library.

Finally, I want to bring to your attention again the remarkable progress and success of the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), our society’s official open access journal. JITC received its first impact factor just two years ago, ranking it as one of the top cancer immunotherapy journals, and is currently receiving a record number of submissions. JITC will now also offer continuing medical education (CME) credits for its reviewers. Continue reading this month’s edition of the Immune Monitor to learn more about this valuable new feature from JITC.

I wish you all a happy and safe beginning to summer.



Mario Sznol, MD

SITC President

#WearWhite with SITC on June 15

Join SITC members and others around the cancer immunotherapy field as we wear white on Friday, June 15, to recognize and celebrate the individuals who have contributed toward advances in cancer immunotherapy research.

Here’s how you can participate:

JITC to Provide CME Credit to Journal Reviewers

As a way to give back to the community of reviewers who volunteer their time to support the journal, the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) is pleased to offer continuing medical education (CME) credits for reviewers. JITC reviewers will simply verify if they would like their individual reviews to be assessed for credit during the standard manuscript review process. Journal editors will then determine if credit may be granted based on the quality and timeliness of the review, allowing a reviewer to receive one credit per review. This opportunity is made possible through a collaboration between BMJ, the journal’s publisher and Cleveland Clinic.

To learn more about the benefits of serving as a JITC manuscript reviewer and to volunteer, please visit the JITC CONNECT page.

Register Now for the 35th Anniversary Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs on Nov. 10–15

Celebrate 35 Years of SITC Annual Meetings at SITC 2020

Registration is open for the 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2020)! Taking place on all new days this fall, SITC 2020 will occur Tuesday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.  In celebration of our anniversary year, SITC student members are eligible for free registration to the 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting. All SITC members receive discounted registration rates.

Submit a SITC 2020 Abstract or Presentation Application Now

SITC is now accepting submissions of regular abstracts, Young Investigator Award and late-breaking abstract applications for the 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting as well as presentation applications for the Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure Pre-Conference Program. The deadline to submit research for a regular abstract, Young Investigator Award abstract and/or late-breaking abstract application is 5 p.m. PDT on July 31, 2020. For more information, see the 2020 Regular, Young Investigator Award and Late-Breaking Abstract Reference Guide.

Support SITC 2020

Make your mark by exhibiting at SITC's 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting. This event brings together international leaders from academia, regulatory and government agencies, as well as industry representatives for unmatched education, scientific exchange and networking with the scientists driving the field. Click here to learn more about exhibiting options at SITC 2020.

Sponsor or advertise and get your message in front of an estimated 5,000 attendees. To learn more about these exciting opportunities contact

35th Anniversary Annual Meeting

Nov. 12–15 • View ScheduleKeynote SpeakersSessions

The Annual Meeting consists of cutting-edge research presentations by experts in the field, both oral and poster abstract presentations, and ample opportunity for structured and informal discussions, including important networking opportunities. In addition, the meeting includes updates on major national and international initiatives coming from academia, government and industry, as well as important society projects.

SITC 2020 Pre-Conference Programs

Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure

1–7 p.m. • Nov. 10 • Presentation Applications Due July 31

Addressing the problem of immune checkpoint inhibitors resistance and failure therefore will require collaboration between researchers and clinicians involved in all aspects of cancer research and practice, including basic, translational and clinical areas. The Immunotherapy Resistance Committee has recently composed a manuscript outlining general definitions of PD-(L)1 inhibitor resistance, which will serve as a foundation for this program. Authors of this manuscript will discuss their findings, and this program will also serve as a key dissemination and discussion platform for these SITC-led resistance definitions. Click here to continue learning about the Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure program and click here to submit your research.

Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy™

8 a.m.–5 p.m. • Nov. 11

The understanding of cancer immunobiology has increased dramatically in recent years, leading to the successful development of novel immune-based treatment options to improve cancer patient outcomes. The SITC Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy™ is designed to provide a foundation for understanding core immunology principles as they relate to basic and clinical research in immunotherapy of cancer. New this year, the Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy™ will also touch on emerging therapies and technologies to ensure attendees at all levels stay updated in our expanding field, while also laying a comprehensive foundational base for all SITC 2020 attendees.

Workshop on Engineering Immune Cells for Cancer Therapy

8 a.m.–5 p.m. • Nov. 11

CAR T treatments have led to improved outcomes for patients with hematologic malignancies. However, the same level of success has not been achieved in most solid tumors, and other immune cell types beyond T cells are also being explored preclinically and clinically. This workshop will highlight the multitude of cellular therapy approaches being applied for the treatment of cancer, including many T cell strategies, alternative immune cells, practical considerations and novel technologies.

Grant Writing Workshop

6:30–9 p.m. • Nov. 11

This evening program will outline funding opportunities and how to navigate them, address critical points of government and private sector grant submissions, and give attendees the tools to identify points that determine the success or failure of a grant proposal, helping them to optimize the process of grant re-submission.

Register Now for October Cytokines in Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop

Oct. 12–13 • New York • View Schedule • Register NowRegistration RatesSubmit an Abstract

SITC invites you to attend the workshop, Cytokines in Cancer Immunotherapy, scheduled for Oct. 12-13, 2020, at the Millennium Times Square in New York. This SITC workshop will focus on providing a deeper understanding of cytokines in immune cell proliferation, differentiation, and function, as they pertain to tumor immunobiology and cancer immunotherapy approaches.

A portion of the workshop will be dedicated to early career scientists, wherein 20 early career investigators who are selected through a review of abstract submissions will orally present their cytokine-related research. Encore abstracts are welcome. Abstract submission deadline is Sept. 1, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Click here to learn more, submit an abstract, or register for this workshop.

Access SITC COVID-19 Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of healthcare and the oncology and immuno-oncology communities may face unique challenges in regards to patient care.  To address these challenges, SITC has developed a number or resources to help support the I-O community during the pandemic as found of the COVID-19 Resources Hub.  Additionally, as practitioners treat patients during the pandemic, it has also become apparent that the immunotherapy field may offer important insights into clinical practice, immune-related pathophysiology and other topics that may be useful to the broader healthcare community during this time of great need.

SITC COVID-19 Discussion Forums

SITC has launched two online communities to serve as discussion forums to facilitate global communication and rapidly disseminate critical information related to COVID-19. These forums aim to spark conversations between professionals on the frontlines of this pandemic and facilitate the sharing of observations and insights in real time during the pandemic. The discussions forums DO NOT require a SITC membership to participate, simply log in to your free SITC CONNECT account (or create one here) and begin posting.

SITC COVID-19 Statements and Publications

SITC is committed to providing the most current COVID-19 information and resources to its members and the oncology community at large. The following are publications from SITC leaders on COVID-19.

SITC COVID-19 Additional Resources

SITC has compiled a list of resources from validated external organizations and government agencies to assist immuno-oncology professionals in quickly and easily accessing the rapidly changing information on cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The curated resources provide general information for both clinicians and researchers as well as specific guidance for a number of disease settings. Click here to access the COVID-19 additional resources page.

Joine SITC or Renew Your Membership in 2020

Become a SITC member to join a vibrant and growing network of research scientists, physician scientists, clinicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders. SITC is the world’s leading member-driven society dedicated to professionals working in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

If you have not yet renewed your membership in 2020, this means your member benefits have expired! Regain access to these benefits, including discounted registration o SITC meetings and early access to enduring materials by renewing your membership today!