Immune Monitor - June 2021

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

Before I announce this month’s fireside chat companion, I wanted to make sure you all have had the opportunity to view the recently published diversity panel discussion on barriers to Asians and Pacific Islanders in medicine and research. This program, conducted in collaboration with the Chinese American Hematologic and Oncologist Network (CAHON) and the Indo-American Cancer Association (IACA), was completed in conjunction with the SITC Diversity and Inclusion Task Force’s efforts to raise awareness of barriers that exist within our field for under-represented minorities. Such conversations can be a tremendous learning tool for leaders in institutions around the world, and I look forward to our society continuing the discussion on this and other related topics into the future. Please click here to view the panel discussion.

June is Cancer Immunotherapy Month™, and I could not think of a better scientist and person to host for this month’s fireside chat than Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD. Dr. Rosenberg is a Senior Investigator in the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute with more than 40 years of experience. You can click the link in the preceding sentence to view his official biography, but as you all likely know already, Dr. Rosenberg is among the most influential scientists in our field’s history. He has been – and continues to be – a mentor to countless researchers through the years, including myself. To recognize his contributions to the field, SITC last year established the Rosenberg Scholars Award, an honor he and I discussed in our chat.

I pulled out a small portion of my discussion with Dr. Rosenberg and inserted below for the purposes of this message, but I highly recommend viewing the entire chat on the SITC YouTube channel here.

Myself: What do you think the future holds (for cancer care) 10, 20, 30 years from now? …What do you think the treatments will be then?

Dr. Rosenberg: So we’ve had surgery with us for over 2,000 years, there are Egyptian papyri that talk about cancer being cut out. We’ve had chemotherapy, which we date to chemical warfare research during the Second World War in 1942, where nitrogen mustard caused laboratory workers to be exposed accidentally, would develop lymphopenias that led to the first application of chemotherapy for cancer. Radiation therapy dated from the year after (Wilhelm) Roentgen discovered x-rays in 1895, so we’ve had these treatments around and they’ve constantly been improved over time, but these have been tiny improvements.

We’re confronted today still with the situation that tells us that if you have metastatic cancer from anyone of these solid epithelial tumors, you’re not going to be cured by anything that’s now available. But we have examples with checkpoint modulators, you can get durable responses, with immunotherapy durable responses, and I would imagine all three of those original treatments will continue to be improved.

The discussion featured a number of topics, including his background and interest in cancer research, the state of cancer vaccines, words of wisdom for young investigators and much more. I hope you all enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Thanks again to Dr. Rosenberg for joining for this month’s fireside chat.


Patrick Hwu, MD

SITC President

SITC Remembers Dr. Gouri Shankar Bhattacharyya

The SITC family in May lost a member, Gouri Shankar Bhattacharyya, MD, FRCP, due to COVID-19 complications. Please read a tribute drafted by the IASCL, which provides more information about his contributions to the field.  SITC honors Dr. Bhattacharyya’s contributions to our field, and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

SITC 2021 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 36th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2021)! SITC 2021 takes place Nov. 10–14, 2021, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Click here to register.

For more information about attending SITC 2021 in person and virtually, visit the FAQ page.

SITC Wants Your Cutting-Edge Research

SITC is now accepting submissions of regular abstracts, late-breaking abstract applications, and Young Investigator Award abstracts through July 29, 2021. All accepted 36th Annual Meeting abstracts will be published as a supplement in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), the society’s global, open access, peer-reviewed journal.

For the full list of important abstract dates, information on abstract categories, guidelines and procedures, FAQ, or to submit your abstract, please visit

Important Dates

Exhibiting and Sponsorship

SITC offers a number of ways to promote your product or service. SITC 2021 will be presented as a hybrid meeting, which means we have innovative in-person and virtual solutions to meet your marketing and branding needs.

Contact or (414) 271-2456 for more information and to discuss customization options.

SITC Members Elect 3 At-Large Directors

SITC congratulates the members recently elected to leadership positions within the society, including:

Newly Elected SITC At-Large Directors

  • Julie R. Brahmer, MD – Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Jennifer L. Guerriero, PhD – Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Jennifer A. Wargo, MD, MMSc – The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Drs. Brahmer, Guerriero and Wargo will commence their three-year terms as SITC At-Large Directors beginning in January. As new leadership transitions into SITC next year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following leaders who are serving their final year on the SITC Board:

  • Ana Carrizosa Anderson, PhD – Harvard Medical School
  • Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD – IGM Biosciences, Inc.
  • Marcela V. Maus, MD, PhD – Massachusetts General Hospital

Please join us in welcoming our incoming leaders during Presidential Membership Business Meeting at 7:15 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 13, during the 36th Annual Meeting. This event is open to all Annual Meeting attendees regardless of membership status. Click here to register today to attend (in-person or virtually) the 36th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2021).

Register Now for SITC Fall Programs

Interrogating the Tumor-Specific Surfaceome for Immune Targeting Workshop

Sept. 29–30, 2021 · San Diego · Register Now · Program Schedule                                                     

Program Organizers

  • Samir M. Hanash, MD, PhD  – The University of Texas MD Anderson
  • Avery D. Posey Jr., PhD – University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Abstracts are now being accepted for the Interrogating the Tumor-Specific Surfaceome for Immune Targeting Workshop. Please submit your abstracts by 5 p.m. EDT on July 22, 2021.

Bispecific T cell Engagers Workshops

Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2021 · San Diego · Register Now· Program Schedule

Program Organizers

  • Elizabeth Budde, MD, PhD – City of Hope
  • Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD – IGM Biosciences, Inc.
  • James L. Gulley, MD, PhD, FACP – National Cancer Institute

Cytokines in Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop

Oct. 11–12, 2021 · New York · Register Now · Program Schedule

Program Organizers

  • Susan M. Kaech, PhD – Salk Institute
  • Anne O' Garra, PhD – The Francis Crick Institute
  • Aaron Ring, MD, PhD– Yale University

Abstracts are now being accepted for the Cytokines in Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop. Please submit your abstracts by 5 p.m. EDT on July 22, 2021.