Immune Monitor December 2017


A Message from the President

 

Dear Colleagues,

The past year has been one of significant scientific progress for the field of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. Among the highlights:

  • Pembrolizumab received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for treating patients with MSI-H/dMMR-positive solid tumors, marking the first ever "tissue-agnostic" designation for any cancer therapeutic, defining disease based on biomarker status rather than tissue location
  • CAR T cell therapies obtained initial FDA approvals for treating both DLBCL and B-ALL following very positive clinical trial results
  • Cancer immunotherapies also continued to gain new indications by obtaining initial FDA approvals in hepatocellular carcinoma (nivolumab), Merkel Cell Carcinoma (avelumab), and gastric/GEJ cancers (pembrolizumab)
  • Multiple cancer immunotherapeutics including nivolumab, pembrolizumab, durvalumab, avelumab, and atezolizumab became options for treating patients with bladder cancer
As we look ahead to 2018, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) will continue to create opportunities for collaboration and scientific exchange for our growing membership base and beyond. Today, I'd like to single out two inter-connected workshops SITC has planned for May 2018 on biomarkers and cancer immune responsiveness.

SITC's newly-formed Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force will host a two-day workshop May 14-15 on topics that include tumor evolution in the immune competent host and the resulting immune landscape; identification of common pathways that should be targeted to understand and increase immunogenicity among silent or "cold" cancers and more.

Ten years after its inception, the SITC Immune Biomarkers Task Force will lead a two-day workshop May 16-17 to discuss critical next steps in biomarker science and assay development. Session topics will include best practices and validation; biomarker identification; data and specimen sharing and much more.

The 2018 Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2018) – which will take place Nov. 7-11 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. – will always be our society's hallmark event. SITC hosts interim programs throughout the year to provide focused opportunities to move new developments and initiatives forward for improving cancer patient outcomes through the advancement of science and clinical application of cancer immunotherapy.

Both of the workshops mentioned will be open to the public. Stay tuned to SITC in the New Year for additional event information.

Sincerely,
 

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Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD
SITC President



Education

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SITC 2017 PRESENTATIONS AND LATE-BREAKING ABSTRACTS AVAILABLE


Access presentation slides and synchronized video recordings of the 32nd Annual Meeting and Pre-Conference Programs online now.*

  • Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers: Today's Imperatives for Tomorrow's Needs
  • 2nd World Immunotherapy Council Young Investigator Symposium
  • Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy™
  • Workshop on Single Cell Techniques in Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Grant Writing Workshop
  • 32nd Annual Meeting
  • Hot Topic: Advancing the Field: Can Physics and Mathematics Impact the Development of Tumor Immunotherapy?
*Availability of enduring materials is dependent on faculty permission.

All SITC 2017 abstracts have been published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC).



CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY EDUCATION NEAR YOU

Attend a regional introductory immunotherapy education program in your area and earn CME, CNE, and CPE credits. Find an Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ program location near you and visit our site for details about the programs and how to register.
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  • Jan. 19, 2018 – Atlanta, GA
  • Feb. 9, 2018 – Durham, NC
  • Feb. 24, 2018 – Charleston, SC
  • March 3, 2018 – Dallas, TX
  • March 10, 2018 – Miami, FL
  • March 24, 2018 – Buffalo, NY

Science, Research & Publications


CALL FOR PAPERS: JITC NOW WELCOMING SUBMISSIONS ON THREE KEY TOPICS

JITC_logo.pngNow through March 2, 2018, JITC welcomes submissions on the topics of Emerging Immunotherapeutic Agents, New Regulatory Approvals in Cancer Immunotherapy, and Challenges in Clinical Management. Articles submitted will be reviewed for publication within a dedicated thematic series, providing even greater opportunity for research to reach cancer immunotherapy leaders and administrators throughout the world.

Full details and submission guidelines may be found here.


CALL FOR COMMENT: CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY GUIDELINES FOR CUTANEOUS MELANOM
A, VERSION 2.0


SITC invites all members of the society to provide feedback on the draft version of the updated Canccig-big_v3.pnger Immunotherapy Guidelines for Cutaneous Melanoma, Version 2.0, developed by the Melanoma Task Force. During the 30-day open comment period, from Dec. 6, 2017 until Jan. 4, 2018, SITC members can review and provide feedback on the Consensus Statement and Treatment algorithms, after which the Task Force will determine whether and how to revise the manuscript. All comments received will be published as supplemental information with the manuscript, along with the name and institution of the contributor.

 

Your feedback is important to make this a truly consensus effort, reflective of the experience and expertise of the entire melanoma community!


SITC members, please click here for information about how to submit your comments.

Non-members, join SITC to provide your feedback and access all that SITC has to offer!


LOOKING FOR A HOLIDAY GIFT THAT WILL DELIGHT THE IMMUNO-ONCOLOGIST IN YOUR LIFE?


SITC's comprehensive textbook, Cancer Immunotherapy Principles and Practice, features five sections and over 50 chapters authored by leading authorities in the field. This reference work will be invaluable to any healthcare practitioner seeking to understand the basic science and clinical application of cancer immunotherapy. Online access to the digital book is included with purchase, and SITC members are eligible to receive a 20 percent discount and FREE shipping. Give the gift of knowledge with a book they will use for many years to come!

 

Policy 






CAPITOL HILL UPDATES


Capitol_2.jpgThe House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension (HELP) Committee held hearings focused on progress made during the first year of the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. Frances Collins, MD, PhD, Director of NIH, and Scott Gottlieb, MD, Director of FDA, testified at both hearings.

Dr. Collins reported on the Cancer Moonshot progress, stating one of the primary goals of 21st Century Cures is to speed the pace at which treatments are passed on to patients for cures, while ensuring predictable, robust funding for future generations of researchers.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Gottlieb presented an overview of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE). He spoke about the Center's role in expediting the approval of CAR-T therapy. When characterizing the success of CAR-T, Dr. Gottlieb stated CAR-T is evidence how one treatment can change the way in which tumors are treated. He also said the OCE seeks to be a model for other diseases in terms of consolidating clinical reviews.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash), agreed that the 21st Century Cures Act provides hope to those in need of treatment by expediting the rates of approval for novel treatments – and to those people the NIH represents the "National Institute of Hope."


EMD SERONO'S 2017 GLOBAL PATIENT ADVOCACY SUMMIT

 

Past SITC President, Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, will speak on a panel titled, "Connecting a Global IO Community: Identifying Gaps and Opportunities to Create a Level Playing Field" at the 2017 EMD Serono Global Patient Advocacy Summit. This year's summit will focus on specific topics important to the oncology patient advocacy community including: Connecting a Global Immuno-Oncology (IO) Community, Integrating Patient Perspectives in Value Frameworks and Clinical Guidelines, and Involving Patient Advocacy Groups and Patients in Clinical Trials.



sim-logo-v2.jpg Society


SITC SEEKS MEMBER CONTRIBUTORS FOR NEW BLOG


SITC seeks member contributors of all experience levels and professional backgrounds who wish to contribute to the society’s new blog. Potential topics will vary from writing about disease-specific advances in cancer immunotherapy research to basic 101 explanatory posts for the patient community.

If you are a member of the society and have an interest in becoming a SITC blogger, or if you have specific recommendations for content areas the blog should focus on, please email us at communications@sitcancer.org


 Membership


YOUR MEMBERSHIP MATTERS -
JOIN OR RENEW FOR 2018

Providing comment to SITC's important Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines is a member benefit that is vital to the field. Join or renew today so that you can lend your voice and shape the field!


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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS NOV. 1 THRU NOV. 30


Thank you to those who joined the society in the month of November. If you are a SITC member, please welcome the following new members by sending a message of congratulations through the SITC CONNECT Member Directory.

George Abe
Stacey Adam, PhD
James R. Appleman, PhD
Johana Austria, NP
Anne R. Bass, MD
Ely Benaim, MD
Aitziber Buqué Martinez, PhD
Leonard H. Calabrese, DO
Laura Cappelli, MD
Caley Castelein, MD
Gloria R. Cristal Luna, MD
Corinne Danan
Garrett J. DeYulia Jr., PhD
Roxana Dronca, MD
Marwan Fakih, MD
Kalamo Farley, PhD
Kelly Flugaur, FNP-BC, AOCNP
Teresa Foy, PhD
Valerie Fraser
Hermann Frieboes, PhD
Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD
Phillip Giannopoulos, PhD
Thomas J. Giove, PhD
Jeremy R. Graff, PhD
Hatim Husain
Célia Jacoberger-Foissac, MSc
Sekwon Jang, MD
Reena Jayani, MD
Michael A. Johnson
Arvind J. Kshirsagar, Sr.
Nicole R. LeBoeuf, MD, MPH
Sharon Lewis, DNP, APRN-NP, AOCNP
Gong Li, PhD

Jill Littrell, PhD
Aslan Mansurov
Necia Maynard, APRN-BC
Stephanie EB McArdle, PhD
Lars Mueller, MD
Kathryn J. Newhall, MS, PhD
Dragica J. Paunovic, MD
Janice A. Phillips, PhD
Jonathan Powell, MD, PhD
Amanda Przespolewski, DO
Paulo Rangel
Rahul Ravilla, MD
Oystein Rekdal, PhD
Paul B. Robbins, PhD
Jaime Rodriguez-Canales, MD
Nadia Salem, PharmD
Virginia Seery, MSN, RN, ANP-BC
Nirav Sheth
Gobind Singh, MD, PhD
Ryan T. Sowell, PhD
Michael T. Stumpp, PhD
Zhaoyu Sun
Nancy B. Tainer, RN, BSN, MBA
Amanda M. Viereck, PA-C
Eric Walk, MD, FCAP
Zachary H. Walsh
Yirong Wang
Grey A. Wilkinson, PhD
Sharon Wyhopen, PhD, CMPP
Takahiro Yamazaki
Roman Yelensky, PhD
Peggy Zuckerman

 

 

Forward Fund

THANK YOU FOR ADVANCING CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY!  


A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our members for their generous gifts to the Forward Fund. Your investment has inspired the next generation of scientific trailblazers to carry the torch in seeking critical breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy research, providing hope to cancer patients everywhere. Member contributions are central to our mission in keeping this important research moving forward.

In 2017, contributions to the Forward Fund helped provide over 88 Awards, including 32 Abstract Travel Awards whose recipients attended the 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs in November.

In addition, your gifts served as the catalyst for the first-ever Sparkathon that launched in August with 29 emerging leaders participating. Learn more about this dedicated group of early career scientists and how they are tackling the many hurdles that face the field of cancer immunotherapy research.


DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!  

If you have not yet made your year-end contribution, it's not too late! Gifts made to the Forward Fund prior to December 31st will be matched by an anonymous donor. Again, thank you for your support of the Forward Fund. Together, we will elevate cancer immunotherapy as a standard of care and make the word "CURE" a reality for cancer patients everywhere.

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SITC FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION SITE OPENING JAN. 9, 2018

Fellowship_logo_lg.pngThe future of cancer immunotherapy is rooted in the research and education of talented early career scientists who together represent the future of cancer immunotherapy experts and innovators. SITC is pleased to announce three new fellowships coming in 2018.

  • SITC-Bristol-Myers Squibb Postdoctoral Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Fellowship Award
    - Two Years, $200,000
  • SITC-AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Cancer Immunotherapy in Combination Therapies Clinical Fellowship Award
    - One Year, $100,000
  • SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award
    - One Year, $100,000

Stay tuned for more details on these exciting new fellowships coming soon at sitcancer.org