Immune Monitor September 2017


A Message from the President


Dear Colleagues,

On Aug. 30, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tisagenlecleucel, a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy directed against CD19, for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As the first gene therapy to receive FDA approval, this is a major breakthrough and represents the culmination of years of work from researchers and clinicians in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Through educational opportunities and the promotion of collaboration among clinicians and scientists from around the world, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) serves as a driving force behind recent progress in cellular therapies. For example, abstract presentations and informational sessions highlighting the latest research on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, gene transfer technology and adoptive cellular therapies have been a mainstay in our meetings for years.

Key leaders in the field – including Carl June, MD; Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD; and Michel Sadelain, MD – have used the platform of the SITC Annual Meeting to present their research. Dedicated sessions have covered topics addressing issues spanning basic science and clinical aspects of immune cell-based therapy, including: the engineering of signaling constructs and of vectors to increase the efficiency of gene transfer; the identification of target cells; optimization of culture growth factors, ways to detect the presence of cells and their longevity in vivo; as well as regulatory aspects of utilizing cellular therapies in the clinic.

Building on the excitement of the recent FDA approval, Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD will deliver a highly anticipated keynote address on the CAR T revolution in leukemia at the SITC 2017 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Md. In addition, the final day of the program will feature a session on “Genetically Modified Cell Therapy” co-chaired by Carl H. June, MD; Marcela V. Maus, MD, PhD; and Helen E. Heslop, MD.

There is still so much more to come for our field. We look forward to seeing you all at SITC 2017 to learn about the next exciting breakthroughs in the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Best wishes,

Dr-Butterfield_IM_Final.jpg








Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD
SITC President

Education

TWO NEW ANNUAL MEETING SESSIONS ADDED

SITC received a record-breaking number of abstracts this year, marking a 21 percent increase in submissions compared to last year! Due to the high caliber of clinical trial abstracts submitted, the Annual Program Committee created two new sessions to showcase the innovative and promising clinical trials that are moving our field forward:


ANNUAL MEETING ABSTRACT TITLES NOW AVAILABLE

Annual Meeting abstract titles are now available to view on the SITC 2017 website. You can also browse the abstract titles and full Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs schedules on the SITC 2017 Mobile App. Bookmark the oral presentations and posters that are of special interest to you, create your personalized schedule, browse the interactive exhibit hall map and begin communicating with fellow SITC 2017 registrants on the mobile app today. To get started, download the SITC 2017 mobile app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). Full abstracts will be available on the site website and Mobile App at 8 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 7.


PROGRAM SCHEDULES NOW AVAILABLE

New updates to the SITC 2017 website include detailed schedules for the following programs:

Register for the 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs on the conference website. SITC Members receive instant savings on your registration – a value of up to 20 percent!


UPCOMING ADVANCES IN CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY™ PROGRAMS

Encourage your oncologist, nurse and pharmacist colleagues in the Boston and Washington, D.C. areas to attend SITC’s upcoming introductory cancer immunotherapy program, which provides a greater understanding of cancer immunotherapies, their therapeutic effectiveness, and the appropriate selection and management of patients.

OCT. 5, 2017 - BOSTON, MA

ORGANIZERS

  • David F. McDermott, MD – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Virginia Seery, MSN, RN, ANP-BC – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Jacqueline Cabán, MPA – Yale New Haven Health System


OCT. 7, 2017 - WASHINGTON D.C.

ORGANIZERS

  • Michael B. Atkins, MD – Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Karin Choquette, RN, MSN, CCRC – Virginia Cancer Specialists

  • Alexander I. Spira, MD, PhD, FACP – Virginia Cancer Specialists


FOLLOW SITC LEADERS

SITC members are speaking at several upcoming programs, which other organizations have organized in collaboration with SITC. If attending these programs, support these SITC speakers by attending their presentations.


THE 7th CSCO-CAHON-SITC JOINT SYMPOSIUM IN IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY

Presented by the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) in collaboration with the Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist Network (CAHON) and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)

SEPT. 27, 2017 - XIAMEN, FUJIAN, CHINA

  • Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD – University of Pittsburgh

  • Zihai Li, MD, PhD – Medical University of South Carolina


IMMUNO-BIOLOGY OF RADIATION & CLINICAL TRIAL CONCEPTS SYMPOSIUM AT THE 2017 RSS ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING

Presented by the Radiosurgery Society (RSS) in collaboration with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)

NOV. 3, 2017 - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

  • Samir N. Khleif, MD – Georgia Cancer Center

  • Zihai Li, MD, PhD – Medical University of South Carolina


EVOLVING TOPICS IN CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY SESSION AT IMMUNOTHERAPY BRIDGE

Presented by Fondazione Melanoma Onlus in collaboration with the IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale National Cancer Institute, Sidra Medical and Research Center, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)

NOV. 30, 2017 - NAPLES, ITALY

  • Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD – University of Pittsburgh

  • Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS – Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

  • Chrystal M. Paulos, PhD – Medical University of South Carolina


ASCO-SITC ABSTRACTS DUE OCT. 3

The ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, held Jan. 25-27, 2018 in San Francisco, CA, will focus on clinical and translational research in immuno-oncology and the implications for clinical care. Submit your abstract by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 to be considered for oral or poster presentation.


SITC connectED IS THE SOURCE FOR ONLINE CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY EDUCATION

SITC has developed a cancer immunotherapy-focused online learning portal called SITC connectED that features on-demand classes, live webinars and other educational resources aimed at providing relevant, trusted and timely education. By creating a simple SITC connectED account, you’ll be able to explore featured classes such as “Immunotherapy for Advanced Bladder Cancer: A Giant Step in the Right Direction?”. In this 30 minute class, learners will gain insights on the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of advanced bladder cancer, adverse event management, recent clinical results as well as learn of ongoing trials. 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are available for this activity.

 

Science, Research & Publications

SITC LAUNCHES NEW TASK FORCE TO DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING OF CANCER IMMUNE RESPONSE

SITC is establishing a Task Force whose mission is to explore and increase understanding of immune responsiveness by bringing together leaders in the fields of immunology, cell biology, genetics, computational biology and other relevant areas. A workshop in the first half of 2018 will bring together stakeholders to discuss topics including:

  • Interactions between tumor evolution in the immune competent host and the resulting immune landscape

  • Identification of common pathways that could be interrogated and targeted to better understand and increase immunogenicity among silent or ‘cold’ cancers

  • Mechanistic understanding of parameters that could predict immune response to different cancer immunotherapies

  • Development of animal models that accurately reflect the immune landscape in ‘hot’ versus ‘cold’ human tumors

It is hoped that these discussions will provide valuable information to inform drug development. These topics are just some of those to be explored, so stay tuned for further details!


MEETING REPORT FROM SITC’S 2016 WORKSHOP NOW PUBLISHED IN JITC

This month, JITC published a report from the one-day workshop, Challenges, Insights and Future Directions for Mouse and Humanized Models in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, which took place in association with SITC’s 31st Annual Meeting in 2016. The workshop provided an introduction to immunocompetent and humanized models commonly used in cancer immunology and immunotherapy research, and addressed the use of models to evaluate immune-targeting therapies.

This report covers the day’s discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of current models, approaches to improve the predictive value of mouse models, and anticipated advances in cancer modeling. Read the report here.



sim-logo-v2.jpg Society

SITC SEEKS MEMBER CONTRIBUTORS FOR NEW BLOG

In the coming months, SITC is scheduled to launch its first blog. As a member benefit, SITC is providing a unique opportunity for interested members who wish to contribute to the society’s new blog. This blog will serve as the voice of the society and address issues of importance to professionals in the field and the cancer immunotherapy community as a whole. Potential article topics will vary from writing about disease-specific advances in cancer immunotherapy research to basic 101 explanatory posts for the patient community.

The society seeks contributors of all experience levels and professional backgrounds. 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 in the future, email your interest to communications@sitcancer.org



Policy 




SITC PARTICIPATES IN RALLY FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

Rally_Hill_Post_2015_2.jpgLeaders from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) represented cancer immunotherapy researchers on Capitol Hill Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 as they sought to secure predictable and sustained federal funding for medical research.

SITC Executive Director Tara Withington and Policy & Advocacy Manager Jacqueline Smith participated in the Rally for Medical Research, a national advocacy movement seeking to ensure policymakers prioritize funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s medical research agency.

Withington and Smith represented SITC alongside more than 300 national organizations who lobbied for strong Congressional support for scientific research. It is the mission of SITC to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy through our core values of interaction/integration, innovation, translation and leadership in the field.

It is the goal of the Rally for Medical Research to ensure Congress provides the NIH with a $2 billion increase for Fiscal Year 2018 – a total funding level of $36 billion. Participants in the rally also promoted a bipartisan agreement to raise the budget caps, which will allow Congress to support robust increases in funding for the NIH into the future.

For additional information about the rally, download this flyer or view this fact sheet.

 

Forward Fund

BE THE SPARK! INSPIRE EARLY CAREER SCIENTISTS THROUGH A GIFT TO THE FORWARD FUND!

Make your year-end gift early and be recognized at the Annual Meeting with a special ribbon. Your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor to double your impact.

Your contribution will help in making cancer immunotherapy a standard of care and the word “cure” a reality for patients everywhere.

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 Membership

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS AUG. 1 THROUGH AUG. 31

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

Tala Achkar, MD, MS
Tyler J. Alban
Gladys Arreaza
Gustavo A. Barisone, PhD
Wendy Broom, PhD
Naresh Bumma, MD
Marianne E. Casale, MSN, RN, AOCNS, CHPN
Zinal Chheda, PhD
Hyejin Choi, PhD
Fred M. Cowan Jr., BS
Ia Dac-Korytko
Rebekah Dadey, BS
Patricia A. DaFonte
Patrick Danaher, PhD
Michael Davies, MD, PhD
Daniel Davila-Gonzalez
Vanna M. Dest, APRN
Stergios Doumas, MD, DDS
Thomas Duhen, PhD
Tullio V. Esposito
Jessica L. Fessler
Christine A. Garcia, MD, MPH
Foster Gonsalves, PhD, MPH
Beth Gregory, PharmD, MBA
Ben Grossman, MBA
Eric Guempel, MS
Andrew J. Gunderson, PhD
Xiang Guo, PhD
Aditi Gupta
Yui Harada, PhD
Emily Hinchcliff, MD
Xiaodong Huang, PhD
Rudolf Maria Huber, MD, PhD
Rahul R. Jasuja, PhD
Daniel H. Johnson
Eric F. Johnson, PhD
Jennifer Clare Jones, MD, PhD
Paul D. Kassner, PhD
Vijay Kasturi, MD
Cornelius Kurten, MD
Erik Ladomersky, PhD
Yeonju Lee, PhD

Claudia Lennicke
Geoffrey M. Lowman, PhD
Vyara Matson, PhD
Gerald McMahon, PhD
Michael L. Meyers, MD, PhD
Ryan D. Montler
John W. Moroney, MD
Thomas J. Moss, MD
Ravi Murthy, MD
Jenna Newman
Per Norlen, MD, PhD
Bridget A. O'Keeffe, PhD
Brian Orr, MD
Eric M. Ostertag, MD, PhD
Mario Otto, MD, PhD
Santhosh Palani, PhD
Arisha Patel, MD
Tillman Pearce, MD
Alexander Pieper
Neal Ready, MD, PhD
Anita Reddy, PhD
Sangeetha Reddy, MD, MSci
Jeffery S. Russell, MD, PhD
Devon J. Shedlock, PhD
Chris Shibutani, MD
Howard Soule, PhD
Marianne Stanford, PhD
Laura Talamo
Jessica Thaxton, PhD, MSCR
Mohit Trikha
Tolga Turan, PhD
Clare J. Twist, MD
Geeta Upadhyay, PhD
Ben X. Wang, PhD
Penelope Ward, MBBS FFPM
Lawrence M. Weaver, MS
Weihua Xiao, MD, MS
Xiaodong Yang, MD, PhD
Shen Yin, PhD
Sanghee Yoo, PhD
Lijie Zhai, PhD
Guizhi Zhu, PhD