Immune Monitor - April 2018

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

I wish everyone a happy spring! The past 16 months as SITC President have been eventful, and I am especially focused on a topic important to me: the role of women in our field.

SITC 2018, scheduled for Nov. 7 – 11 in Washington, D.C., will be my second and final Annual Meeting as President before turning the role over to Mario Sznol's, MD, capable hands. The recent advances we've seen in our field are truly impressive. I look forward to the data presented at this year's Annual Meeting that highlight that progress.

In my tenure as SITC's first female president, I have worked to institute measures within SITC to promote and track the membership, volunteerism and society positions of women in the cancer immunotherapy field. During the SITC 2017 Membership Business Meeting, I shared several of the following statistics of current female involvement within the society:

SITC hasn't previously tracked gender data from members or meeting participants, so these figures are an important baseline by which we can measure our future progress. This information will help us identify gender gaps within our volunteer roles and program numbers, with a societal goal of reducing any gaps and providing equivalent opportunities in the future.

There are many women within SITC contributing in various leadership capacities – serving on the Board of Directors, as Section Editors in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), as meeting organizers, and through participation on our committees. These women play a critical role in the future of SITC, and I am confident our female contingencies in both membership and participation numbers will grow. I am proud to have helped develop our first "Women in Cancer Immunotherapy" reception at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

More than 30 of my female colleagues joined me to discuss ways we can bring sharper focus to women's contributions in the field, ensuring there is balance between the genders in speaking and leadership roles. Interestingly, I find myself a member of two other similar groups. At my own institution, the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center has convened a Women's Task Force to address any gender issues among the female faculty. I am also pleased to participate in the BMS-led "Women in Oncology and Research" group that includes representation across many societies and institutions. Clearly, there is terrific energy and momentum for addressing the professional experiences of women in many areas

I look forward to hosting a second reception during the 33rd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs, this November at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., our new venue. Please stay tuned for the scheduled date and time.

Speaking of the Annual Meeting, this issue of the Immune Monitor is dedicated to our upcoming annual conference. Please read on to learn more about new offerings and recurrent meeting highlights. SITC 2018 registration, available to SITC members at a discounted rate, is now open to the general public.

SITC 2018 promises to be our society's best yet and I look forward to seeing the SITC family in Washington, D.C.!



Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President


In a recent survey of SITC members and those familiar with SITC, the Annual Meeting was rated the No. 1 offering of SITC, with 95 percent of respondents identifying it as an essential service. SITC members receive discounted registration rates to the 33rd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs.

Click here to register for SITC 2018! Become a SITC member and receive your discounted rate to attend the leading destination for scientific exchange, education and networking in the cancer immunotherapy field. Click here to learn more about lodging for SITC 2018.

Don't miss out on this member benefit, and many others, including the current Member Comment period for the Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines - Lung Cancer manuscript available only to SITC members. Renew your SITC membership today!


On many fronts, SITC expects the 33rd Annual Meeting to be our society’s best conference yet. This includes the expectation regarding the quality of research to be submitted and reported in Washington, D.C.

The SITC 2018 abstract submission period is now open! Last year, SITC achieved a 21 percent increase in year-over-year submissions of abstracts to the Annual Meeting. This large increase spurred us to create additional concurrent sessions to showcase more important new data from researchers.

All SITC 2018 abstracts, as well as applications to present at the Cancer Immune Escape program on Wednesday, Nov. 7, must be submitted by 5 p.m. PDT on Aug. 1, 2018.


  • A new venue! SITC is excited to host our programming in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
  • More educational sessions (more than 28 this year!) and a new disease-specific set of sessions allow attendees to tailor their "track" based on their individual educational needs and interests.
  • The annual Membership Business Meeting is moving from a Friday evening event to a Friday morning presentation that will be paired with a special breakfast for attendees.
  • The exhibit hall opens with a welcome reception on Thursday evening, expanding networking opportunities.


  • Sessions will include a balance of basic, translational, and clinical topics with a variety of speakers specializing in cancer immunotherapy.
  • More than 35 oral abstract presentations and hundreds of poster presentations.
  • 33 Young Investigator Awards will be administered to recognize excellence in novel research.
  • Luminaries in the field, Philip D. Greenberg, MD, (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), and Nicholas P. Restifo, MD, (National Cancer Institute), will deliver the Richard V. Smalley, MD Memorial Lectureship and keynote address, respectively.
  • A riveting return performance by The CheckPoints, SITC's very own house band of luminaries in the cancer immunotherapy field.


The 33rd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. – a new location for SITC! A new location means new opportunities for exhibiting and sponsorships.

Click here to learn more information regarding exhibiting and critical dates to reserve a booth for your organization. SITC will offer a wide array of opportunities for corporate partners to engage with the society and meeting attendees during SITC 2018. To learn more about sponsorships opportunities at SITC 2018, click here or email


As you can tell from this overview of the Annual Meeting, there are many compelling reasons to attend the SITC Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs, whether you are a young investigator, career researcher, experienced clinician or patient advocate. But don’t just take it from us! Hear past delegates, including Immediate Past President Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, explain why you should join SITC in Washington, D.C., this November in this video below: