Immune Monitor - May 2018

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

The identification, standardization and validation of biomarkers will assist clinicians to identify the best cancer immunotherapies for patients and inform research scientists about the most critical areas of immunology for further investigation. Data from the last several years has shown the importance of checkpoint molecule expression, tumor mutation burden and CD8+ T cell infiltrate localization in tumors for patient outcomes, yet clinically validated, actionable biomarkers are not yet in hand. As many of you know, biomarker research has long been a research focus of mine and one reason I became a member of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), as SITC shares this passion to advance immune biomarker science.  

I am proud to have been chairing the SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee, which is working at the forefront of biomarker research. The committee convened in 2014 to review the state of the field and identify challenges and opportunities still facing the community. At the time, the committee was comprised of four working groups (WG) dedicated to the following topic areas:

  • WG 1 – Immunologic Monitoring, Assay Standardization & Validation
  • WG 2 – New Developments in Biomarker Assays & New Technologies
  • WG 3 – Assessment of Immune Regulation & Modulation Systematically (High Throughput Approaches)
  • WG 4 – Prediction of Clinical Outcome Based on Baseline Measures

These hard-working teams published five white papers in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) – SITC’s open-access, peer-reviewed online journal. Building on these efforts, the committee is ready to apply its members’ expertise to shaping the future of the field.

The SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee is pleased to invite individuals from across academia, biotech, pharma, government and clinical research communities to our upcoming workshop, Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers: State of the Art, May 16 – 17, 2018, in San Francisco. This small and focused gathering will support cross-disciplinary cooperation across organizations to advance biomarker development, shape innovative new collaborations, and determine future projects of the committee in the coming years.

This Biomarkers Workshop takes place following two days of dynamic collaboration during the Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop (May 14 – 15, 2018), which will feature discussions on the role of host genetics and environmental modifiers in cancer biology, adaptive and innate immune mechanisms that initiate a therapeutic response, and the development of improved in vivo models for screening novel therapeutic strategies.

SITC is proud to organize and support meaningful, impactful collaborations involving participants from every expertise. These workshops are an excellent example of SITC’s effort to better the field, and I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!



Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President


Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop (May 14 – 15)

Join SITC at the Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop to help determine which questions in cancer cell biology must be answered to understand patterns of immune interaction between the host and cancers of different ontology.

Attendees of this two-day workshop will attend five didactic sessions, two interactive panel discussions, and then split into working groups tasked with refining and prioritizing key questions. By helping define pivotal questions in cancer immune responsiveness/resistance, participants will help deepen understanding of the cancer biology that orchestrates distinct immune landscapes, and move the field towards improved therapeutic strategies.

Hosted by SITC, under the guidance of the Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force, this workshop will take place at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.

Register for this workshop by May 6 to receive access to discounted rates.

Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers: State of the Art (May 16 – 17)

Help identify next steps in immunotherapy biomarker development during the Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers Workshop. Attendees will discuss the current efforts from several societies and consortia, identification and analysis of novel biomarkers, address data analysis and specimen sharing, and discuss opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance biomarker development.

Panel discussions following each didactic presentation will allow participants to contribute to the conversation, and shape the innovative collaborations, next projects and other projects that the SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee will incorporate in the future.

Hosted by SITC, under the guidance of the Immune Biomarkers Committee, this workshop will also take place at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.

Register for this workshop by May 6 to receive access to discounted rates.


While the schedule for the 33rd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2018), slated for Nov. 7 – 11, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., is still in development, there are multiple sessions and presentations already confirmed about biomarkers.

The following are some of the currently scheduled programs involving biomarkers:

  • The Immune Escape program will feature an opening faculty presentation on “Biomarkers in Immune Escape,” on Nov. 7.
  • The Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy™ is planning to include a session topic on “Biomarkers of Response & Immune Monitoring” on Nov. 8.
  • Presentations on the Advances in Immunotherapy of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer and Clinical Management of Cell Therapy Administration are scheduled to discuss biomarkers on Nov. 10.

Visit the SITC 2018 website for continuously updated program information.


The society’s Immune Biomarkers Committee has a long history of high-quality research published in various journals, including SITC’s official online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC).

Here are past white papers and manuscripts published by the committee: