First Immunotherapy Treatment Guidelines Published for Hematologic and Prostate Cancers


December 21, 2016

MILWAUKEE – The first evidence-based consensus statements for the use of cancer immunotherapy to treat patients with hematologic malignancies (multiple myeloma, acute leukemia, and lymphoma) and prostate cancer were published today by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in the society’s open access Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). These manuscripts, entitled the SITC Consensus Statement on Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies: Multiple Myeloma, Acute Leukemia, and Lymphoma and the SITC Consensus Statement on Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Prostate Carcinoma provide expert recommendations and consensus opinion concerning the use of immunotherapeutic agents to treat patients with hematologic malignancies and prostate cancer, respectively.

“The SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines initiative was developed to address the need for educational resources and clinical guidance for immune-based agents, which is especially important given the speed at which the field is advancing,” said SITC President Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD. “In line with SITC’s mission to improve patients outcomes, these manuscripts provide expert guidance to enhance clinical decision-making for the use of cancer immunotherapeutic approaches for both hematologic and prostate cancers.”

Commenting on the treatment guidelines for hematologic malignancy, Madhav V. Dhodapkar, MD (Yale University) chair of the SITC Hematologic Malignancy Task Force said, “As a result of the remarkable collaboration between three separate disease-specific multidisciplinary expert panels, this manuscript represents the first expert consensus opinion on the clinical application of current and emerging cancer immunotherapy approaches in the treatment of hematologic malignancies.”

In addition to providing details on the use of currently approved immunotherapeutic agents, these consensus statements also introduce biologic principles of immunotherapy, highlight ongoing clinical trials with agents in development, and addresses issues related to immunotherapy research in each disease setting.

“The prostate cancer manuscript provides much-needed guidance concerning the clinical use of sipuleucel-T, the only currently approved immunotherapy for prostate cancer, said James L. Gulley, MD, PhD (National Institutes of Health, Center for Cancer Research) chair of the SITC Prostate Cancer Task Force. “This guideline offers consensus opinion on the first and only approved cell-based therapeutic vaccine and discusses agents in development, laying the foundation for future updates as more immunotherapeutic approaches become available for prostate cancer patients.”

These consensus statements are the latest publications to be generated through SITC’s Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines initiative, which includes expert Task Forces in each disease-specific setting. The SITC Prostate Cancer and Hematologic Malignancy Task Forces are comprised of multidisciplinary experts, including academic physicians and researchers as well as nurse, patient, and patient advocate representatives. Developed using a systematic process based on the 2011 Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Standards for Developing Trustworthy Clinical Practice Guidelines, each guidance document covers key aspects of clinical management, including patient selection, response monitoring, toxicity management, clinical endpoints, and sequencing of therapies.

As new FDA approvals or significant findings from clinical trials become available, the SITC Hematologic Malignancy and Prostate Cancer Task Forces will review and update these consensus statements to reflect recommended practice changes.

To access the “Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Consensus Statement on Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies: Multiple Myeloma, Acute Leukemia, and Lymphoma,” please visit:

To learn more about the SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines, please visit:

About SITC

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical member association dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. Established in 1984, the society is comprised of scientists, clinicians, academicians, patients, patient advocates, government leaders and industry professionals from around the world. Through educational initiatives that foster scientific exchange and collaboration, SITC aims to one day make the word “cure” a reality for cancer patients everywhere.

# # #

Media Contact

Julie Frinzi, SITC Director of Communications