Cutting-Edge Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy Research Anticipated at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 32nd Annual Meeting

Leading researchers and clinicians from around the globe to present the latest breakthroughs in CAR T therapy, biomarkers and more Nov. 10-12

Nov. 1, 2017

MILWAUKEE – As approaches that engage the immune system continue to transform the standard of care in cancer treatment, leading experts in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy will gather to share cutting-edge basic and translational research, and emerging clinical data, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 32nd Annual Meeting, Nov. 10-12, in National Harbor, Md.

Known as the premier destination for scientific exchange, education and networking in the cancer immunotherapy field, the society’s 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2017) is set to attract a record-breaking number of attendees, uniting researchers, clinicians, pharmacists and others to learn and discuss the latest breakthroughs in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

CAR T Therapy

On Aug. 30, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted historic approval of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy for use in pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD, renowned CAR T expert at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will kick off the Annual Meeting on Friday, Nov. 10 by delivering his keynote presentation, “The CAR T Revolution in Leukemia.” Based on his experience treating patients with high-risk pediatric cancers, Dr. Grupp will present results from the clinical trial of CAR T therapy that led to this initial FDA approval, which is rapidly altering the field of oncology.

Further highlighting this breakthrough, and encouraged by the subsequent approval of CAR T therapy for patients with large B cell lymphoma, SITC 2017 will feature several presentations and sessions focused on advancing CAR T therapies. These include a full session on Genetically Modified Cell Therapy chaired by Marcela V. Maus, MD, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital), Carl H. June, MD (University of Pennsylvania), and Helen E. Heslop, MD (Baylor College of Medicine) on Sunday, Nov. 12. Among the invited speakers in this session, Jennifer Brogdon (Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research) will be presenting “Late-Breaking: CD19 CAR Enter the Mainstream.” In addition, Angela Boroughs, BS (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University) and Margot Pont, PhD (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) will present original research elucidating mechanisms that may improve the efficacy of CAR T therapy.

“The remarkable progress in CAR T therapy presented over the years at SITC meetings is a prime example of how basic immunology can be successfully translated to the clinic to improve outcomes for cancer patients,” said SITC President Lisa H. Butterfield. “SITC Annual Meeting delegates experience the full spectrum of cancer immunotherapy – from basic research to clinical practice – all while being able to network across specialties and build relationships with colleagues that will lead to the next breakthroughs in the field.”

Cancer Immunotherapy Leads the Way in Treatment of Advanced Cancer

In the session on High Impact Clinical Trials, Michael Postow, MD (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and Robert Motzer, MD (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) will each present results demonstrating survival benefits from combination nivolumab and ipilimumab in patients with metastatic melanoma or advanced kidney cancer, respectively. In another session, Nilofer Azad, MD (Johns Hopkins University) will present early data from a cohort of patients within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) MATCH Trial who are receiving nivolumab to treat solid tumors with specific defects in DNA mismatch repair. In addition, Thomas Uldrick, MD (National Cancer Institute) will examine the safety of pembrolizumab in patients who have both cancer and HIV – a group who have traditionally not been eligible to participate in immunotherapy trials. Major themes among many of the additional SITC 2017 presentations include exciting preliminary data regarding novel immunotherapy agents and combinations, as well as the identification of novel biomarkers – different “labels” on tumor cells or immune cells that can help predict patient response to immunotherapy.

Paul Sondel, MD, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will also deliver his keynote speech entitled, “Activation of Innate and Adaptive Immunity as an In Situ Cancer Vaccine,” on Saturday, Nov. 11. As the 2017 recipient of the Richard V. Smalley, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship, Dr. Sondel will be presented with the society’s most distinguished award honoring his work to develop immunotherapy for pediatric cancers.

“The momentum in the field and the role of the SITC Annual Meeting in driving progress is reflected in the number and quality of original research abstract submissions,” said SITC Vice President and Chair of the Annual Program Oversight Committee Mario Sznol, MD. “With a record-breaking number of submissions, this year we had to make room for two new sessions focused on clinical trials of new agents and combination approaches. It is exciting to see so many agents moving past preclinical testing and hear the early results of clinical testing firsthand.”

To learn when these SITC 2017 presentations will take place, review additional late-breaking and regular abstract titles and more, please visit the SITC 2017 Annual Meeting website.

About SITC
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. Established in 1984, SITC, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, serves scientists, clinicians, academicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders from around the world. Through educational programs that foster scientific exchange and collaboration, SITC aims to one day make the word cure a reality for cancer patients everywhere. To learn more, visit

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