Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Publishes First-of-its-Kind Handbook for Management of Side Effects Associated with Cancer Immunotherapies

April 10, 2019

MILWAUKEE – Today, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to announce publication of SITC’s Guide to Managing Immunotherapy Toxicity, a first-of-its-kind practical reference guide for clinicians to managing side effects of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cancer immunotherapy treatments.

SITC’s Guide to Managing Immunotherapy Toxicity, authored by world-renowned leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field, provides complete coverage of the toxicity and management of adverse events for immune checkpoints inhibitors. These inhibitors block immune checkpoint axis (e.g. CTLA-4, PD-1/PD-L1) and activate T cells to target and kill tumor cells. The handbook features editors Marc S. Ernstoff, MD, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; Igor Puzanov, MD, MSCI, FACP, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, of Institut Gustave Roussy; Adi Diab, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Peter Hersey, MD, PhD, of University of Sydney.

“The immune checkpoint inhibitors are now standard of care for multiple types of cancer and are being used by almost all practitioners taking care of cancer patients world-wide. Nevertheless, these are relatively new agents with toxicities that are different from chemotherapy and molecular targeted agents. We expect more immunotherapy agents in development and possibly approved in the years to come. Therefore, it is critically important for SITC to educate clinicians on the varied adverse events of immune therapies and how to manage those events,” said SITC President Mario Sznol, MD. “This handbook will be an incredibly valuable resource for clinical professionals at all levels of the patient care spectrum – including but not limited to oncologists, nurses, advanced practice providers, emergency care physicians and others.”

The handbook features chapter-based overviews of immune checkpoint inhibitors, including anti-CTLA4 and PD-L1/anti-PD1 agents. These chapters cover relevant mechanisms of action, indications and toxicities seen while combating early, advanced and metastatic stages in cancer patients. The book also explains the common and uncommon toxicities that can affect major organ sites in the body, including rash irritation, muscle and joint toxicity, diarrhea and colitis, pneumonitis, and other toxicities involving the endocrine, neurological, cardiac and hematologic systems.

"This reference guide is yet another step from SITC and its members to helping ensure oncologists, nurses and clinicians from all backgrounds have the resources they need to not only safely administer cancer immunotherapy treatments, but to also be fully aware of the looming toxicities that can present in a patient,” handbook editor and co-author, Marc S. Ernstoff, MD.

This important reference material from SITC is developed to help clinicians and other health professionals based on the manuscript, “Managing toxicities associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors: consensus recommendations from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Toxicity Management Working Group,” published on Nov. 21, 2017, in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). JITC is the society’s open access, peer-reviewed online journal (impact factor of 8.374 in 2018).

To learn more about SITC’s Guide to Managing Immunotherapy Toxicity and to order a copy, visit SITC Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT.

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 and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

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