Vincenzo Bronte, MD • 2018 SITC Election


Vincenzo Bronte, MD, is currently head of the immunology section in the Department of Medicine of Verona University and head of the diagnostic immunology unit in the “G. B. Rossi” Hospital. He is full professor of immunology at the University of Verona. During last years he has mentored over 30 students and post-docs.

Dr. Bronte was awarded by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome, Italy) with the International Prize “Francesco De Luca” for a scientific oncology career, and by the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC) with the Prize “Guido Venosta” for oncology researchers.

Dr. Bronte’s major achievements have been the definition and characterization of immune regulatory cells, now called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), whose negative influence on antitumor immunity represents an obstacle to a successful immunotherapy of cancer. Current projects in the laboratory are further exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tumor-induced immune dysfunctions, with the attempt to define novel drugs and approaches targeting tumor microenvironment, to be used alone or in combination with either active or passive immunotherapy strategies.

Dr. Bronte has been invited several times to SITC’s Annual Meeting as speaker, chairman and teacher for the educational “Primer on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy.” He has also served SITC as a member of Cancer Immunotherapy Fellowship Awards and Immune Biomarkers Task Force.

Dr. Bronte has been section editor for The Journal of Immunology, associate editor of Frontiers in Immunology and Frontiers in Oncology, consulting editor for Journal of Clinical Investigation, and senior editor for Cancer Immunology Research and Cell Stress. He is the author of 124 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. His H-index is 66 with 22,613 citations. Dr. Bronte is a member of several cancer research associations, scientific societies and consultant/advisor for different companies, in Europe and U.S. Some of these companies are developing new drugs in the field of oncoimmunology based on the discoveries of Dr. Bronte.

SITC Election Platform Statements

What are the two or three critical issues facing the field of cancer immunotherapy?

Cancer immunotherapy has helped many patients but we urgently need to improve the rate of clinical success, by understanding the reasons for either incomplete responses or acquired resistance. We have to find novel tools to grasp the full role of innate and adaptive immunity in the control of human metastatic spreading, combine the analysis of tumor environment with blood circulating cells in each single patient and solve the heterogeneity of immune cells by new technologies allowing single cell analyses. We have to outline the map of molecular network negatively affecting anti-tumor immunity to drive the rational combination of the next generation of anti-cancer agents, also to avoid recent disappointments due to a too fast translation of promising drugs to the clinic.

What is your vision for SITC?

What we are learning from cancer patients can allow us to redesign more appropriate experimental models to test rationally new hypotheses, a Copernican and unprecedented revolution in oncology but also in experimental science. In particular, I feel that SITC should encourage the rigorous advancement of translational science towards the analysis of unconventional players of immune regulation in tissues. Every tissue has a unique network of innate, adaptive and resident cells from the myeloid, mesenchymal and lymphoid worlds. These networks are almost unknown under steady state conditions and let alone in cancer. As a participant of the first SITC annual meetings, I feel the urge to revive the original spirit of the society, a community devoted to shed light into the interplay between transformed cells and the whole host immune system. We must reconcile the growing dimension of the society with the necessity to support, possibly with other international partners, meetings, fellowships and scientific panels focusing on emerging concepts of immune regulation. 


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