Vincenzo Bronte, MD • 2021 SITC Election

Vincenzo Bronte, MD
University of Verona


Dr. Bronte 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. He has mentored over 30 PhD students and post-docs.

Dr. Bronte’s major achievements have included 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. These interests recently led the group to consider the intervention of myeloid cells in regulating cytokine release syndrome also under other pathologies, like COVID-19.

Dr. Bronte has been invited several times to the SITC Annual Meeting as a 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 was awarded by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome, Italy) with the International Prize "Francesco De Luca" for scientific Oncology career, and by the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC) with the Prize "Guido Venosta" for oncology researchers. He 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, Cancer Research and Cell Stress. In 2008, the journal Science dedicated an article to him and his colleague Dmitry Gabrilovich for the seminal discovery of MDSCs in cancer. He authored more than 180 peer-reviewed articles ( Invited speaker for 190 congresses and inventor in 9 patents, he was included in the immunologist list of Highly Cited Researchers for the years 2018-2019-2020 by Clarivate Analytics, for scientists with exceptional research performance, authors of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and year in Web of Science. Dr. Bronte is member of several cancer research associations, scientific societies and consultant/advisor for different companies, in Europe and the U.S. Some of these companies are developing new drugs in the field of onco-immunology based on the discoveries of Dr. Bronte.

SITC Election Platform Statement

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 in full the 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 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 to the first annual meetings of SITC, I feel the urge to revive the unique 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 and the transfer of multi-omics technologies to the clinic.