Aurélien Marabelle, MD, PhD


Prof. Aurélien Marabelle is an MD/PhD immuno-oncologist and a full professor of Clinical Immunology at the University of Paris Saclay in France. His clinical practice is devoted to early phase clinical trials of cancer immunotherapies for all types of cancers within the Drug Development Department of Gustave Roussy Cancer Center near Paris. He is also the director of a clinical investigation center dedicated to intratumoral immunotherapies. He leads a bedside-to-bench translational research laboratory dedicated to study the mechanism of action of immunotherapies in patients. Dr Marabelle was initially trained as a scientist in the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and King’s College London and as a clinician at the Léon Bérard Cancer Center in Lyon, France. He did a post-doctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Prof. Ronald Levy at Stanford University, CA where he came back in 2021 as a visiting professor. Dr Marabelle is an active member of ESMO, ASCO, AACR, SITC, EATI. He was the co-founder and is the current vice-president of the French Society for Cancer Immunotherapies (FITC). He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and has a H-index of 62.

Aurélien Marabelle, MD, PhD

SITC Election Platform Statement

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

The lesson of the past decade is that tumor biology (PD-L1 expression, CD8 infiltrates, TLS, TMB, …) drives the efficacy of checkpoint targeted immunotherapies, not the tumor histology. Accordingly, what drives the resistance to such treatments (genomic instability, high VEGF, Tregs, IL6/8,…) is also vastly histology independent. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges is to disrupt the conventional oncology taxonomy in order to treat patients according to the biology of their disease rather than its histological description. The practical consequence of this paradigm shift is the need to develop new treatments according to drug target expression or biomarkers rather than per historical indication. This would also require the field to have biomarkers or target screening assays with short turnaround times in order to enroll patients in trials based on their actual disease biology rather than their archival material. 

What is Your Vision for SITC?

Over the last 15 years, SITC has been instrumental to fostering the quick implementation of cancer immunotherapies in oncology. With the advent of neo-adjuvant immunotherapy, the need for education and research on immune related adverse events has become a public health issue given the number of patients concerned, and SITC must accompany this huge medical need. Also, SITC could play a leading role at the international level in terms of education in immuno-oncology at every country level. This could be done by reviving the World Immunotherapy Council (WIC) for instance.