JITC Digest May 2017


Inside this Issue:

Letter from the Editor

pedro-romero_1__1_.jpgDear JITC Readers:

Within this month’s issue of the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), I am pleased to highlight the publication of recommendations from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Immune Biomarkers Task Force.

A long-term initiative of the society, the SITC Immune Biomarkers Task Force has been actively investigating predictive and prognostic biomarkers of response to cancer immunotherapy. Charged with reviewing recent developments and identifying obstacles to progress in order to recommend ways to move the field forward, the Task Force broke into four Working Groups (WG) to address different aspects of immune biomarker development. WG4 focused on predicting clinical outcomes using baseline measures, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive understanding of baseline immunity in the periphery, as well as the tumor microenvironment, to drive biomarker identification and elucidate why response to cancer immunotherapy is limited to a subset of patients. The resulting recommendations of this Task Force, developed by Gnjatic et al., were presented at a meeting held by SITC in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health last year, and are now available in JITC in the article entitled “Identifying baseline immune-related biomarkers to predict clinical outcome of immunotherapy.”

There are a variety of other articles that cover the broad interests of our readers in this month’s issue. Please take a moment to scan through this month’s JITC articles, outlined below, and check out JITC’s submission guidelines to submit your own research today.

With best regards,
Pedro J. Romero, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

Case Report

Nivolumab-induced autoimmune diabetes mellitus presenting as diabetic ketoacidosis in a patient with metastatic lung cancer

James Luke Godwin, Shuchie Jaggi, Imali Sirisena, Pankaj Sharda, Ajay D. Rao, Ranee Mehra and Colleen Veloski
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:40 (16 May 2017)

From the Authors

"Autoimmune (type 1) diabetes is a rare and serious complication associated with use of PD-1 inhibitors. This case report documents for the first time the development of new onset autoimmune diabetes in a patient with three positive diabetes antibodies prior to nivolumab treatment. Although future correlative studies are needed, the presence of diabetes antibodies may be one of several potential risk factors for PD-1 inhibitor related type 1 diabetes."

Colleen Veloski, MD, FACE — Fox Chase Cancer Center


Tissue-resident lymphocytes: sentinel of the transformed tissue

Saïda Dadi and Ming O. Li
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:41 (16 May 2017)

From the Authors

"Unconventional tissue-resident lymphocytes participate in cancer immunosurveillance."

Ming Li, PhD — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Research Article

Evaluation of dosing strategy for pembrolizumab for oncology indications

Tomoko Freshwater, Anna Kondic, Malidi Ahamadi, Claire H. Li, Rik de Greef, Dinesh de Alwis and Julie A. Stone
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:43 (16 May 2017)

From the Authors

"Early clinical studies of pembrolizumab, an antibody against the programmed death 1 (PD-1) receptor, employed a body weight–based dosing strategy, but in more recent trials a fixed-dose regimen (200 mg Q3W) has been introduced. In this paper, the analyses and data that provided the basis for the switch to fixed-dose regimens in trials and recent product label updates are discussed."

Julie A. Stone, PhD — Merck & Co.

A tandem CD19/CD20 CAR lentiviral vector drives on-target and off-target antigen modulation in leukemia cell lines

Dina Schneider, Ying Xiong, Darong Wu, Volker Nӧlle, Sarah Schmitz, Waleed Haso, Andrew Kaiser, Boro Dropulic and Rimas J. Orentas
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:42 (16 May 2017)

From the Authors

"Creation of a tandem CAR (CD19- and CD20-specific) demonstrated both the ability of leukemia cell lines to alter their phenotype in response to strong CAR-mediated immune pressure and the tuning of the cytokine production levels of the original single-targeting CD20 construct. By creating a tandem CAR, strong in vitro and in vivo cytolytic activity was preserved, and a better outcome with less toxicity was seen in a mouse model of disease compared to either single-specificity CARs, or the admixture of separately transduced T cell populations."

Rimas J. Orentas, PhD — Lentigen Technology, Inc.


Identifying baseline immune-related biomarkers to predict clinical outcome of immunotherapy

Sacha Gnjatic, Vincenzo Bronte, Laura Rosa Brunet, Marcus O. Butler, Mary L. Disis, Jérôme Galon, Leif G. Hakansson, Brent A. Hanks, Vaios Karanikas, Samir N. Khleif, John M. Kirkwood, Lance D. Miller, Dolores J. Schendel, Isabelle Tanneau, Jon M. Wigginton and Lisa H. Butterfield
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017, 5:44 (16 May 2017)

From the Authors

"In the search for biomarkers that would explain why cancer patients do not benefit equally from immunotherapy, recent immune monitoring advances emphasize preexisting features of the tumor and its microenvironment, that lead to naturally occurring immunity that can be measured before treatment starts. This collaborative paper synthesizes the effort of a working group assembled by SITC to survey several important aspects of baseline immunity, from host characteristics conveying higher immunocompetence to markers that can be measured both at the tumor site and circulating in blood, with the goal of recommending approaches that may eventually help improve clinical outcomes."

Sacha Gnjatic, PhD — Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

April Highly Accessed Articles


The why, what, and how of the new FACT standards for immune effector cells

Marcela V. Maus and Sarah Nikiforow
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017 5:36 (18 April 2017)


A systems biology approach to investigating the influence of exercise and fitness on the composition of leukocytes in peripheral blood

Michael P. Gustafson, Ara Celi DiCostanzo, Courtney M. Wheatley, Chul-Ho Kim, Svetlana Bornschlegl, Dennis A. Gastineau, Bruce D. Johnson and Allan B. Dietz
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2017 5:30 (18 April 2017)