Letter from the Editor
Dear JITC Readers,
The Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) congratulates James P. Allison, PhD, and Tasuku Honjo, MD, PhD, on their recognition as 2018 recipients of the Nobel Prize for their scientific contributions to the emerging field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Their work in the lab has become a foundational component of cancer treatment across the globe. The honor draws light on the innovation and collaboration of cancer researchers allowing the science to advance rapidly in the lab and into the clinic where many patients are now benefiting from these breakthroughs. I look forward to seeing where this continued momentum takes us as we work toward making the word “cure” a reality for patients everywhere.
In the October edition of the JITC Digest, there are four articles of special significance of which I wish to draw special attention. First, “Local angiotensin II contributes to tumor resistance to checkpoint immunotherapy,” by Guozhu Xie et al. demonstrates the role of local angiotensin II (AngII) in establishing an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. In this research article, Dr. Xie’s team describes a novel mechanism for enhancing tumor response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy through blockage of AngII signaling.
Next, Jason M. Redman et al.’s clinical trials monitor article, “Quick efficacy seeking trial (QuEST1): a novel combination immunotherapy study designed for rapid clinical signal assessment metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer,” presents the QuEST1 study, an open and accruing adaptive-design clinical trial evaluating various combination therapies in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). QuEST1 aims to expedite investigation of multimodal immunotherapy in mCRPC, a disease with low response rates to single agent immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Maartje W. Rohaan et al.’s review, “Adoptive transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in melanoma: a viable treatment option,” provides an authoritative overview of the current state of adoptive cell therapy with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in melanoma patients. Specifically, this article provides a detailed account of the applicability and hurdles of developing TIL immunotherapy, including clinical response, production and treatment strategies, toxicity, and the future potential of TIL therapy as part of both monotherapy and combination therapy anti-tumor treatment regimens.
Finally, the article, “A nomogram-based immunoprofile predicts overall survival for previously untreated patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma after esophagectomy,” by Jingjing Duan et al. presents a novel model for predicting prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients based on independent prognostic immune variables. This comprehensive, nomogram-based immunoprofile developed by Dr. Duan’s team appears apt to complement the TNM system for survival prediction in operable ESCC patients.
With best regards,
Pedro J. Romero, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer