Immune Monitor May 2017

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

SITC-Textbook.pngIn recognition of June as Cancer Immunotherapy Month organized by our colleagues at the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) celebrates the numerous advances and positive steps taken in moving the field forward. We applaud all of the researchers, practitioners and advocates who have demonstrated an unwavering devotion to improving outcomes for cancer patients worldwide. 

While there is still much work to be done, I invite you to celebrate with SITC in Chicago and join us for events surrounding the ASCO Annual Meeting: 

Another event taking place next month is White Out Cancer Day on June 16. We ask those of you who have a SITC Cure t-shirt to take a selfie and tweet at the society (@sitcancer) using the official hashtag #WearWhite or email the photo to Show your support on the specific day, or any day during June. If you do not yet own a Cure t-shirt, you can order one here.

As the field continues to grow and expand, a major priority of the society is to support and help develop the next generation of leaders. If you are an early career scientist looking for a unique and amazing new team-based research (and business development) opportunity to help the field, apply now to the SITC Sparkathon. Participants will meet on Aug. 28-29, for a two-day retreat in a “Technology Hackathon” meets “Shark Tank” format to explore the hurdles and challenges facing the field of cancer immunotherapy. Applications are accepted until June 16, so apply soon.

Finally, the society is excited to publish its first textbook, Cancer Immunotherapy Principles and Practice. The SITC textbook, an authoritative reference presenting the history, supporting science and mechanisms as well as the current state of cancer immunotherapy, is now available for pre-order. SITC members are eligible to receive up to a 25 percent discount and free shipping. Login to your SITC CONNECT account for more details including the promo code, or stop by SITC’s exhibit booth #2015 while in Chicago.

Thank you for your continued support of the cancer immunotherapy field.

Best wishes,


Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President



connectED-ImmuneMonitor.jpgSITC Cancer Immunotherapy connectED, the society's new online education portal, is the premier source for online cancer immunotherapy education. One of this month’s featured activities is a free CME-, CNE-certified course that provides an overview of immunotherapy treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the clinical setting.

Experience more with SITC CONNECT! Create a FREE SITC CONNECT account to access dozens of video and interactive classes offering CME, CNE and CPE continuing education credits.


Sparkathon-IM.pngSITC is now accepting applications from early career scientists interested in shaping future innovations of cancer immunotherapy through a one-of-a-kind career building opportunity. This new initiative, SITC Sparkathon, will bring together a group of 30 emerging leaders for a two-day professional development retreat to address hurdles facing the cancer immunotherapy field on Aug. 28-29, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Leaders will work in teams alongside top tier business coaches to develop concept business proposals aimed at solving critical hurdles in the field. Learn more about the SITC Sparkathon, eligibility criteria and apply today.

Experience more on SITC CONNECT! Create a FREE SITC CONNECT account to access hundreds of resources from the society’s online community in the SITC CONNECT Resource Library.


Submit your regular abstracts and late-breaking abstract applications by Aug. 1, 2017, for the opportunity to present at the SITC 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2017) Nov. 8-12, 2017. With 22 abstract categories this year, you are sure to find the right section for your research! Learn more about abstract categories at SITC 2017.

SITC early career scientists members who submit an abstract are also eligible for one of 32 SITC Young Investigator Awards—to honor excellence in novel research and acknowledge the need for the next generation of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology researchers to engage with luminaries in the field.

Did you know? SITC members receive up to 20 percent savings on registration to SITC 2017—the premier destination for scientific exchange, education and networking in the cancer immunotherapy field. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


sim-logo-v2.jpg Society


June 16, 2017
Join SITC in raising awareness of cancer immunotherapy by gathering friends, family, colleagues and students to wear SITC Cure t-shirts for Wear White Day on June 16. Share your SITC Cure t-shirt photos on Twitter to @sitcancer using #WearWhite or send them to and SITC will share them for you. Order a SITC Cure t-shirt for a $25 contribution to the Forward Fund and join the campaign!

Did you know? In just three years, the Forward Fund has raised more than $1,000,000 to support early career scientists. Be the spark for innovation with a gift to the Forward Fund.


SITC Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT is the source and resource for all things related to cancer immunotherapy. Share your thoughts with other users in a few trending discussions taking place in the Open Forum:

Henry Hillman, a Great Pittsburgher, Passes

"Another great Pittsburgher dies – Philanthropist Henry Hillman led the renaissance of Pittsburgh's rebirth, a benefactor of the Hillman Cancer Center, an NCI Designated Cancer Center …”

– Anonymous

Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy and Multikinase Inhibitors

“Greetings SITC researchers: Prostate cancer is not very responsive to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Why is that? A 'Nature' journal paper just out (3/29/17 currently online only) appears to add a 'secret sauce' that combines immune checkpoint blockade + multikinase inhibitors (Cabozantinib or BEZ235) to produce …”

– Otto F. Sankey, PhD

Experience more with SITC CONNECT! You don’t have to be a SITC member to contribute to community discussions in the Open Forum. Create a free SITC CONNECT account and be part of the conversation.

Forward Fund


CheckPoints.jpgCelebrate the advances made in cancer immunotherapy as SITC's house band The CheckPoints, rock the classic hits of recent decades on Sunday, June 4 at the House of Blues Chicago 8 p.m. – midnight. General admission tickets are available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis with a suggested minimum donation of $30.

Last year was a sell-out, so plan to come early! Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Learn more about this event. All donations support the Forward Fund, to attract the brightest young minds to the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Experience more with SITC CONNECT! All of SITC’s events can be saved directly to your desktop computer or mobile device from the SITC CONNECT Upcoming Events page. Add this event directly to your calendar.


Science, Research & Publications


SITC-Textbook.pngSITC is delighted to announce the launch of its new textbook, Cancer Immunotherapy Principles and Practice. Edited by Drs. Lisa H. Butterfield, Howard L. Kaufman and Francesco M. Marincola, the book features five sections and over 50 chapters authored by leading authorities in the field. Serving as a comprehensive resource for oncologists, fellows, immunologists, cancer researchers and any healthcare practitioner seeking to understand the basic science and clinical application of cancer immunotherapy, Cancer Immunotherapy Principles and Practice makes a challenging and dynamic subject understandable. SITC members are eligible to receive up to a 25 percent discount and free shipping. Login to your SITC CONNECT account for more details including the promo code, or stop by SITC’s exhibit booth #2015 while in Chicago.

Experience more on SITC CONNECT! Save a reminder of this textbook launch by adding it directly to your calendar on a desktop computer or mobile device.


jitc-logo.jpgNew in this month’s Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), SITC Immune Biomarkers Task Force Working Group 4 published their recommendations on predicting clinical outcomes using baseline measures. This publication emphasizes the need for a comprehensive understanding of baseline immunity in the periphery, and the tumor microenvironment, to drive biomarker identification, and elucidate why response to cancer immunotherapy is limited to a subset of patients. Click here to read, “Identifying baseline immune-related biomarkers to predict clinical outcome of immunotherapy.”

Did you know? JITC’s article processing charges are waived for SITC members through 2017 – an incredible $2,500 value! Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


FNIH-Logo.pngSITC has become the newest member of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium (BC). This public-private biomedical research partnership, managed by the FNIH, brings together the expertise and resources needed to rapidly identify, develop and qualify potential high-impact biomarkers to enable improvements in drug development and regulatory decision-making. The BC conducts projects in four main areas: Cancer, Immunity & Inflammation, Metabolic Disorders and Neuroscience. As a member, SITC will contribute scientific and technical expertise to emerging and existing projects in cancer immunotherapy. Working with more than 30 other member organizations, the society will help create a new era of precision medicine with therapies that are better tailored for patients.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) agent formulary, launched in January 2017, is a public-private partnership between the NCI and pharmaceutical and biotech companies that provides academic investigators with rapid access to pharmaceutical agents for use in cancer clinical trials. Within this program, pharmaceutical company collaborators provide investigators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers with proprietary agents for use in trials supported by the NCI Formulary. With a particular focus on drugs that target molecular pathways under investigation by multiple pharmaceutical collaborators, the NCI Formulary facilitates conduct of clinical trials by streamlining clinical trial approval, distribution of pharmaceutical agents, and reporting of trial efficacy and safety data. It is hoped that, in this way, the NCI Formulary will accelerate delivery of new treatments to patients with cancer. For more information, see NCI Formulary and lists of agents.




Vote-IM.pngCandidates for the SITC 2017 election are now confirmed. SITC members will be electing one Secretary/Treasurer and three At-Large Directors later this year. Look for biographies and platform statements about the candidates in June.

Secretary/Treasurer Candidates

  • Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD
    University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • Kim A. Margolin, MD
    City of Hope

At-Large Director Candidates

  • Paolo Antonio Ascierto, MD
    Istituto Nazionale Tumori-Fondazione 'G. Pascale'
  • Adrian Bot, MD, PhD
    Kite Pharma, Inc.
  • David Kaufman, MD, PhD
    Merck Research Laboratories
  • Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD
    University of Navarra
  • Douglas G. McNeel, MD, PhD
    University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Kimberly A. Shafer-Weaver, PhD
    AstraZeneca, LP

Did you know? SITC Regular and Emeritus members have the ability to vote in SITC’s annual election. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


April 1-30, 2017

Join_SITC_IM.jpgThank you to those who joined the society in the month of April. If you are a SITC member, please welcome the following new members by sending a message of congratulations through the SITC CONNECT Member Directory:

Christine Archer, ACT
Jakob Axelsson, PhD
Christopher A. Barker, MD
Joseph M. Beechem, PhD
Andy Blake-Haskins, PharmD
Giustina M. Brechbill, MSN, CNS, AOCN, CBEC
Anne Marie Cerato
Dana Cunningham
Terry Dao, RN
Maria De Santis, MD
Eslie H. Dennis, MD
Muthu Dhandapani, MS, CMDP
Michael Dougan, MD, PhD
Riley Fadden, NP
Lynley Fow, ARNP
Anghesom Ghebremedhin
Priscila H. Goncalves, MD
Elisa Guo, MBA
John M. Herndon
Ali Hosseini, MSc
Shannon M. Kelley, MS
Sheila F. Khan
Linda M. Kozick, MS, MBA
Stephanie J. Maiocco, PhD
Leah Mitchell, PhD
Anhco Nguyen, PhD
Polly Peres, MBBS
Joanna Pucilowska, PhD
Maureen Reed, NP
Rahul Suresh, PhD
Ying S. Ting, PhD
Muzamil Y. Want, PhD


Experience more on SITC CONNECT! Create a FREE SITC CONNECT account to join the society’s constantly updating collection of online communities. Search the SITC CONNECT Community Directory to join.