Immune Monitor October 2017

A Message from the President


Dear Colleagues,

I invite you to join the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) for our most anticipated event of the year, the 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs from Nov. 8-12 in National Harbor, Md. As the largest conference dedicated to the field of cancer immunotherapy, the society has assembled an incredible roster of experts, offering researchers, clinicians, industry professionals and patient advocates the opportunity to hear the latest scientific findings in the most exciting area of cancer research and treatment.

Pre-Conference Programs: Nov. 8-9

The Pre-Conference Programs provide opportunities for attendees of all experience levels to learn the basics of cancer immunotherapy, explore updates on biomarkers and single cell techniques as they relate to our field, develop grant writing skills, and network. SITC will offer the following programs as a precursor to our Annual Meeting:


32nd Annual Meeting: Nov. 10-12

Featuring three days of cutting-edge presentations attendees have come to expect from the society, the SITC 2017 Annual Meeting provides a multidisciplinary interactive environment focused on basic and translational cancer immunotherapy. Programming will be kicked off with highly anticipated keynote speeches. On Nov. 10, Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD will speak on “The CAR T Revolution in Leukemia.” The following day, Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, and the 2017 Richard V. Smalley, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship recipient, will deliver his speech on "Activation of Innate and Adaptive Immunity as an In Situ Cancer Vaccine.”

Also, do not miss this year’s Hot Topic Symposium, which closes out proceedings on Nov. 12. The Symposium, Advancing the Field: Can Physics and Mathematics Impact the Development of Tumor Immunotherapy?, will bring together leading authorities in tumor immunology, physics and mathematics to offer an overview of the top priorities in tumor immunotherapy and the latest advances in physical science that might impact further biologic understanding and therapeutic approaches for the field.


Social and Networking Activities

Be sure to attend the social and networking activities provided by SITC. These include activities for early career scientists, such as the Meet-the-Expert Lunch on Nov. 9 and evening networking event on Nov. 10. The poster receptions will take place in Prince George’s Exhibition Hall DE from 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Nov. 10-11. Also, plan to attend the State of SITC: Membership Business Meeting on Nov. 10, and the SITC 2017 Award Ceremony with receptions after presentations. And last, but certainly not least, don’t miss The CheckPoints, SITC’s very own house band the evening of Nov. 11.

I look forward to seeing many of you in National Harbor. For those unable to attend the conference, meeting updates, videos and slide decks will be posted on connectEd, and meeting summaries will be published in JITC.

Best Wishes,



Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President





Advanced registration ends Nov. 1, 2017. Register now to take advantage of advanced registration rates. Onsite registration for the SITC 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs is accepted, space permitting. Onsite registration fees will apply.


Browse all program information, including session and presentation titles, descriptions, faculty, regular and late-breaking abstract titles, exhibitors and more on the SITC 2017 website or Meeting App. Download the app to your mobile device by searching for SITC 2017 on your device in:

Creating an account is easy: simply type in your email address and follow the prompts. Use the itinerary planner to set your schedule and maximize your time at SITC 2017.

Science, Research & Publications


With 567 abstracts accepted for oral or poster presentations, SITC 2017 will have the greatest number of abstract presentations in the society’s history, spanning all areas of basic, translational and clinical cancer immunotherapy research. Regular and late-breaking abstract titles are now available on the SITC 2017 website. Don’t miss these highly anticipated presentations, and more.

Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

11:30 a.m. Antibody-Mediated Neutralization of Soluble MIC Significantly Enhances Response to CTLA4 Blockade and Reduces Therapy-Induced Colitis

Jennifer Wu, PhD – Northwestern University
Session 102: The Science Behind the Therapy: Mechanisms of Efficacy and Toxicity

12:15 p.m. Nivolumab in Mismatch-Repair Deficient (MMR-D) Cancers: NCI-MATCH Trial (Molecular Analysis For Therapy Choice) Arm Z1D Preliminary Results

Nilofer Azad, MD – Johns Hopkins University  
Session 103: Late-Breaking Abstract Session I

3:05 p.m. Predictive Biomarkers for Response to Anti-CTLA-4 and Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy in Melanoma Patients

Priyanka Subrahmanyam, PhD – Stanford University
Concurrent Session 105: Building Personalized Vaccines and Technologies for Hematologic Malignancies and Solid Tumors

3:50 p.m. Nivolumab and Ipilimumab (N+I) vs. Sunitinib (S) for Treatment-Naïve Advanced or Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (aRCC): Results from CheckMate 214, including Overall Survival by Subgroups

Robert J. Motzer, MD – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Session 106: High Impact Clinical Trial Results


Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

11:10 a.m. Single Cell RNA Sequencing Reveals Mechanisms of Merkel Cell Carcinoma Escape from Intense Pressure of T cell Immunotherapy

Kelly Paulson, PhD, MD – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Session 202: Mechanisms of Acquired Resistance to Immunotherapies

2:05 p.m. Identification of Unique Neoantigen Qualities in Long-Term Pancreatic Cancer Survivors

Vinod Balachandran, MD – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Session 204: Presidential Session



The Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) official peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by BioMed Central, has been accepted by Clarivate Analytics for inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). This is confirmation that JITC will receive a 2017 Impact Factor (IF), which will be conferred in 2018. Clarivate Analytics will soon begin indexing JITC content from 2013 onwards.

Explore the journal to see which section is the best fit for your research:

  • Basic Tumor Immunology
  • Clinical/Translational Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Immunotherapy Biomarkers
  • Guidelines and Consensus Statements
  • Commentary/Editorials
  • Clinical Trials Monitor
  • Reviews
  • Case Reports

Explore JITC and submit a manuscript
. To learn more about the indexing process, read the frequently asked questions.


sim-logo-v2.jpg Society


SITC seeks member contributors of all experience levels and professional backgrounds who wish to contribute to the society’s new blog. Potential topics will vary from writing about disease-specific advances in cancer immunotherapy research to basic 101 explanatory posts for the patient community.

If you are a member of the society and have an interest in becoming a SITC blogger, or if you have specific recommendations for content areas the blog should focus on, please email us at




SITC’s visits to Capitol Hill in August resulted in a major win for the society. The immuno-oncology language proposed by SITC to the Senate Committee on Labor and Health and Human Services was incorporated as part of their official report. The Committee urged NCI to continue to prioritize research on mechanisms of action involved in immunotherapy to include tumor resistance in immunotherapy.  The Committee also acknowledged the need for additional basic and clinical researchers trained in immunotherapy and urged NCI to continue to fund fellowships and T32 training awards.

On Oct. 9, 2017, Jacqueline Smith, SITC Policy and Advocacy Manager, represented SITC at the National Coalition for Cancer Research’s Cancer 101 Congressional Briefing. She participated in a panel discussion with Dr. Doug Lowy, Acting Director; Thomas J. Lynch, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb; Peter J. O’Dwyer, MD, Director of Developmental Therapeutics Program at Abramson Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and Richard Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO, Senior Vice President of Center for Research & Analytics and Chief Medical Officer at American Society of Clinical Oncology. The panel discussed the advances made in immunotherapy since the Cancer Moonshot Summit.




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

Jack Aiello
Eliza Argonza-Aviles, RN, MSHS
Amy M. Beebe, PhD
Stephane Billotte
Jasmine Birch
Samuel C. Blackman, MD, PhD
Jolene A. Bradford
Kerry-Ann Bright, MS
Karen Bulock, PhD
Alexandra Cabanov
Luis Felipe Campesato, PhD
Jen Casey, NA
Ana P. Castano, MD
Robert Charnas, PhD
Yaoyu Chen, PhD
Ann F. Cheung, PhD
Darin Chin
Clifford S. Cho, MD, FACS
John E. Connolly, PhD
Veena Coothan Kandaswamy, PhD
Kyle Cron
Peihong Dai, MS
Camilo E. Fadul, MD, FAAN
Stanley Frankel, MD
Pankaj Gaur, PhD
Eyal Greenberg, MSc, PhD
Kyle D. Halliwill, PhD
Jeannette Hasapidis
Dan Hennessy, PhD, MS, MBA
Kevin Hestir, PhD
Anupama Hoey, MS, MBA
Maija Hollmén, PhD
Xiao Hu, PhD
Bryan A. Irving, PhD
Keith W. Kerstann, PhD
Tahira Khan, PhD
Joseph Kim, MD, MPH, MBA
Sirish Kishore, MD
Kwangseok Ko, PhD
Richard C. Koya, MD, PhD
Carsten Krieg, PhD
Minyoung Kwak, MD
Johan Lantto, PhD
Shuyin Li, PhD
Wangzhi Li, PhD

Yanxia Li, PhD
Shuoyen Lin, PhD
Hongtao Lu, PhD
Hoyoung Maeng, MD
Glenn C. Michelson, MD
Mari Mino-Kenudson, MD
Nathan R. Miselis, PhD
Diane Moniz Reed, PharmD
Jacob Moses
Elizabeth N. Ndontsa, PhD
Patrick Ng, PhD
Naomi O'Grady, MBA
Karolyn Oetjen, MD, PhD
Apurva Pandey, MD
Sudha Parasuraman, MD
Nehal S. Parikh, MD
Ravi Patel, MD, PhD
Elsa Quintana, PharmD, PhD
Shahram Rahimian
Murali Ramachandra, PhD
Krit Ritthipichai, DVM, PhD
Jessica Roelands
Jonathan E. Rosenberg, MD
Werner Rubas, PhD
Solmaz Sahebjam, MD
Ruchi Saxena, PhD
Vickie R. Shannon, MD
John Silberstein
Michelle R. Simpson-Abelson, PhD
Raghava N. Sriramaneni, PhD
Marie C. Stark, PhD
Bradley J. Sumrow, MD
Winnie F. Tam, PhD
Jun Tang, PhD
Haiyan Tao, PhD
Colin J. Thalhofer, PhD
Kannan Thanikachalam, MBBS
Lawrence Thomas, PhD
Gregory Vosganian, MD
Catherine A. Wheeler, MD
Karla R. Wiehagen, PhD
Ning Yang, PhD
Andrea Ziblat
Chen Zong, PhD




Forward Fund



Make your year-end gift early and be recognized at the Annual Meeting with a special ribbon. Your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor to double your impact.

Your contribution will help cultivate the next generation of leaders in the field of cancer immunotherapy and create more opportunities for research advances that will lead to more cures for patients.





Back by popular demand, SITC’s high-energy house band, The CheckPoints, returns for a one-night-only performance in the Maryland Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. So put on your dancing shoes and join the party!

New this year!
2017 CheckPoints t-shirts are now available at the SITC 2017 Merchandise Desk in both a ladies and mens cut for $25. Show your support for cancer research and the mission of the society by wearing a CURE or CheckPoints t-shirt.

For those of you unable to attend the annual meeting, CURE and CheckPoints t-shirts can also be purchased online.
Thank you for supporting the Forward Fund!