Leading Researchers in Cancer Immunotherapy and Biosciences to Collaborate in Novel Two-Day Workshops Hosted by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

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The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), under the guidance of the society’s Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force and Immune Biomarkers Committee, will host two thought-provoking workshops addressing the critical question, “Why do some patients respond to cancer immunotherapy treatments and others do not?” during a pair of two-day workshops in San Francisco this May.

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

"The question of why people with similar cancers respond to treatment while others do not is still very much at the forefront of research,” said SITC President Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD.

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), under the guidance of the society’s Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force and Immune Biomarkers Committee, will host two thought-provoking workshops addressing the critical question, “Why do some patients respond to cancer immunotherapy treatments and others do not?” during a pair of two-day workshops in San Francisco this May.

The Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop (May 14 – 15) and the Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers: State of the Art Workshop (May 16 – 17) will provide stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the identification of next steps and projects to address the critical issue of patient responsiveness to cancer immunotherapy treatment and immunotherapy biomarker development. Participants in these SITC workshops will span multiple fields – including not only traditional cancer immunotherapy researchers of all experience levels, but also biostatisticians, pathologists and more.

“While the field of cancer immunotherapy has experienced success in recent years and patient survival rates have improved, the question of why people with similar cancers respond to treatment while others do not is still very much at the forefront of research,” said SITC President Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD. “SITC task forces have recently identified hurdles in the field and made recommendations. These collaborative workshops will identify next steps and potential new projects for SITC involvement.”

Orchestrated by the SITC Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force, participants of the workshop on cancer immune responsiveness will determine consensus questions and strategies that will help researchers better understand how the immune system and different cancers interact. Lead by Chair Francesco M. Marincola, MD, and Co-chair Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD, this workshop will help improve therapeutic strategies by deepening the understanding of how cancer biology contributes to immune landscape architecture.

The workshop on biomarkers, in the days immediately following, will continue the week’s collaborative momentum under the leadership of Dr. Butterfield, chair of the SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee. The workshop will offer interactive sessions on the identification and analysis of novel biomarkers, while also tackling data analysis and specimen sharing. Representatives from the fields of immune-oncology research, infectious disease, autoimmune disease and cell biology will discuss opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance biomarker development.

A major SITC initiative and area of cancer immunotherapy research for more than two decades, biomarkers provide critical information regarding which patients will best respond to specific treatments and when those treatments should be administered. The biomarkers workshop is a follow-up to a 2016 SITC collaboration between members of the Committee and the National Cancer Institute, which lead to “Immunotherapy biomarkers 2016: overcoming the barriers,” five recommendations white papers and a dozen technology reports in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, the official journal of SITC.

The four days of SITC workshops will take place at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. The Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop is supported by NanoString Technologies and AbbVie Inc. For more information, including how to register, visit the SITC website at sitcancer.org.

About SITC
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. Established in 1984, SITC, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, serves scientists, clinicians, academicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders from around the world. Through educational programs that foster scientific exchange and collaboration, SITC aims to one day make the word cure a reality for cancer patients everywhere. To learn more, visit http://www.sitcancer.org.

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Julia Schultz
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