SITC 31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs

Targeted Therapies in OncologyOctober 2016
Volume 5
Issue 7

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) Annual Meeting & Associated Programs are renowned as a catalyst for future advances in the cancer immunotherapy field. This year marks the 31st such conference (SITC 2016), which will be held in National Harbor, Maryland from November 9 to 13, 2016.

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) Annual Meeting & Associated Programs are renowned as a catalyst for future advances in the cancer immunotherapy field. This year marks the 31st such conference (SITC 2016), which will be held in National Harbor, Maryland from November 9 to 13, 2016.

Notably, SITC 2016 is the largest meeting dedicated solely to the field of cancer immunotherapy. The member-driven agenda ensures accessibility to the latest science and innovative progress in the field, details for which are included below.

In line with SITC’s goal of improving outcomes for patients with cancer, this multidisciplinary meeting incorporates aspects of both basic cancer im-munotherapy research and clinical application, with the understanding that collaboration is the key to making the word “cure” a reality. To facilitate this mission, SITC 2016 offers expert-led discussions to address critical topics and the latest research in the field, a platform for investigators to present their work among leaders in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy, and updates on major national and international initiatives.

All sessions are designed to be highly interactive so that attendees have the most impactful experience possible. SITC is also pleased to offer continuing education credits to physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists for their participation in the 31st Annual Meeting and selected Associated Programs, jointly provided by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and SITC.

Building upon SITC’s history of success in connecting diverse stakeholders in the cancer immunotherapy field, this conference also features ample op- portunities for professional networking with plenty of social events, such as the Presidential Reception and multiple poster viewing receptions.


New Cancer Immunotherapy Agents in Development

An increased understanding of the mechanisms underlying tumor immune evasion has driven the rapid evolution of novel immune-based approaches. Reflecting this exciting time in the field of cancer immunotherapy, this dynamic session organized as a collaborative effort between SITC’s Annual Program Committee and SITC’s Industry Committee features rapid representations on cutting-edge agents in development. In addition, the program will close with an extended panel discussion focused on strategic considerations of combination approaches and biomarker development for current and future agents.

Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer ImmunotherapyTM

The development of novel immunotherapeutics to improve cancer patient out-comes depends upon a depth of understanding of cancer immunology. Knowl- edge in this field has increased dramatically in recent years, due to technological advances and an emergent recognition of the potential of the immune system in an anti-cancer role. The SITC Primer on Tumor Immunology and Cancer ImmunotherapyTMpresents core immunology principles as they relate to basic and clinical cancer immunotherapy research.

Workshop on Challenges, Insights, and Future Directions for Mouse and Humanized Models in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

Animal models of disease are essential tools that aid our understanding of the mechanisms underlying anti-tumor immune responses and are essential for novel drug development. However, the utility of such tools is limited to the recognition of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ability to apply them accordingly. This workshop is designed to provide a comprehensive discussion about a variety of models, including how to best model the tumor immune microenvironment, approaches toward improving the predictive value of mouse models, and anticipated advances in cancer modeling that are on the horizon.


Presented by thought leaders in the field, this year’s plenary sessions address topics central to current and anticipated progress in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy, including discussions about the tumor microenvironment, the latest updates on state-of-the-art immunotherapies highlighting their challenges and abundant opportunities, as well as the future of combination immunotherapy. Abstracts featuring the most recent data from basic and translational research, clinical trials, and aspects of clinical management will be presented throughout the meeting, with selected oral abstract presen- tations and several opportunities to delve into the poster sessions.

This year’s keynote address, “The Mechanistic Basis of Cancer Immunotherapy” will be given by Ira Mellman, PhD, vice president of Cancer Immunology at Genentech. An active member of countless scientific organizations, Mellman’s work has contributed to advances in fundamental cell biology, including the discovery of endosomes, and the application of these insights to a broader understanding of the immune response.

The 2016 Richard V. Smalley, MD, Memorial Lectureship Award will be presented to Suzanne Topalian, MD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, in recognition of her significant contributions to the advancement of cancer immunotherapy research. Topalian’s research of human antitumor immunity has laid the groundwork for the translational development of a number of different immunotherapeutic modalities. Her keynote address is titled “PD-1 Blockade in Cancer Treatment: Immunotherapy Meets Precision Medicine.”

In addition, the 31st Annual Meeting boasts a number of thought-provoking concurrent sessions, some of which are interdisciplinary sessions organized in collaboration with the American Society for Cell Biology and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. New this year are CNE- and CPE-certified Nurse/ Pharmacist Track sessions, beginning with a Tumor Immunology 101 to help familiarize attendees with the tumor immunology landscape. This is followed by a Clinical Management session, which reviews aspects of immunotherapy in oncology. Presentations by advanced practitioners will provide an oppor- tunity for attendees to improve clinical outcomes for individuals receiving immunotherapy. These new sessions are a part of SITC’s dedication to making resources available to all members of the cancer care team.

The 31st Annual Meeting will conclude with a Value of Cancer Immunotherapy Summit. Value assessments in oncology have largely excluded im-munotherapeutic agents, which has led to uncertainty about the real value associated with these therapies. Organized in collaboration with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), this summit will bring together a variety of different perspectives, including academic physicians, patient advocates, regulatory agencies, and third party payers, with the aim of discussing issues of value with respect to cancer immunotherapy. An expected outcome of this summit is a referendum on future directions and priorities for better defining the full value of immunotherapy for patients with cancer.

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