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Kotlan B.,The Surgical Center | Balwit J.M.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy | Year: 2011

The annual conference of the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc), recently renamed the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), provides clinicians and scientists with a uniquely broad yet focused view of the growing field of tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. In this time of exciting new developments in cancer immunotherapy, it is critically important to effectively guide new immune-based advances from bench to bedside to improve outcomes of patients with cancer. iSBTc/SITC with its dedicated leadership (past and present) provides this guidance through its Annual Meeting and associated programs. This year the society celebrated its 25th Anniversary in Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill (Washington DC, USA), with educational offerings from 30 September to 4 October 2010. © 2011 Expert Reviews Ltd. Source

Balwit J.M.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer | Hwu P.,University of Houston | Urba W.J.,Earle A Chiles Research Institute | Marincola F.M.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer | Marincola F.M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2011

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC (formerly the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer, iSBTc), aims to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development and application of biological therapy and immunotherapy. The society and its educational programs have become premier destinations for interaction and innovation in the cancer biologics community. For over a decade, the society has offered the Primer on Tumor Immunology and Biological Therapy of Cancer™ in conjunction with its Annual Scientific Meeting. This report summarizes the 2010 Primer that took place October 1, 2010 in Washington, D.C. as part of the educational offerings associated with the society's 25th anniversary. The target audience was basic and clinical investigators from academia, industry and regulatory agencies, and included clinicians, post-doctoral fellows, students, and allied health professionals. Attendees were provided a review of basic immunology and educated on the current status and most recent advances in tumor immunology and clinical/translational caner immunology. Ten prominent investigators presented on the following topics: innate immunity and inflammation; an overview of adaptive immunity; dendritic cells; tumor microenvironment; regulatory immune cells; immune monitoring; cytokines in cancer immunotherapy; immune modulating antibodies; cancer vaccines; and adoptive T cell therapy. Presentation slides, a Primer webinar and additional program information are available online on the society's website. © 2011 Balwit et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Balwit J.M.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer
Journal of translational medicine | Year: 2011

Led by key opinion leaders in the field, the 25th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc, recently renamed the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC) provided a scientific platform for ~500 attendees to exchange cutting-edge information on basic, clinical, and translational research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy. The meeting included keynote addresses on checkpoint blockade in cancer therapy and recent advances in therapeutic vaccination against cancer induced by Human Papilloma Virus 16. Participants from 29 countries interacted through oral presentations, panel discussions, and posters on topics that included dendritic cells and cancer, targeted therapeutics and immunotherapy, innate/adaptive immune interplay in cancer, clinical trial endpoints, vaccine combinations, countering negative regulation, immune cell trafficking to tumor microenvironment, and adoptive T cell transfer. In addition to the 50 oral presentations and >180 posters on these topics, a new SITC/iSBTc initiative to create evidence-based Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines was announced. The SITC/iSBTc Biomarkers Taskforce announced the release of recommendations on immunotherapy biomarkers and a highly successful symposium on Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers that took place on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) immediately prior to the Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting, the NIH took the opportunity to publicly announce the award of the U01 grant that will fund the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN). In summary, the Annual Meeting gathered clinicians and scientists from academia, industry, and regulatory agencies from around the globe to interact and exchange important scientific advances related to tumor immunobiology and cancer immunotherapy. Source

Bedognetti D.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer | Bedognetti D.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Bedognetti D.,University of Genoa | Balwit J.M.,Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer | And 19 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2011

Recent positive clinical results in cancer immunotherapy point to the potential of immune-based strategies to provide effective treatment of a variety of cancers. In some patients, the responses to cancer immunotherapy are durable, dramatically extending survival. Extensive research efforts are being made to identify and validate biomarkers that can help identify subsets of cancer patients that will benefit most from these novel immunotherapies. In addition to the clear advantage of such predictive biomarkers, immune biomarkers are playing an important role in the development, clinical evaluation and monitoring of cancer immunotherapies. This Cancer Immunotherapy Resource Document, prepared by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC, formerly the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer, iSBTc), provides key references and online resources relevant to the discovery, evaluation and clinical application of immune biomarkers. These key resources were identified by experts in the field who are actively pursuing research in biomarker identification and validation. This organized collection of the most useful references, online resources and tools serves as a compass to guide discovery of biomarkers essential to advancing novel cancer immunotherapies. © 2011 Bedognetti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Galon J.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Galon J.,University of Paris Descartes | Galon J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Pages F.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 72 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2012

Prediction of clinical outcome in cancer is usually achieved by histopathological evaluation of tissue samples obtained during surgical resection of the primary tumor. Traditional tumor staging (AJCC/UICC-TNM classification) summarizes data on tumor burden (T), presence of cancer cells in draining and regional lymph nodes (N) and evidence for metastases (M). However, it is now recognized that clinical outcome can significantly vary among patients within the same stage. The current classification provides limited prognostic information, and does not predict response to therapy. Recent literature has alluded to the importance of the host immune system in controlling tumor progression. Thus, evidence supports the notion to include immunological biomarkers, implemented as a tool for the prediction of prognosis and response to therapy. Accumulating data, collected from large cohorts of human cancers, has demonstrated the impact of immune-classification, which has a prognostic value that may add to the significance of the AJCC/UICC TNM-classification. It is therefore imperative to begin to incorporate the 'Immunoscore' into traditional classification, thus providing an essential prognostic and potentially predictive tool. Introduction of this parameter as a biomarker to classify cancers, as part of routine diagnostic and prognostic assessment of tumors, will facilitate clinical decision-making including rational stratification of patient treatment. Equally, the inherent complexity of quantitative immunohistochemistry, in conjunction with protocol variation across laboratories, analysis of different immune cell types, inconsistent region selection criteria, and variable ways to quantify immune infiltration, all underline the urgent requirement to reach assay harmonization. In an effort to promote the Immunoscore in routine clinical settings, an international task force was initiated. This review represents a follow-up of the announcement of this initiative, and of the J Transl Med. editorial from January 2012. Immunophenotyping of tumors may provide crucial novel prognostic information. The results of this international validation may result in the implementation of the Immunoscore as a new component for the classification of cancer, designated TNM-I (TNM-Immune). © 2012 Galon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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