By Mary L. (Nora) Disis, MD
Chair, ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium Committee
The inaugural ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium will provide the most recent insights into the field of tumor immunology, with sessions of interest to medical professionals at every level of research and clinical practice. The meeting will focus on the clinical application of immunology to cancer care and sessions will highlight, among other topics, immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and novel combinations, the use of adoptive T-cell therapy and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells and other engineered T-cells, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, and new approaches to modulating innate immune cells. Sessions include not only presentations, but also expert reviews and panel discussions. The meeting will present numerous opportunities for debate and dialogue.
It has been years since many of us took an immunology course, so the symposium is filled with sessions to provide basic background information that will be useful in understanding the mechanism of action of immuno-oncology drugs. Sunrise sessions will be held to cover the basics of immunology and some of the most common methods to measure human immune responses and evaluate clinical trials. Evening sessions will provide expert insight into the presentations that were made that day, putting scientific data into clinical context. Ample time for question and answers has been included. In the afternoons, networking sessions will give attendees the opportunity to talk to immuno-oncologists about incorporating immunotherapy into clinical practice; additional networking sessions are available for those who would like to enter the field and make critical connections. We will also hold Poster Walks for attendees interested in engaging in small group discussions of the latest science in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
The symposium will be highly interactive and inclusive of everyone, no matter what level of experience you might have in immune therapy and immune oncology. I hope you will join us in Orlando on February 23-25, not only to learn the most up-to-date information about the status of ongoing and recently completed clinical trials and analyses, but also to gain insight into the application of immune therapy to your current clinical practice.
In addition to serving as Chair of the 2017 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, Dr. Disis is the associate dean of translational health sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine and director of the Institute for Translational Health Sciences. She is a professor of medicine at UW and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her clinical and research interests include breast and ovarian cancer, vaccine development, and adoptive T-cell therapy.
Photo by Ben VanHouten.