SITC 2019 Preview: After looking at exciting new developments in targeted therapies last week, it’s now time to switch horses and kick off our annual coverage of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting, which takes place in a few days time at National Harbor in Maryland.

National Harbor, MD

In the SITC 2019 Presidential Session this coming Saturday, one of the presentations we are eagerly looking forward to is by Dr Vyara Matson, a Post Doc in the lab of Dr Tom Gajewski at the University of Chicago.

Dr Matson will be presenting on “Patient-derived microbiota germ-free mouse model for identifying mechanisms of checkpoint blockade efficacy modulation.”

In our latest expert interview, we spoke to Dr Gajewski about the strategic concepts underpinning his work in the microbiome niche, where he has got to presently and where he plans to go next. It makes for fascinating reading, especially when you realise that as scientists, they are sceptical themselves and yet curious to discover the answers through carefully thought out experiments that could impact future patient care for those people receiving immunotherapy for the treatment of their particular cancer.

One major take home for us in following the cancer immunotherapy niche is that there could well be different mechanisms at play for primary and secondary resistance – where does the microbiome fit in with this, and can it be manipulated to create a more positive benefit?  Is the effect a real one or a spurious correlation?  These kind of questions, along with a host of others, are some of the key topics discussed in the expert interview.

If you have plans to be at #SITC2019 do let us know, as we always look forward to saying “hello” to BSB readers.

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