SITC 2016 Co-Organizer Dr. Elizabeth Repasky on Key Themes of Annual Immunotherapy Meeting

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty leaders are taking part in the 31st annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) — the largest SITC gathering to date, continuing through Nov. 13 at the Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Elizabeth Repasky, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Immunology, the Dr. William Huebsch Professorship in Immunology and Co-Leader of the Cell Stress and Biophysical Therapies Program at the Institute, helped plan and organize the meeting.

Elizabeth Repasky, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Immunology.

“This meeting inspires us to go back to our labs and clinics armed with new ideas for improving cancer therapies and studies,” says Dr. Repasky, one of three members of the SITC 2016 Program Committee. “This year, there is a lot of new and exciting information on the tumor microenvironment that is providing surprising new directions for improving immunotherapy. In addition, there are many talks on ways to optimize the antitumor activity of T-cells, and we also have a new session devoted to the role of diet, stress and exercise in regulation of immunity, an important area that patients are quite interested in.”

Dr. Repasky shared insights on basic-to-translational research in immunology at a Meet The Experts Luncheon Nov. 10, and is co-chairing two panel discussions:

  • A Late-Breaking Abstracts Session focused on immune checkpoint inhibition, Saturday, Nov. 12, 11:15 a.m. to noon
  • Diet, Exercise, Stress and the Impact on the Immune System, Saturday, Nov. 12, 4:50–6:15 p.m. One of Dr. Repasky’s graduate students, predoctoral trainee Mark Bucsek, will give a presentation on laboratory model housing temperatures and their impact on preclinical studies of immune checkpoint blockade during this session.

Also giving a talk at the meeting was Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Deputy Director, Chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy, who presented on the topic “IDO Inhibitor in Ovarian Cancer and Melanoma” on Friday, Nov. 11.

Other Roswell Park faculty leaders participating in SITC 2016 are Gurkamal Chatta, MD, Professor of Oncology and Clinical Chair of Genitourinary Medicine; Marc Ernstoff, MD, Senior Vice President for Clinical Investigation and The Katherine Anne Gioia Chair of Medicine; Carl Morrison, MD, DVM, Executive Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine and Clinical Chief, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; and Igor Puzanov, MD, MSCI, FACP, Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program and Chief of Melanoma. To reach any of the above experts, email our onsite public information officer, Annie Deck-Miller.


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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