A vision of immuno-oncology: the Siena think tank of the Italian network for tumor biotherapy (NIBIT) foundation.

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Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR


oregon; portland; chiles


BACKGROUND: The yearly Think Tank Meeting of the Italian Network for Tumor Biotherapy (NIBIT) Foundation, brings together in Siena, Tuscany (Italy), experts in immuno-oncology to review the learnings from current immunotherapy treatments, and to propose new pre-clinical and clinical investigations in selected research areas. MAIN: While immunotherapies in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma led to practice changing therapies, the same therapies had only modest benefit for patients with other malignancies, such as mesothelioma and glioblastoma. One way to improve on current immunotherapies is to alter the sequence of each combination agent. Matching the immunotherapy to the host's immune response may thus improve the activity of the current treatments. A second approach is to combine current immunotherapies with novel agents targeting complementary mechanisms. Identifying the appropriate novel agents may require different approaches than the traditional laboratory-based discovery work. For example, artificial intelligence-based research may help focusing the search for innovative and most promising combination partners.

CONCLUSION: Novel immunotherapies are needed in cancer patients with resistance to or relapse after current immunotherapeutic drugs. Such new treatments may include targeted agents or monoclonal antibodies to overcome the immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment. The mode of combining the novel treatments, including vaccines, needs to be matched to the patient's immune status for achieving the maximum benefit. In this scenario, specific attention should be also paid nowadays to the immune intersection between COVID-19 and cancer.

Clinical Institute





Allergy & Immunology


Earle A. Chiles Research Institute