Reporting Avenues for Concerns Related to Integrity or Fairness

The Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy (CII) Study Section reviews applications related to both active and passive immune therapies for cancer, including modulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses to cancer cells in situ (vaccines, immunostimulatory molecules, immune checkpoint blockade), adoptive transfer of autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic cells (TIL cell therapy, CAR- and TCR-modified T cells/NK cells, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation including graft-versus-host disease), and antibodies/antibody derivatives that mediate tumor cytotoxicity either directly or by targeted delivery of toxic payloads. The scope of projects includes in vitro studies, evaluation of immunotherapeutic strategies in preclinical animal models, and translational studies including pilot or phase I/II clinical trials. CII is part of the Oncology 2 – Translational Clinical IRG.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Tumor vaccines of all types (protein/peptide, viral, DNA/RNA, dendritic cell, tumor cell) and formulations to induce or amplify tumor-specific immunity.
  • Antibodies and antibody-like constructs that bind tumor cells or the tumor vasculature/microenvironment, to either directly modulate tumor cell biology (e.g., receptor agonists or antagonists), activate direct anti-tumor immune effector functions (complement, ADCC, phagocytosis), or deliver cytotoxic payloads (e.g., drugs, toxins, radionuclides, liposomes or nanoparticles).
  • Antibody-based constructs and other strategies to deliver immune stimulatory signals or to block immune suppressive receptors and cytokines, in order to promote endogenous anti-tumor immunity.
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allogeneic, autologous) and adoptive cellular therapies (TILs, CAR- and TCR-engineered T cells, NK/NKT cells) using immune cells as cancer treatment; associated immune toxicities including graft-versus-host disease and cytokine release syndrome.
  • Abscopal effects of local tumor treatments like radiation, intratumoral injections and mechanical ablation that promote systemic anti-tumor immune responses.
  • Development and testing of methods and models of immune responses to cancer and assessing such responses in cancer patients
  • Mechanisms of tumor resistance to immunotherapies and/or tumor escape from immune recognition and killing, including modulation of tumor antigen processing and presentation, alteration of tumor susceptibility to innate and adaptive immune responses, tumor-induced immune suppression, and immune effector cell tolerance/exhaustion.
  • Predictive biomarkers of an individual patient’s or tumor’s clinical response to immunotherapies.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

There are shared interests with Transplantation, Tolerance and Tumor Immunology (TTT) . Applications focused on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for cancer therapy, graft-versus-host disease, tumor immune surveillance and tolerance, identification of new tumor antigens, and development of tumor vaccines may be assigned to either CII or TTT. Applications studying solid organ transplants and autoimmunity are more suitable for TTT.

There are shared interests with Tumor Microenvironment (TME) . Applications proposing studies on tumor cell interactions with immune cells and the immune microenvironment that promote tumorigenesis may be assigned to TME. Applications focusing on tumor immunology, immunotherapy and responses to immunotherapy are suitable for CII.

There are shared interests with Clinical Oncology (CONC) . Applications focused on clinical studies of cancer immunotherapies may be assigned to either CII or CONC. Clinical studies that focus on treatment modalities other than immunotherapy (e.g., surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) may be more suitable for CONC.

There are shared interests with Clinical Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumors (CNBT) . Applications studying the immunopathology and immunotherapy of central nervous system tumors (glioma, medulloblastoma, etc.) may be assigned to either CII or CNBT. Applications focused on immunological aspects of neural tissues and diseases unrelated to tumors should be assigned to CNBT.

There are shared interests with Developmental Therapeutics (DT) in the areas of drug delivery and gene therapy. In general, strategies relying on antibody-based targeted delivery are suitable for CII, as are approaches to deliver agents (drugs, genes) whose primary mode of anti-tumor activity is projected to be immunological.

There are shared interests with Radiation Therapeutics and Biology (RTB) in the area of radiolabeled antibodies/antibody constructs, the abscopal immunological effects of radiation therapy, and in vivo imaging to assess response to therapy. Applications with a major focus on radiation physics, radionuclide chemistry, radiation dosimetry, and direct effects of radiation on tumor cells may be more suitable for RTB. Applications more focused on immunological aspects of the therapy may be appropriate for CII.

There are shared interests with Cancer Prevention Study Section (CPSS) in the areas of tumor vaccines and immune-stimulatory natural products. In general, vaccines or immune-modulating natural products that are primarily applied to prevent emergence of tumors or premalignant lesions should be assigned to CPSS, whereas vaccines and natural products intended as immunotherapeutic interventions (after development of disease) should go to CII.

There are shared interests with Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics-1 (MCT1) in the area of treatment regimens using conventional cancer agents (chemotherapy, small molecule inhibitor drugs) combined with immunotherapy and in the use of immunotherapy to circumvent tumor resistance to conventional drug therapy. Applications that focus on both the immune-mediated and the drug-mediated mechanisms of the anti-tumor response may be appropriate for either CII or MCT1.

There are shared interests with Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics-2 (MCT2) in the area of therapeutic targets in the tumor microenvironment. Applications with a primary focus on identifying novel targets for ablating or reversing immunosuppressive elements of the tumor microenvironment may be suitable for both CII and MCT2.

There are shared interests with Cancer Biomarkers (CBSS) in the area of cancer biomarkers. Applications that deal with markers of response to immunologic therapy or immune response to cancers may be assigned to CBSS. Applications addressing the general area of immunologic therapies of cancer and/or modulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses to cancer cells will be reviewed in CII.