What We Do

Our Work's Strategic Focus: Small, Early-Phase Studies of High-Priority Agents

CITN and ION prioritize our research by selecting high-priority agents with proven immunologic or physiologic function. We conduct small or “early phase” novel studies of these agents in patients with cancer. These studies may lead to larger phase trials and FDA approval. Due to limited funding and the urgent need to develop new cancer immunotherapies, we must be strategic when selecting agents for early-phase testing. We therefore prioritize agents that meet the following criteria:

  • Have proven biologic activity
  • Are designed to stimulate T cells to ignite the body’s natural immunity
  • Have potential to treat rare cancers and underserved disease populations
  • Are hard to access outside of our network and partnerships
  • Can be tested in multiple settings
  • Provide information on immunology that can help inform trial design
  • Can be manufactured at scale by experienced organizations
  • Are not being researched by the pharmaceutical industry

Our Trials Cover the Following Types of Patients and Cancers:

graphic representing adults with cancer

Adults with Cancer

graphic representing adults with HIV and cancer

Adults with HIV and Cancer

graphic representing children and teens with cancer

Children and Teens with Cancer

Adults with Cancer

CITN and ION have initiated immunotherapy clinical trials across North America for patients with a variety of cancers:

Research Studies Rely on Volunteers to Test New Interventions

Explore clinical trial databases to find ongoing studies. These trials include specific requirements to join.

Priority Immunotherapy Agents Currently Available

CITN and ION rely on our membership of leading cancer immunologists to conduct novel trials using the most promising immunotherapeutic agents. We then collaborate with our industry and foundation partners to develop early-stage trials. This approach provides the quickest route from proof of concept to patient benefit and a path to regulatory approval.

T cell growth factors

  • IL-15 (effector T cells) [#1]
  • IL-7 (naïve T cells) [#5]
  • IL-21 (T cells & NK) 

T cell stimulators 

  • 4-1-BB (CD137) [#8]
  • Anti-GITR [#12] 
  • Anti-OX40 [#16] 

Vaccine adjuvants with immunotherapeutic potential

  • IL-12 [#3]
  • CpG [#6}
  • MPL [#14]
  • Poly I:C [#15]
  • Resiquimod [#18]
  • Inhibitors of cancer cell & immune cell suppression
  • IDO inhibitor [#7]
  • Anti-TGF-b [#9]
  • Anti-IL10 & Anti-IL10R [#10] 

Inhibitors of T cell checkpoint blockade 

  • Anti-PD1 & PD1Ligand [#2]
  • Anti–B7-H4 [#17]
  • Anti–LAG-3 [#19]
  • LIGHT [#20]

Vaccine adjuvants with immunotherapeutic potential

  • IL-12 [#3] CpG [#6}
  • MPL [#14]
  • Poly I:C [#15]
  • Resiquimod [#18] 

Dendritic cell growth factors to increase body burden to DC

  • Flt3L [#11]

Dendritic cell activators 

  • Anti-CD40 & CD40L [#4]

CITN and ION Immune Monitoring Lab (CIML)

Directed by Dr. Steven Fling, the CITN and ION Immune Monitoring Lab (CIML) conducts molecular assays and genetic assessments of specimens collected from patients in CITN and ION trials. The lab serves as a central repository for these samples. The CIML works toward several goals. One is to derive insights that researchers can use to inform future clinical trial designs. Another is to improve the understanding of the agents being tested. In addition, the CIML is engaged in understanding the action of tumor cells, including the reasons why some people respond to specific therapies while others do not.

A number of publications explore CITN and ION clinical research