Certificate in Cancer Immunotherapy Module 3: Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Published December 1, 2020

Check out the updated version with new FDA drug approvals (As of 03/20/2023*), Available now......


Course Description
This interactive online course is part of the Certificate in Cancer Immunotherapy program, produced by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). The purpose of the certificate program is to provide hospitals, medical centers, third-party payers, referring physicians, trainees and patients with an identifiable designation for healthcare providers who can safely and effectively participate in administration of immunotherapies and manage patients treated with these approaches. View all eight modules of the program and a detailed description of the program here.

This course, Module 3: Immune Checkpoint Blockade, will cover the biological foundation of immune checkpoint blockade therapies as well as diving into their clinical use.

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Target Audience
The program is available to licensed physicians (U.S. licensed MD / DO or global equivalent). The courses and earning of the certificate (SITC-G; G = graduate) are also available to practicing, licensed NPs, PAs, and PharmDs or global equivalent. RPh degree holders are eligible if they are involved in direct clinical services. The courses are available to others who are not practicing clinicians, but they will not be eligible to earn the certificate.

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD
Hillman Professor of Oncology
Director, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA


Learning Objectives


At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

Basic Mechanisms of Checkpoint
Blockade in Immunotherapy
  • Describe the basis for co-stimulation in T cell activation and priming.
  • Explain the mechanisms and consequences of co-inhibitory immune checkpoint receptors (ICR).
  • Identify negative downstream regulatory motifs and pathways associated with ICR signaling.
  • Distinguish the distinct activities of antibodies that target PD-1 compared to those that target PD-L1
Biomarkers of Response to ICB and General Clinical Utility
  • Describe major biomarkers for patient eligibility for the use of immune checkpoint blockade across cancers (PD-L1 expression and extent, IFN signature, CD8 infiltration, Tumor Mutational Burden) and their relative value for prediction of clinical benefit.
  • Distinguish between validated and investigational biomarkers.
  • Describe the use of biomarkers to predict ORR, PFS and OS.
  • Identify patient-specific factors that may predict response (tumor burden, prior chemotherapy exposure, age, gender, site of disease, prior radiotherapy, etc.).
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Combination Approaches
  • Describe general clinical benefits of ICB with PD-1 or CTLA-4 monotherapy, or ICB combinations (including IO+IO and IO+other cancer therapy combinations).
  • Distinguish the benefits, dose and schedules of combination ICB versus the benefits, dose and schedule of conventional therapies (chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapies).
  • Identify validated vs investigational ICB combinations, and relevant cancer types.
Monitoring Response to Checkpoint Blockade
  • Distinguish response criteria in ICB vs standard cancer treatment.
  • Describe kinetics and patterns of response to ICB.
  • Distinguish pseudoprogression from true disease progression.
  • Identify when to suspend or discontinue ICB treatment.


SITC Online Education Disclaimer

A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product discussed. Readers should verify all information and data before treating patients or employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

Continuing Education Information

Date of CE Expiration: Jan. 8, 2026
Approximate Time to Complete:  90 minutes

Acknowledgement of Financial Commercial Support
No financial commercial support was received for this educational activity.

Acknowledgement of In-Kind Commercial Support
No in-kind commercial support was received for this educational activity.

Satisfactory Completion

Learners must listen to each self-directed audio recording while following along with the visual slides/read the articles, pass the post-test with a score of 80% or higher (unlimited attempts) and complete an evaluation form to receive a certificate of completion. You must participate in the entire activity as partial credit is not available. If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed below, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement.

Joint Accreditation Statement

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Partners for Advancing Clinical Education (PACE) and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).  PACE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.



Physicians (ACCME) Credit Designation

PACE designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Nurses (ANCC) Credit Designation

PACE designates this activity for a maximum of 1.50 ANCC contact hours.


Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (ACPE) Credit Designation

PACE designates this activity for a maximum of 1.50 knowledge-based CPE contact hours.

(Universal Activity Number - JA4008073-9999-24-014-H01-P)

Type of Activity: Knowledge

NOTE to Pharmacists: The only official Statement of Credit is the one you pull from CPE Monitor. You must request your certificate within 30 days of the activity to meet the deadline for submission to CPE Monitor.


Medical Physicists (CAMPEP) Credit Designation Statement

This program has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. for a total of 1.50 MPCEC credit hours. 2162189.

American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) MOC Credit

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.50 Medical Knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

To receive CME credit and/or MOC points, you MUST pass the posttest and complete the evaluation. For ABIM MOC points, your information will be shared with the ABIM through PACE’s Joint Accreditation Program and Activity Reporting System (JAPARS). Please allow 6-8 weeks for your MOC points to appear on your ABIM records. By sharing your Diplomate Board ID # and DOB, you are giving PACE permission to use this information/data to report your participation to these Boards JA-PARS.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest

PACE requires every individual in a position to control educational content to disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

All relevant financial relationships for anyone with the ability to control the content of this educational activity are listed below and have been mitigated according to PACE policies. Others involved in the planning of this activity have no relevant financial relationships.







Researcher: Astra-Zeneca/Medimmune, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Novasenta, Tesaro

Consultant/Advisor/Speaker: Achilles Therapeutics; Adagene Incorporated, Adaptimmune, Aduro Biotech Inc, Astra-Zeneca/MedImmune; Bicara Therapeutics, Inc, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Brooklyn Immunotherapeutic, Cantenion, Coherus BioSciences, Inc, CureVac, Cytoagents, Eisai Europe Limited,

EMD Serono, Everest Clinical Research Corporation, F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., Federation Bio, Inc, Genmab,

Genocea Biosciences, Inc, Hookipa Biotech GmbH, Instill Bio, Inc, Kowa Research Institute, Inc, Lifescience Dynamics Limited, MacroGenics, Inc, MeiraGTx, LLC, Merck, Merus N.V,

Mirati Therapeutics, Inc, Mirror Biologics Inc, Nanobiotix,

Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, Novasenta,

Numab Therapeutics AG, OncoCyte Corporation, Pfizer,

PPD Development, L.P., Rakuten Medical, Inc, Regeneron,

Sanofi, Seagen, Inc, SIRPant Immunotherapeutics, Inc, Tesaro, Vir Biotechnology, Inc, Zymeworks Inc

Stocker holder: Novasenta




Researcher: BMS

Consultant/Advisor/Speaker: Castle, Iovance, Vyriad, Replimune, Takeda, Oncotelic, T-Nanobio, Agenus, Celldex

Independent Contractor: BMS, Novartis, Iovance, Replimune, Regeneron, InstilBio, Syntrix, BioNtech, Foghorn, Trisalus, Agenus, Inmatics, Takeda, Dragonfly

    Certificate Program Task Force
Robert Ferris See above.
Umar  Farooq Researcher: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Consultant/Advisor/Speaker: Immpact Bio, Caribou Biosciences, Kite Pharma, MoprhoSys
Silvia Formenti

Grant/Research Support: Bristol Myers Squibb, Varian, Regeneron, Merck, Celldex, ViewRay, AstraZeneca

Consultant/Honoraria: Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Varian, ViewRay, Elekta, Janssen, Regeneron, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, Astra Zeneca, MedImmune, Merck US, EMD Serono/Merck, Genentech/ROCHE, Nanobiotix

Sigrun Hallmeyer Consultant: Cardinal Health
Jose  Lutzky See above. 


Method of Participation and Request for Credit
Up until Jan. 8, 2026, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures and study the educational activity.

Once the participant has passed the post-test with a score of 80% or higher (unlimited attempts allowed), and the course evaluation has been completed, credit will be automatically requested to the CRO the participant has selected during the registration process. 

Certificates will be available to the participant for printing after passing the post-test and completing the course evaluation.

For Pharmacists: Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 80% or better and the activity evaluation form, transcript information will be sent to the NABP CPE Monitor Service within 4 weeks.


Hardware and Software Requirements
SITC connectED requires a modern web browser (Edge, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 7+) and the ability to listen to audio with the content.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications. The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

Certificate in Cancer Immunotherapy Module 3: Immune Checkpoint Blockade

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Individual topic purchase: Selected
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (MD/DO)
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™: 1.50
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (non-MD/DO)
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™: 1.50
Certificate of Participation (No Credit)
Certificate of Participation: 0.00
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and ABIM Maintenance of Certification
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ / ABIM Maintenance of Certification Part 2 Credit: 1.50
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Contact Hour: 1.50
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation
Contact Hour: 1.50
Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs
Medical Physics Continuing Education Credit: 1.50
Certificate in Cancer Immunotherapy Module 3: Immune Checkpoint Blockade