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A Conversation in Palm Beach

March 14, 2014 | Emily Livingstone

This past February 28, CRI trustees Betsy and Paul Shiverick, Rosemary and Carlos Ferrer, and Georgia and Donald Gogel, co-hosted a cocktail reception and presentation on behalf of the Cancer Research Institute at Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach. The event drew 60 friends and supporters who came to hear Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., a leading cancer immunologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, director of CRI/Ludwig CVC Clinical Trials Network, and an associate director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council, speak about cancer immunotherapy, a new class of drugs that turn our own immune systems into a powerful weapon against cancer. Named the “2013 Breakthrough of the Year” by Science magazine, cancer immunotherapy has significant potential to transform the way cancer is treated.

Speaking from his own experiences in the lab and the clinic, Dr. Wolchok explained that, after more than 60 years of scientific research, cancer immunotherapy has finally been proven an effective approach to cancer treatment. Two immunotherapies have been approved by the FDA recently—Provenge® for prostate cancer and Yervoy® for melanoma—and more are on the near horizon for various types of cancer, including cancers of the bladder, brain, breast, colon, kidney, lung, ovary, and pancreas, as well as leukemia and lymphoma. These therapies are gaining recognition for their ability to significantly extend lives and, in some cases, result in complete remissions. According to Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., CEO and director of scientific affairs at CRI, cancer immunotherapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment, transforming a disease that can be deadly into one that can be managed and eliminated safely.

The event was a huge success and a true testament to the promise shown in current research. The past few years have seen a surge in research breakthroughs, FDA-approved immunotherapy treatments, and promising new test results which indicate that cancer immunotherapies are viable options, often for those who have exhausted all other treatment choices. We are drawing ever closer to having safe and effective immunotherapies for all types and stages of cancer, and with the help of our supporters around the world, we will conquer this disease in our lifetimes.

You can read the Palm Beach News news release here.

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