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Cancer Research Institute Celebrates Sixth Annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June

  • 30 days of education and awareness programming for patients, caregivers, and the public about cancer immunotherapy and clinical trials
  • Join in #WearWhite Day on Friday, June 15, our signature social media awareness-raising campaign
  • Scientific expert panel will discuss latest immunotherapy news that patients should know coming out of the ASCO 2018 annual meeting
  • CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit in San Francisco on June 30 connects patients and caregivers to immunotherapy experts
  • Four patients will share their immunotherapy stories in our I’m the Answer to Cancer video series, and CRI will host a webinar on talking to your oncologist about immunotherapy and clinical trials

NEW YORK (May 16, 2018) – The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization that for 65 years has been dedicated to saving more lives by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, announced today a series of public education and awareness offerings taking place during its sixth annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June. The multimedia campaign aims to reach more than 6 million people globally to increase awareness of cancer immunotherapy, clinical trials, and the urgent need for more research funding.

“Cancer immunotherapy, a treatment approach that unleashes the immune system’s power to combat potentially any type of cancer, is saving and extending the lives of some patients and, as a result, has already begun to transform how oncologists treat the disease,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. 

In just the past six years, the FDA has approved immunotherapies as treatments for nearly 20 cancers as well as cancers with a specific genetic mutation. This includes approvals for front-line therapy, where immunotherapy is offered as the first course of treatment rather than traditional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Immunotherapy has also been shown to work synergistically with conventional and other experimental treatments, offering more treatment options for patients.

“The field is advancing rapidly, and as immunotherapy becomes an option for more and more patients, the need to provide them and their caregivers with information to help them make the most informed treatment decisions with their oncologists grows as well,” O’Donnell-Tormey added. “Cancer Immunotherapy Month aims to bring these advances into focus and shine a light on them.”

Important highlights of Cancer Immunotherapy Month include:

What Patients Should Know: Latest Immunotherapy News from ASCO 2018
On Thursday, June 7, our panel of immunotherapy experts will discuss the latest cancer immunotherapy advances featured at the world’s largest oncology conference, with topics including combination immunotherapy—most notably for lung cancer—as well as biomarker development, CAR T cell therapies, and new approaches to immune-based cancer treatment. Panelists will include Charles G. Drake, M.D., Ph.D., of New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, Marcela V. Maus, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Jeffrey S. Weber, M.D., of the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center.  

I’m the Answer to Cancer Immunotherapy Patient Stories
Each week in June, CRI will feature four patients sharing their cancer immunotherapy stories, from learning a diagnosis to considering clinical trials to receiving immunotherapy as treatment. Cancer types featured in four videos this month include colorectal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, and lymphoma.

Wear White Day
On Friday, June 15, CRI invites people to help raise awareness about the lifesaving potential of immunotherapy through the power of social media. This year’s campaign will focus on standing with science and the search for immune-based cures. On Wear White Day, participants are asked to wear white and share a selfie on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook using the hashtag #WearWhite along with a message about why they stand with science. 

Webinar: Talking to Your Oncologist about Cancer Immunotherapy
On Tuesday, June 19, CRI will host a free webinar featuring Ariella Chivil, a lymphoma patient treated with immunotherapy, and her oncologist, Alexander M. Lesokhin, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who will share their experiences and answer questions submitted by viewers. Cancer Immunotherapy and You is a free webinar series designed to help patients learn more about the latest advances in cancer immunotherapy. Register to watch at cancerresearch.org/webinars.

Immunotherapy Patient Summit – San Francisco
On Saturday, June 30, CRI will connect patients and caregivers to immunotherapy experts discussing the latest advances in cancer research and treatment during our Immunotherapy Patient Summit, a half-day event taking place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Clinical trial navigators will be on hand to help attendees find immunotherapy trials for which they might be eligible. Learn more and register at cancerresearch.org/summit. 

The Cancer Research Institute would like to thank the following generous sponsors of Cancer Immunotherapy Month:

Gold Sponsors: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck (known as MSD outside the U.S.)
Silver Sponsors: AbbVie, GlaxoSmithKline, Immunotherapy Foundation, Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals collaboration 
Bronze Sponsors: Adaptimmune, Juno Therapeutics, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Contributors: Celgene, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Novartis

CRI also thanks the following supporters: Agenus, American Association for Cancer Research, Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT), Israel Cancer Research Fund, Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Replimune, and Twist Mktg/W2O.

Media Contact
Brian M. Brewer, +212.688.7515 x242, bbrewer@cancerresearch.org 

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established 65 years ago in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $357 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to cancerresearch.org or to see the full roster of Cancer Immunotherapy Month programs, go to cancerresearch.org/june.  

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