Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Breaking Through: 2014 Annual Report Highlights

When Science magazine named cancer immunotherapy the 2013 “Breakthrough of the Year” last December, we knew that it was not only an affirmation of what we have been dedicated to for more than six decades, but that it would be the beginning of an exciting new era in cancer treatment. This past year served as a testament of the accelerated progress being made in the field of cancer immunotherapy research, which would not be possible without the accomplishments here at the Cancer Research Institute.

CRI 2014 Annual Report Cover

Some highlights from this year include:

  • In September 2014, U.S. regulators approved Merck’s drug Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of melanoma, making it the first PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor to receive FDA approval.
  • Several immunotherapies received “Breakthrough Therapy” status from the FDA, paving the way for important new drug approvals, including Opdivo® (nivolumab) for Hodgkin lymphoma and melanoma, CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of leukemia, and MPDL3280A, an anti-PD-L1 antibody, for bladder cancer.
  • The Cancer Research Institute awarded more than $19 million in grants—the most in a single year—to fund basic investigation, translational research, and clinical trials.
  • 26 CRI-Irvington postdoctoral fellows and 12 translational investigators were funded.
  • Over 20 clinical trials were supported, with access to more than 30 cancer immunotherapies, for testing through CRI’s Clinical Accelerator program.
  • The Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC) was reestablished as a “think tank” through which the cancer immunotherapy stakeholders from academia, industry, regulatory bodies, and patients convene and tackle, on an annual basis, one topic of importance to the development of immunotherapies.
  •, a first-of-its-kind website devoted to patients and caregivers interested in cancer immunotherapy, was launched on June 1, 2014.
  • The second annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ raised awareness of immunotherapy and its potential to transform cancer treatment in our lifetimes, reaching more than 16 million people worldwide.

Learn more about our programs and the advancements we’ve made this year.

View our 2014 Annual Report

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