Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



What Cancer Patients Should Know: Latest Immunotherapy News from ASCO 2018

Our panel of immunotherapy experts convened on June 4, 2018, in Chicago to discuss the latest cancer immunotherapy advances featured at the world’s largest oncology conference—the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)—with topics including combination immunotherapy, biomarker development, CAR T cell therapies, and new approaches to immune-based cancer treatment.

Panelists include Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, and Catherine Diefenbach, MD, and Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, PhD, of the Cancer Research Institute, moderates.

We present this video as part of the Answer to Cancer patient and caregiver education program of the Cancer Research Institute, and feature it as part of our sixth annual global awareness campaign, Cancer Immunotherapy Month, in June.


Catherine M. Diefenbach, MDCatherine M. Diefenbach, MD, is a hematologist-oncologist at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health, specializing in the care of patients with lymphoma. Her goal is to provide the best possible care for these patients, and to discover new and scientifically grounded treatments that can improve management and increase the cure rate of lymphoma. She is currently leading a national clinical trial for patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma. She also serves as the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials at NYU Langone Health involving a range of different therapies including targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. She also collaborates with basic scientists to create the next generation of therapeutic approaches for the management of lymphoma.

Charles G. Drake, MD, PhDCharles G. Drake, MD, PhD, is director of genitourinary oncology and associate director for clinical research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). A nationally recognized expert in immunotherapy, he also serves as co-director of Columbia’s Cancer Immunotherapy Programs and is on the faculty of CUMC. Dr. Drake is a physician-scientist with a PhD in immunology, whose work focuses on understanding and fighting advanced-stage cancers with the immune system. He is known for rapidly incorporating discoveries made in the research lab into innovative clinical trials, including anti-tumor vaccines. His most recent work has focused on the body’s immunological response to radiation therapy and how immunotherapy and radiation therapy can be used in concert to treat cancer. 

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhDJeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, is the deputy director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health,  and in that capacity he works with a multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical oncologists, dermatologists, and pathologists to treat patients with melanomas ranging from the most common to the most complex. He serves as co-director of the Melanoma Research Program, overseeing work in experimental therapeutics. An immunotherapy expert, Dr. Weber’s investigations and research findings have brought innovative advances in melanoma treatment from the laboratory to clinical practice. He is a recognized leader in forging collaborative partnerships between basic scientists and clinical and translational investigators to advance cancer care.


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