We've known since our founding in 1953 that cancer immunotherapy would one day make headlines. Well, there have been several days like that, including the announcement of the FDA approvals of Gardasil in 2006, of Provenge in 2010, and of Yervoy in 2011.
This past week we saw another set of headlines make their way through numerous national media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and many others:
- Melanoma Treatment Harnesses Immune System to Combat Cancer Cells
- New Cancer Drugs Harness Power of Immune System
- Boosting your immune system to fight cancer
The stories beneath the headlines are the true gold: reports of patients with advanced cancers undergoing complete and durable remissions of their tumors following treatment with cancer immunotherapy. These patients represent the true potential of immunotherapy to conquer all cancers.
If you haven't read the articles yet, be sure to check them out. You'll see some familiar names, like Dr. Jedd Wolchok, a CRI scientific leader who is spearheading trials of promising cancer immunotherapies, and Mary Elizabeth Williams, a young mother diagnosed with malignant melanoma whose life was spared thanks to immunotherapy.
In the next two weeks, the cancer community will be gearing up for the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, the largest oncology conference, which is organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. We look forward to hearing more good news about advances in cancer immunotherapy as well as other approaches to cancer treatment.