Cancer Research Institute Media Room




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

  • Dedicated to Raising Awareness Among Patients, Health Care Professionals, and the Public About Cancer Immunotherapy and its Potential to Change Cancer Treatment Forever
  • Signature Events include the Social Media Campaign to #WhiteOutCancer at, and the Answer to Cancer Cycling Event on June 25
  • Other Events include Patient Immunotherapy Stories, news from ASCO, a Webinar Mini-series on Clinical Trials, and Much More

Cancer immunotherapy, which is designed to empower a patient’s own immune system to eliminate cancer cells anywhere in the body, has produced remissions in very advanced cancers, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in 2015. The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated since 1953 to fueling the discovery and development of immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, is hosting its fourth annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June. The month-long campaign celebrates achievements in the field, accelerates fundraising toward cancer immunotherapy research, and spreads public awareness of cancer immunotherapy and its potential to change cancer treatment forever.

“Cancer immunotherapy is giving patients and health care professionals hope that we will cure this disease—hope that didn’t exist a couple years ago,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. “CRI is devoted to funding the research that will make cancer immunotherapy an effective treatment option for every patient and in every type of cancer.”

The FDA has approved cancer immunotherapies in several cancer types—including melanoma, lung cancer, and kidney cancer—and clinical trials show that these therapies are promising in even more. Eventually, immunotherapy will become part of the standard-of-care for most, if not all, types of cancer. But while there are numerous immunotherapies approved, many patients and their caregivers are still largely unaware of cancer immunotherapy’s potential to offer effective treatment options.

Important highlights of Cancer Immunotherapy Month include:                                                             

The Campaign to White Out Cancer

  • Throughout June, participants visiting can express their personal connection to cancer through a photo dedication. The site makes it easy to share posts via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • On Monday, June 13, CRI staff, scientists, and supporters will White Out the NBC TODAY Show Plaza.

Videos for Learning More about Immunotherapy

  • Patient Immunotherapy Stories. Meet patients with colorectal cancer, lymphoma, kidney cancer, and leukemia who have benefited from advances in cancer immunotherapy research and treatment.
  • Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy: What’s the Difference? A three-minute animated video that describes how immunotherapy is different from chemotherapy, including treatment, side effects, and durability.
  • Ask a Scientist. In this series of four, one-minute videos, Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, of the NYU Langone Medical Center, will explain the basics of cancer immunotherapy.
  • What Cancer Patients Need to Know: Latest Immunotherapy News from ASCO. Moderated by CRI CEO and director of scientific affairs, Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, this panel of three scientists will discuss the latest clinical research revealed at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and what it means for patients.

Webinar Mini-Series: Clinical Trials

  • Cancer Immunotherapy and You is a free webinar series designed to help patients learn more about the groundbreaking research in immunotherapy. For Cancer Immunotherapy Month, CRI will present a mini-series on clinical trials:
    • June 8, 1:00 p.m. EDT: Will I Feel Like a Guinea Pig?: Cancer Patients Share their Clinical Trial Experiences, with three patients, Emily Helck, T.J. Sharpe, and KayEllen Gebhardt
    • June 15, 1:00 p.m. EDT: How to Talk to Your Patients About a Clinical Trial, with Lise Hernandez, RN, MPH, clinical research coordinator at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
    • June 22, 1:00 p.m. EDT: 3 Things to Watch for in Cancer Immunotherapy This Year, with Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute

Register for upcoming webinars or watch past videos at

Answer to Cancer Cycling Event

  • On June 25, 2016, the Cancer Research Institute is hosting the Answer to Cancer, a one-day cycling fundraiser in Highland Falls, NY. Riders begin their 100, 50, or 25 mile journey with a special procession through the United States Military Academy at West Point before continuing through the challenging and hilly terrain of the Lower Hudson Valley. The Answer to Cancer, presented by Bristol-Myers Squibb, offers cyclists an unforgettable cycling experience in one of the nation’s most beautiful regions. To ride, volunteer, or donate, go to

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

  • Gold Sponsors: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Lab Answer and its Employees, Merck (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada); Silver Sponsors: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Bronze Sponsors: AbbVie, Inc., Celldex Therapeutics, Inc., Galena Biopharma, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, NewLink Genetics, PPD, Inc.

The Cancer Research Institute would also like to thank the following generous sponsors of CRI’s Answer to Cancer cycling event:

  • Sponsored by: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Supporting Sponsors: Agenus Inc., Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC, Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP; Special Thanks to: Brooklyn Brewery, Health Warrior Chia Bars, Holowesko Citadel, Hudson Valley Harvest, Finish Line Physical Therapy, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Nestle Waters North America, Reynold’s Cycling, Tailwind Endurance, The Sweat Life, W2O Group.

The Cancer Research Institute would also like to thank our collaborators and supporters:

  • Domestic: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Brain Tumor Association, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, CancerCare, Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC), Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Fight Colorectal Cancer, Hollings Cancer Center of the Medical University of South Carolina, Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Immuno-Oncology 360°, International Myeloma Foundation, Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Ludwig Cancer Research, Lung Cancer Alliance, LUNGevity, The Lustgarten Foundation, Lymphoma Research Foundation, Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone, Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Rutledge Foundation, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Stupid Cancer, Trilogy Lacrosse, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco, University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, W2O, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Washington University Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, and ZERO–The End of Prostate Cancer.
  • International: Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT) (Germany), Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain), Biotherapy International / International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) (Israel), Canadian Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CCIC) (Canada), Center for Biomedical Research (CINBIO) (Spain), Center for Immune Modulatory Therapies for Autoimmunity and Cancer (IMTAC) (Sweden), Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (Australia), European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI) (Europe), Fondazione Centro San Raffaele, Milan (Italy), Japanese Association of Cancer Immunology (JACI) (Japan), King’s College London (United Kingdom), Krankenhaus Nordwest (Germany), Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), Ludwig Cancer Research Brussels (Belgium), National Center for Cancer Care & Research (NCCCR) Hamad Medical Corporation (Qatar), Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) (Australia), QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Australia), Radboud University Medical Center (The Netherlands), University of Basel (Switzerland), and University of Ulm (Germany).

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