Cancer Research Institute Media Room




Cancer Research Institute Champions Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June

  • 30 days of immunotherapy education and awareness programming for patients, caregivers, and the general public celebrating advances in immuno-oncology research and treatment
  • New CRI Twitter Chat on Tuesday, June 11, focused on the latest scientific advances in cancer immunotherapy as reported at the ASCO 2019 annual meeting, moderated by STAT senior science writer Sharon Begley
  • Wear White Day on Friday, June 14, a global social media awareness campaign to inspire support for a Future #Immune2Cancer
  • Five immunotherapy patient stories in our “I’m the Answer to Cancer” video series
  • Kickoff of CRI’s 2019 Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series in five U.S. markets

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated since 1953 to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all types of cancer, announced today a series of public education and awareness offerings during its seventh annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June. The multimedia campaign aims to reach more than 5 million people globally to increase awareness of cancer immunotherapy (also known as immuno-oncology), clinical trials, and the urgent need for more funding to support lifesaving science.

“Recent significant improvements in outcomes for subsets of cancer patients treated with immunotherapy are built on decades of scientific research aimed at understanding the immune system and its complex relationship to cancer,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and director of scientific affairs at CRI. “Our goal is to help the public to understand how research makes progress in cancer treatment possible and brings new hope to patients and caregivers facing a cancer diagnosis.”

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

Cancer immunotherapy’s transformative impact on cancer treatment received international acclaim last year when the Nobel Foundation awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to two immunologists—CRI Scientific Advisory Council Director James P. Allison, PhD, and Tasuku Honjo, MD, PhD—for their discoveries of key levers of immune suppression and their development of therapies that overcome these “immune checkpoints.”

Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ aims to bring exciting advances like these into focus and to provide the public, including cancer patients and their caregivers, with trusted information to help them make the most informed treatment decisions in consultation with their medical team.

Important highlights of Cancer Immunotherapy Month include:

“I’m the Answer to Cancer” Immunotherapy Patient Stories

Each week in June, CRI will feature video stories of patients sharing their cancer immunotherapy journeys, from diagnosis to treatment to living beyond treatment. Featured cancers include Lynch syndrome-related ampullary cancer, esophageal cancer, oral cancer, and renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer).

Cancer Immunotherapy News from ASCO: A Twitter Chat with STAT’s Sharon Begley

On Tuesday, June 11, CRI will host a new Twitter chat moderated by Sharon Begley, STAT senior science writer, focusing on new and upcoming developments in immunotherapy following the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Follow the conversation on the #CIMchat hashtag.

Wear White for a Future Immune to Cancer

On Friday, June 14, CRI invites people to help raise awareness about the lifesaving potential of immunotherapy through the community-building power of social media. Getting involved is simple: wear white, snap and share a selfie on Twitter or Instagram, and use the hashtag #Immune2Cancer.

Team CRI’s “Answer to Cancer” Studio Cycling Event

On Tuesday, June 18, join the CRI Associate Board at SWERVE Fitness Flatiron in New York City for an evening of indoor cycling and team competition. Feel the burn while giving back to support a Future Immune to Cancer™. Register to cycle at

Live Webinar – Cancer Immunotherapy and You™: Speaking with Your Oncologist

On Wednesday, June 19, at 12pm ET, CRI will host a free, live webinar featuring Brendan, a melanoma patient treated with immunotherapy, and his oncologist, Michael Postow, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who will share their experiences and answer questions submitted by viewers. Register at

For Media and Investment Analysts – Immuno-Oncology: A Future Look

On Friday, June 21, CRI will host an intimate, invitation-only discussion for media and health care investment analysts featuring an academic immunotherapy expert panel including 2018 Nobel Prize winner and director of CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council, Dr. James P. Allison, along with an industry fireside chat with Awny Farajallah, MD, FACP, vice president, head U.S. Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb and George D. Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, founder, president, and chief scientific officer, Regeneron, to share their points of view on what’s next in immuno-oncology.

CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series Kickoff in San Diego

On Saturday, June 29, CRI will connect patients and caregivers to immunotherapy experts discussing the latest advances in cancer research and treatment during the CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit taking place at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Clinical trial navigators will be available for one-on-one appointments to help attendees find immunotherapy trials for which they might be eligible. The other summits will take place in Boston (July 27), New York (September 7), Baltimore (October 5), and Houston (October 26). Free registration at

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

Gold Sponsors: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co., Inc. (known as MSD outside the U.S.); Silver Sponsors: AbbVie Inc., Arthrex, Eli Lilly and Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Immunotherapy Foundation, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., and Plex; Bronze Sponsors: AER Technologies and Nektar Therapeutics; Contributors: Adaptimmune, Agenus Inc., Alexandria Center for Life Science, Ascend Integrated, AstraZeneca, Biosero Inc., Celgene Corporation, Cellectis, Genentech, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Killer Concepts, Maison CR, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and W2O Group.

CRI also thanks our institutional partners: American Association for Cancer Research, Association for Cancer Therapy (CIMT), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI), Johns Hopkins Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health Perlmutter Cancer Center, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, University of California, San Diego, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Media Contact: Brian M. Brewer, +212.688.7515 x242, [email protected]

About the Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all types of cancer. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $384 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 or to see the full roster of Cancer Immunotherapy Month programs, go to

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