Cancer Research Institute Media Room



Cancer Research Institute Goes Virtual for Its Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series, Connecting Patients and Caregivers with Leading Experts in Cancer Immunotherapy

Free, two-day live online event addresses new breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy, shares patient perspectives, and discusses clinical trials

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing our immune system’s power to control and potentially cure all types of cancer, will offer its 2020 CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit as a free, virtual event on October 2-3, 2020, to educate and empower the cancer community to explore immunotherapy and clinical trials. Award-winning TV host, journalist, executive producer, and philanthropist Tamron Hall will moderate the two-day event.

“Building on the success of CRI’s in-person summits, we are now offering an interactive online platform that allows thousands of patients and caregivers to connect with immunotherapy experts on the front lines of scientific discovery and advancement, all from the comfort and safety of their own home and at no cost,” explains Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. 

The program will be divided into two segments, beginning on Friday, October 2, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT and continuing Saturday, October 3, from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. The CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit is a unique opportunity for cancer patients and their caregivers to:

  • Hear from and interact with leading doctors with expertise in cancer immunotherapy as well as patients treated with immunotherapy
  • Gain valuable insight into how clinical trials work to understand whether they might offer a potential good treatment option
  • Join intimate expert-led discussion groups focused on specific cancer types to hear the latest in treatment advances and discoveries

As an added benefit for attending the virtual event, registrants may opt to receive a free and confidential one-on-one consultation with one of CRI’s Clinical Trial Navigators, who can help locate immunotherapy clinical trials specific to an individual’s diagnosis, treatment history, and circumstances.

Register at

Day 1 topics and speakers will include:

  • Immunotherapy 101: The basics and beyond
    • E. John Wherry, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
    • Live Q&A moderated by Tamron Hall
  • Immunotherapy Clinical Trials
    • Ezra Cohen, MD, UC San Diego Health
  • Immunotherapy Patient Perspectives
    • Stephen Estrada, Colorectal Cancer Veteran
    • Alan Kaufman, Melanoma Veteran
    • Karen Peterson, Breast Cancer Veteran
    • Live Q&A moderated by Ezra Cohen, MD

Day 2 breakout sessions and speakers will include:

  • Breast Cancer and Immunotherapy
    • Sylvia Adams, MD, and Victor Ty, BSN, RN, Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone
  • Ovarian Cancer and Immunotherapy
    • Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Prostate Cancer and Immunotherapy
    • Sumit Subudhi, MD, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Lung Cancer and Immunotherapy
    • Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Melanoma and Immunotherapy
    • Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Support for the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit is generously provided by the following:

  • Sponsors
    Gold: Bristol Myers Squibb
    Silver: Merck     
    Bronze: AstraZeneca
  • Contributors
    Exelixis, Genentech, GSK, Lilly Oncology, Nektar, Regeneron, Sanofi Genzyme
  • Friends
    Foundation Medicine, Novartis, Pfizer
  • Host Institutions
    MD Anderson Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Event Contact
Caroline Offit, [email protected]

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

About the CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series

Cancer Research Institute Immunotherapy Patient Summits are free online or in-person events that connect cancer patients and caregivers with scientific and medical experts to learn about new breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy. Since 2016, CRI has hosted nearly 20 summits across the United States. You can follow the event on social media with the hashtag #CRIsummit.

About Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is a highly-rated U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $445 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

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