Cancer Research Institute Media Room



Cancer Research Institute Celebrates Ninth Annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™

  • 30 days of immunotherapy education and awareness programming for patients, caregivers, and others to recognize advances in immuno-oncology research and treatment
  • New Spanish language programs, including Spanish language website
  • CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity supports scientists from underrepresented communities in immunology research
  • Global social media awareness campaign #Immune2Cancer Day, June 11
  • Survivorship webinar, June 23

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all types of cancer for more than 65 years, announced today a series of public education, awareness, and immunotherapy research offerings during its ninth annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™ in June. This year’s campaign highlights the latest advances in cancer immunotherapy research and treatment, and focuses on CRI’s commitment to helping address health disparities that affect Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in the United States in cancer research and care.

“We believe that a future immune to cancer should be accessible to everyone, which is why this year we have launched new programming to ensure we reach and inform a more diverse group of patients and caregivers about immunotherapy research, treatment, and clinical trials,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute.

Cancer is among the leading causes of death for Hispanic and Latino people in the U.S., who are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease and experience a poorer quality of life following diagnosis. To help address the gap in informational resources, CRI is launching in June a newly translated version of its website in Spanish, available at Also, in September, CRI will host its first Spanish language Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, led by esteemed leaders in the immuno-oncology space.

Aiming to help address barriers to racial diversity in academic research, CRI is also offering fellowship funding to Black, Hispanic, and Latino candidates through the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity. The program supports young scientists from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups working and training at leading universities and research centers around the world.

In addition, throughout the month of June, CRI will host a series of events to raise global awareness of the lifesaving potential of cancer immunotherapy research, including #Immune2Cancer Day on June 11, and a “Cancer Immunotherapy and You” webinar on June 23 featuring three CRI ImmunoAdvocates discussing survivorship and life after immunotherapy.

Details and key highlights of Cancer Immunotherapy Month include:

  • Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Day
    On Friday, June 11, CRI will take to social media for #Immune2Cancer Day to raise global awareness of the lifesaving potential of cancer immunotherapy research. Participants are asked to share on social media a selfie or group photo along with a message of support for immunotherapy research and including the hashtag #Immune2Cancer. Downloadable awareness day resources, such as a Zoom video background or a sign of support, can be accessed at  
  • Survivorship Webinar
    As part of the CRI “Cancer Immunotherapy and You” series, a webinar focused on survivorship will take place on June 23 at 1:00p.m. EDT. The event will feature three CRI ImmunoAdvocates discussing life after immunotherapy, with guest moderator Kristin Kleinhofer (leukemia) speaking to Brendan Connors (melanoma) and Sunshine Pegues (lung cancer) about their unique cancer survivorship experiences. Topics include long-term side effect management, self-advocacy, self-education, and building relationships with health care teams. Access the webinar as well as the full series at
  • CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity
    Building on CRI’s longest-standing continuous program with awards to more than 1,400 young scientists, this year CRI is proud to announce the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity, supporting qualified young scientists from underrepresented minorities at leading universities and research centers around the world who wish to receive training in fundamental immunology and cancer immunology. Fellows receive up to $175,500 over three years and continue their training under the guidance of a world-renowned immunologist, who mentors the fellow and prepares them for a productive and successful career in cancer immunology. The inaugural cohort of fellows from this program will be announced in July 2021. Learn more at
  • Spanish Language Programs
    CRI is prioritizing several Spanish language initiatives, including the June 1 launch of a Spanish language version of the CRI website. This comes in advance of CRI’s first Spanish language Immunotherapy Patient Summit to be held September 16, 2:00-5:00p.m. EDT. The summit is taking place during National Hispanic Heritage Month and will be an invaluable way to connect Hispanic and Latino cancer patients and caregivers with immunotherapy experts. The program will feature several esteemed speakers, including Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, surgery, and molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG Cancer Research Network. Learn more about the summit at
  • Other Awareness, Educational, and Fundraising Activities
    Throughout the month, the Cancer Research Institute also offers a series of educational and social events, including an Instagram takeover with a cancer patient advocate, Twitter takeover with a CRI scientist, and more. View the full list of events at

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

  • Gold Sponsors: Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck & Co., Inc. (known as MSD outside the U.S.)
  • Silver Sponsors: Arthrex, AstraZeneca, and Hexcel
  • Bronze Sponsors: AbbVie Inc., AER Technologies, Exelixis, Genentech, GSK, Lilly Oncology, Nektar Therapeutics, Regeneron, Sanofi Genzyme, and Spectrum Plastics Group
  • Friends: Alkermes, BioIVT, Novartis, and Pfizer
  • Honor Roll: AdaptImmune, Agenus, Crown Bioscience, Elicera Therapeutics, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Genedata, Immudex, Immutep, Inovio, IQVIA, Ludwig Cancer Research, NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Real Chemistry, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, SoftServe, Inc., UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Media Contacts:
Brian Brewer, +1-212-688-7515 x242, [email protected]

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is a top-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 27 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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