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The Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator aims to help save patient lives by facilitating the study and clinical development of new, more effective combination immunotherapies for cancer.

To achieve this, it fosters collaboration across top research groups from a range of scientific disciplines, leading cancer research nonprofits, and leading biopharma companies, bridging the academia-industry divide so that the field can work together to learn which combinations of drugs will work best in which types of cancer patients.


As cancers grow, they continuously mutate and change, making it difficult for any single therapy to work for more than a short while before the cancer out-evolves the treatment. 

But the immune system is different. It is capable of dynamically adapting its defenses to any target. By enlisting these extraordinary capabilities, immunotherapies are able to unleash a powerful immune attack on cancer that continuously adapts to the unique and ever-changing characteristics of each tumor, anywhere in the body.

Unleashing a more dynamic and targeted attack on cancer

Immunotherapy represents the most significant new advance in cancer treatment in over 60 years. It has already achieved cures, even in advanced cancers that have begun to spread. Immunotherapy has the potential to treat any type and stage of cancer.


The Cancer Research Institute has worked for over 60 years to advance research aimed at better understanding the relationship between our immune system and cancer. In recent years, it has become clear that:

There are multiple stages in the development of a successful immune response against cancer

  • A major deficiency in any stage of that response can enable cancer to grow and spread
  • Correcting those deficiencies can lead to durable remissions and outright cures.
  • First-generation combination immunotherapies are already generating unprecedented regressions in patients with melanoma, lung, kidney, blood, brain, prostate, and many other types of cancer. This includes, for the first time ever, patients who have very advanced late-stage cancers that have spread.


Three major areas of innovation will determine how much progress we make in immunotherapy development, and how quickly:

  • Combinations. Identifying combinations of treatments that can work better together than alone by addressing multiple deficiencies in an immune response against cancer.
  • Personalized. Learning how to tailor treatment regimens to each patient’s unique disease and unique immune response.
  • Biomarkers. Identifying new ways to predict early on whether a treatment is likely to be safe and effective in a given patient.


Which drugs, in which combinations, in which patients, and why?

We’ve never been closer to realizing immunotherapy’s potential to conquer all types of cancer. However, immunotherapy’s unique promise and potential for synergy with many other forms of treatment are driving a highly complex research and development landscape that will require unprecedented levels of research coordination to navigate efficiently.  

Unlocking this promise will require a well-coordinated research effort.

*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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