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Allison Named to Time’s List of 100 Most Influential People

James P. Allison, PhD, leader of the SU2C-Cancer Research Institute Cancer Immunology Dream Team, has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 “most influential people in the world” for his pioneering work in cancer immunology. “It was Allison who figured out how to switch immune cells on to target malignant tumors,” says an essay written by Alice Park, Time’s senior health writer. “The drug he created is now spawning a new generation of immunotherapy treatments that experts hope will be less toxic and more aggressive than what’s available now. His discoveries have already saved thousands of lives — and they’re also forever changing what it means to have cancer.” Allison is chairman of the immunology program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was named leader of the Dream Team in 2013, along with Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA, and co-leaders Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cassian Yee, MD, of MD Anderson. The team has studied the immunology methods known as checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer, building on work by members of the team that contributed to approval of two new checkpoint inhibitors, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

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World Renowned Medical Oncologist Named Head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology

Dr. Diaz, Team Leader of the SU2C-Colorectal Cancer Dream Team: Targeting Genomic, Metabolic and Immunological Vulnerabilities of Colorectal Cancer, has been named Head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering

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SU2C Innovative Research Grant recipient leads research on melanoma vaccines

Catherine Wu, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who received an SU2C Innovative Research Grant (IRG) in 2011, is developing vaccines to help keep melanoma from returning in patients after surgery, according to Science magazine.  Findings from the study were presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Dr. Wu’s team sequenced the DNA from the patients’ tumors and used computational methods to create a personalized vaccine intended to stimulate the immune system to attack returning cancer cells, Science said. The vaccines appear to have prevented early relapse in 12 patients with melanoma, reported the magazine, which is published by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). While attending the AACR Annual Meeting, Dr. Wu also took time to address the latest class of IRG recipients, telling them how much SU2C support meant to her career as a cancer researcher and urging them to continue their work. 

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My Turn: How TGen could take the pain out of cancer

Thanks to SU2C Dream Team Leader Dr. Daniel Von Hoff’s clinical leadership, TGen is becoming a bigger player in precision medicine. Clinical trials for rare and common cancers are available for patients in Arizona, while working to gain approval by the FDA.

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Dream Team Leader Becomes President-Elect of AACR

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, leader of the SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team, has been elected president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research, SU2C’s Scientific Partner. Dr. Jaffee, who is deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; will become president of AACR one year from now. She is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunology, with specific expertise in preclinical and early clinical development of immunotherapies for breast and pancreatic cancers.  The Dream Team was launched in 2014 and is developing new treatments for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), the most common form of cancer of the pancreas. 

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SU2C scientists probe patient response to cancer immunotherapy

In research supported by SU2C, F. Stephen Hodi, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues investigated whether a serumbiomarker could predict the response of patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy. This is very important to improving the utilization ofimmunotherapies. According to a paper published in a journal published by SU2C’s Scientific Partner, the American Association for Cancer Research, Hodi’s team found that serum levels of a protein called ANGPT2 predicted response to, and influenced the outcomes of,immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced melanoma.

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Scientific Advisory Committee member, Dr. David Tuveson, named director of Cold Spring Harbor cancer

David Tuveson, MD, PhD, a leader in pancreatic cancer research, and member of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee has been named the new director of CSHL’s cancer center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated research facility.  In addition to his roles at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, where he is a professor, and as one of our SU2C scientific leaders, Tuveson is a clinician who treats pancreatic cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is Director of Research for SU2C collaborator, the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research.

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SU2C scientist named a 2016 Giant of Cancer Care

Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, physician-in-chief and Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) at Mayo Clinic and leader of the SU2C-CRUK-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team, was named a 2016 Giant of Cancer Care.  This prestigious award honors the achievements of exceptional leaders in the field of oncology research and clinical practice.

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SU2C-supported researchers find novel strategy in combination drug therapy

A research team supported in part by SU2C has published findings that show how we may be able to kill cancerous cells more effectively by combining drugs that work together to significantly disrupt a cancer cell’s ability to survive DNA damage. These findings are the first to show this combination drug therapy as a novel approach for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and potentially, many other cancers.

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Immunotherapy in early stage lung cancer shows promise in a clinical trial supported in part by SU2C

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