Cancer immunotherapy focus of Taubman Symposium

October 17, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Two clinician-scientists whose landmark work has shown how the human body’s own immune system can fend off cancer will receive the 2016 $100,000 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science and present keynote talks on Friday, Oct. 21, at the annual symposium of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

All are welcome to attend the event from 10 a.m. until noon at the Kahn Auditorium in BSRB. No registration is required and a networking coffeee session and poster presentation will precede the talks beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the BSRB lobby. Two CME credits are available to physicians. 

Suzanne L. Topalian, M.D., professor of surgery and oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the immunotherapeutics service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will be recognized for their contributions to immunotherapy as a new paradigm in the treatment of advanced cancers.

Just as the human body produces proteins (antibodies) and trains reactive immune cells to conquer common infections like colds and flu, scientists are learning that it can be prompted to produce antibodies and cells that recognize and destroy cancer cells. This is a landmark shift in cancer treatment that will provide new hope to those whose cancers do not respond to traditional drugs.

Wolchok’s research led to the FDA approval of ipilimumab, a drug now used as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced melanoma. The use of ipilimumab has increased prognosis for a significant number of people from months to years. The complementary research of both clinician-scientists has established immunotherapy as a viable treatment approach and an extremely promising area of inquiry for the treatment of many types of cancer.

Find out more at the Taubman Institute website.