December 09, 2014
Immunotherapy and cancer's 'super survivors'
BY MD Anderson staff
A story published last week in the Wall Street Journal reveals how immune checkpoint blockade is overcoming metastatic disease for a significant number of patients.
Headlined "Cancer Super Survivors: How the Promise of Immunotherapy Is Transforming Oncology," the online package, which also featured several patient videos, reported that a remarkable 23% of patients with metastatic melanoma treated with the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab in clinical trials have survived for three years or longer. The story notes that immune checkpoint blockade is being extended to other types of cancer with promising results.
This approach of treating the immune system to unleash it on tumors rather than treating the tumor directly, was pioneered by James Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology and executive director of MD Anderson’s immunotherapy platform. The story and an accompanying video, which can be viewed below, highlight Allison's original insights at the University of California as well as his ongoing leadership at MD Anderson to extend this dynamic new treatment to more patients. Read the entire WSJ story here. For more on Allison and his work, read Conquest magazine's summer cover story, "The Game Changer."