MD Anderson Chair of Immunology Jim Allison, Ph.D., whose pivotal insight to attack cancer by treating the immune system instead of the tumor revived cancer immunotherapy, has been named to the 2017 TIME 100. The list, in its 14th year, recognizes the world's most influential individuals.
"Each year our TIME 100 list lets us step back and measure the forces that move us," says TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs. "One way or another they each embody a breakthrough: They broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we're capable of."
Allison's breakthrough liberates the immune system to find and destroy cancer cells, an approach called immune checkpoint blockade. This new class of drugs is saving the lives of significant numbers of patients with a variety of advanced cancers and is transforming the course of cancer research.
"I'm grateful to TIME for recognizing the increasing importance of immunotherapy as a new pillar of cancer treatment," says Allison, who also is executive director of the Immunotherapy platform, part of the institution's Moon Shots Program™. "We're in the early days of successful cancer immunotherapy. Our next step is to extend these treatments to benefit more patients, and our platform is intensely focused on making that a reality."