Navigation Links
Cancer immunotherapy leader Allison to receive 2014 Szent-Gyorgyi Prize
Date:2/7/2014

HOUSTON Discovering key elements of immune system T cell biology and applying that knowledge to create a new way to treat cancer has earned Jim Allison, Ph.D., the 2014 Szent-Gyrgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

The NFCR, a leading charity funding cancer research and public education, announced its ninth annual award, named for its co-founder Albert Szent-Gyrgyi, M.D., Ph.D., the 1937 Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology.

"Dr. Allison's work has already saved numerous lives and shines a bright light on a future direction of oncology," said Alex Matter, M.D., CEO of Experimental Therapeutics Centre & D3, A*STAR in Singapore. Matter won the 2013 prize and chaired this year's prize selection committee.

"He has validated the immunotherapy approach and turned previously widely-held beliefs on their heads with his discoveries," Matter said in the NFCR announcement. "His work is extremely significant and constitutes a turning point in the history of progress in cancer treatments."

Allison, professor and chair of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and director of the Moon Shots Program immunotherapy platform, was recruited to MD Anderson in 2012 to build a program that supports immunotherapy research across multiple cancer types

Treating the immune system, not the tumor

"Jim Allison is a brilliant basic scientist who rigorously pursued his curiosity about the biology of T cells, leading to remarkable discoveries and a truly disruptive approach to treating cancer," MD Anderson President Ron DePinho, M.D., said.

"The Szent-Gyorgyi prize recognizes the impact of his work to unleash the immune system against cancer, greatly extending the lives of many patients with previously untreatable, advanced melanoma," DePinho said. "We are proud to have him leading MD Anderson's efforts to improve and extend this approach to more patients in many types of cancer."

Researchers recently reported that 21 percent of patients with advanced melanoma survived to three years after taking the drug developed by Allison, with some living 10 years or longer, unheard of results for a previously untreatable terminal cancer.

"The Szent-Gyrgyi Prize is a wonderful honor and I'm gratified to receive this recognition by the NFCR, a foundation that does so much to advance cancer research," Allison said. "Ongoing recognition of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy for cancer reflects the early success and great potential of treating the immune system, rather than the tumor, to destroy cancer."

Allison will be honored at an award ceremony held April 30, 2014 at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Since 1973, NFCR has provided nearly $310 million in direct support of discovery-oriented cancer research focused on understanding how and why cells become cancerous, and on public education relating to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.

Allison's research solved a crucial part of a puzzle that thwarted immunotherapy development for decades. Tumors spark an immune response, but cancer cells somehow evaded or thwarted a lethal attack by T cells white blood cells that enforce an immune response to invading infections and the body's own abnormal cells.

After launching his career and T cell research at MD Anderson, Allison moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where he identified an immune checkpoint molecule called CTLA-4 on T cells that turns them off before they can mount a successful attack on tumors that they are primed to destroy.

Moon Shots platform advances clinical and translational research

Allison developed an antibody that blocks the CTLA-4 1mmune checkpoint, unleashing a T cell attack. Ipilimumab (Yervoy) became the first drug to extend survival for patients with late-stage melanoma. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of metastatic melanoma in 2011.

Since then, additional immune checkpoints and drugs to target them have been discovered and are advancing in clinical trials.

At MD Anderson, clinical trials of ipilimumab and other drugs individually or in combination target melanoma, lymphoma, lung, breast, gastric and prostate cancers.

MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program is an ambitious effort to dramatically reduce cancer deaths, starting with six moon shots that target eight cancers and are backed by several platforms infrastructure, technology or expertise that support research efforts. The immunotherapy platform has increased and enhanced the institution's capabilities in preclinical and clinical research since Allison's arrival from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 2012.

In December, MD Anderson signed collaborative agreements with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson to develop immunology-based approaches to cancer treatment through the immunotherapy platform.

Allison also is deputy director of the David H Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers and holds the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology at MD Anderson.

Last year, Allison received a Breakthrough Prize for Biosciences from the Breakthrough Foundation, The Economist's 2013 Innovations Award for Bioscience and the first AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology of the American Association for Cancer Research. The journal Science named cancer immunotherapy its 2013 Breakthrough of the Year.


'/>"/>

Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes
2. MD Anderson guides intelligent redesign of cancer care delivery model
3. 3D mapping biopsy finds 3x prostate cancer of ultrasound-guided biopsy
4. Study finds dramatic rise in skin cancer among middle-aged adults
5. Researchers discover new hormone receptors to target when treating breast cancer
6. Existing medicines show promise for treating stomach and bowel cancer
7. NIH study offers insight into why cancer incidence increases with age
8. U of Maryland study: Partnership may help address cancer, health disparities
9. EBRT reduces risk of subsequent mastectomy in patients with invasive breast cancer
10. Study uncovers molecular keys to invasive bladder cancer
11. The American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer announce collaborative research effort
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether ... latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, ... their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ... The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top ... Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the ... in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (NASDAQ: CAPR ), a biotechnology company ... first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in ... progrEssion in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its ... its enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered ... Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: