Research saves lives. Fundamental research into pediatric cancers has led to a 66% decrease in mortality for these cancers over the past 40 years. Research!America is proud to recognize May as National Cancer Research Month in conjunction with our many members who are working to find and fund cures for all types of cancer. Research institutions like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are just a handful of Research!America members who are working in this vital area of research. Continue reading →
Large medical centers across the U.S. are investing in a burgeoning area of healthcare for their cancer patients: “precision medicine.” Substantial investments are being made to not only build new laboratory facilities and purchase research equipment, but also to staff these new facilities. Universities like Weill Cornell Medical College, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins University are joining clinical centers like Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in building an infrastructure for personalized medicine with the hope of playing a bigger role in the development of new drugs. Continue reading →
Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a Research!America member, have successfully treated a handful of leukemia patients with cutting-edge immune cell therapy. This therapy, similar to previous trials at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Cancer Institute, modifies the patient’s immune cells so that they recognize and kill the cancer cells. This experimental therapy provides a new avenue of treatment for patients who have undergone all of the traditional treatments like chemotherapy without achieving remission of the cancer. Read more about this exciting breakthrough in this New York Times article.
The study’s senior author, Michael Sadelain, MD, PhD, expressed his excitement over the results.
“We’re creating living drugs,” Sadelain said in the article. “It’s an exciting story that’s just beginning.”
This study, like so many other major breakthroughs in medicine, was made possible by funding from NCI. This particular immunotherapy has been in development and testing for more than a decade. Articles describing the foundational research for this month’s breakthrough cite financial support from the National Institutes of Health (Brentjens et al, Nature Medicine, March 2003) and the basic scientific principles used to safely modify human immune cells had to be well established before the 2003 experiments could begin. Investments in basic research are necessary to drive medical progress. It is hard to argue with the value of those investments when you read the stories of the patients whose lives were saved by this treatment.