Mobilizing the Immune System in the Battle Against Cancer
Monday, April 29, 2013 / 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Louise Perkins, Chief Science Officer, Melanoma Research Alliance
Arie Belldegrun, Executive Chairman, Kite Pharma, Inc.; Director, UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology
Michael Giordano, Senior Vice President, Head of Development, Oncology and Immunoscience, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Jeff Rowbottom, Managing Director, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts
Suzanne Topalian, Professor of Surgery and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University; Director, Melanoma Program, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
The immune system recognizes and attacks a diverse array of potential enemies. In fact, it has the remarkable ability to react to any molecule in the universe. Cancer cells should "look" like invaders to the immune system, but unfortunately this natural defense is imperfect, and tumor cells may escape identification and go on to cause cancer. The connection between cancer and the immune system was first uncovered nearly 100 years ago. Since then, researchers have been working to learn why the system does not eliminate cancer and, more importantly, how to enable it to conquer this menace. After decades of research, so-called immunotherapies have been developed. Now, cancer patients who previously had just months to live have been living many years after receiving immune-based treatment. This panel will discuss the promise of modifying the immune system to treat and cure cancer.