City Skyline Of San Diego, California (P) Clinical Cancer Research

Immunotherapy gets top billing at AACR

A few years ago, immunotherapy talks were few in number and drew a handful of participants. That’s no longer the case after Jim Allison applied his basic research findings on the biology of T cells to invent a completely new approach to treating cancer by blocking the CTLA-4 molecule on T cells that shuts down an immune response, protecting tumors from T cell attack.

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Immunotherapy Basic Science Research

Additional AACR Highlights

While immunotherapy received a significant amount of attention at this year’s AACR meeting, there were plenty of other significant announcements. For instance, MD Anderson scientists presented data on the clinical benefits of categorizing certain brain tumors. They also shared new basic science findings related to gene activation.

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Immunotherapy Cells Clinical Cancer Research

Our immunotherapy allies

The promise of immunotherapy, drugs that stimulate the body’s immune system to fight cancer, can be witnessed by observing the recent string of development collaborations recently formed with leading pharmaceutical companies. The agreements combine MD Anderson’s ability to identify promising drug targets with industry expertise in moving these targets to clinically significant endpoints.

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ImagingFrontline1 Clinical Cancer Research

Are we over-imaging?

Advancements in imaging have dramatically altered all aspects of cancer care — from diagnosis and treatment to surveillance and prevention. Yet, as technology has advanced and its potential skyrocketed, so have concerns about overuse and appropriate use of imaging, as well as the cost to the nation’s health care system.

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CLL Drug Approved: Imbruvica Clinical Trials

An alternative to chemo?

A newly-approved drug for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, studied in clinical trials at MD Anderson, is showing significant promise. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval of Imbruvica, for use in previously treated CLL patients. One important advantage is that ibrutinib does not suppress bone marrow production of normal blood cells such as red cells, platelets and infection-fighting white cells.

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Zayed General News

Building a personalized approach to cancer therapy

In 2011, the MD Anderson Cancer Center received a $150 million gift — the largest in the history of the institution — from the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. Three years later, construction of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building for Personalized Cancer Care is well underway, with the exterior completed and a “move-in” date set for spring 2015.

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