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Friends and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Co-Host Summit: Optimizing the Use of Immunotherapy

Friends and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Co-Host Summit: Optimizing the Use of Immunotherapy

October 5, 2016 – Washington, DC – Today, Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) is co-hosting a summit with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy titled, Optimizing the Use of Immunotherapy.

The summit will bring together more than 50 leaders who are pioneering the field of immuno-oncology from across the country.  The goal is to identify strategies to optimize the development and use of PD-1 inhibitors, a promising class of drugs that can modify a patient’s immune response toward cancerous cells.

“We are pleased to work with the Parker Institute to catalyze this revolutionary area of science,” said Friends’ Founder & Chair, Ellen Sigal, PhD. “Together with FDA, NCI, advocates, and clinical researchers we can identify ways to optimize these promising therapies for patients through enhanced collaboration.” 

Currently, numerous companies are developing  immune checkpoint inhibitors, often with the intent to use such agents in novel combinations. Due to this, it may become a challenge to accrue patients to independent trials for each agent, and safety issues observed with one checkpoint inhibitor may be relevant to all members of the drug class. Therefore, it is necessary to create a coordinated approach for developing PD-1 inhibitors and to streamline toxicity management of approved agents, as well as those currently in development, to ensure that patients receive optimal care.

The summit will explore a collaborative trial framework to test multiple checkpoint inhibitors, explore novel drug combinations to potentially address resistance and refractoriness to this class of immune modulating antibodies, and develop a standardized approach for optimal toxicity management.

About Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients. For more information, please visit

About the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy brings together the best scientists, clinicians, and industry partners to build a smarter and more coordinated cancer immunotherapy research effort. The Parker Institute is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunologists and cancer centers: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Parker Institute was created through a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation.

The Parker Institute’s goal is to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies capable of turning cancer into a curable disease by ensuring the coordination and collaboration of the field’s top researchers, and quickly turning their findings into patient treatments. The Parker Institute network brings together:

  • 6 centers and additional extramural researchers
  • 60+ Labs
  • 300+ of the nation’s top researchers focused on treating the most deadly cancers