Sustained funding from the Ambrose Monell Foundation enabled the Cancer Research Institute to carry out some of the earliest clinical studies of vaccines for a variety of cancers. That research, conducted by immunologists around the world over the course of a decade, has led to several promising approaches to cancer treatment and provided fundamental data on the human immune response to cancer vaccination.
Support from the Ambrose Monell Foundation continues to drive innovation through CRI’s Clinical Accelerator, an outgrowth of CRI’s earlier clinical program that today features a first-in-class model for philanthropic venture funding and collaboration across nonprofit, industry, and academic organizations. Through strategic partner agreements, CRI is able to conduct clinical studies of highly promising immunotherapy combinations. These studies of novel drug combinations are expanding patient access to immunotherapy and speeding the drug development process to get to cures faster. We have treated over 420 patients across 22 cancer types and are aiming to treat more than 1,200 patients over the next three years. Some of our first studies have produced durable responses in patients, including Carol Roth, who was diagnosed in 2015 with stage four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a usually fatal diagnosis, and whose tumors shrank and stabilized after treatment with immunotherapy in one of our clinical trials.
Funding from the Ambrose Monell Foundation also powers CRI’s basic and translational research programs, where discoveries made in the laboratory are brought into the clinic, and lessons learned in the clinic are brought back to the laboratory. This virtuous cycle ensures no stone goes left unturned in the cancer research enterprise. CRI support provides a vital lifeline for newly minted postdoctoral fellows and seasoned investigators alike, enabling discovery and its translation into effective cancer treatments.
With continued support from the Ambrose Monell Foundation, the Cancer Research Institute will carry on its pioneering work in cancer immunotherapy, committed to achieving our goal of a future immune to cancer.