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New MD Anderson research institute sets sights on providing immunotherapy to all cancer patients

Nobel Prize winner, Dr. James Allison, the "Father of Immunotherapy," said the goal is to save more lives by raising the cure rate for all types of cancers.

HOUSTON — Thanks to groundbreaking research at MD Anderson in the Texas Medical Center, immunotherapy has saved countless cancer patients in recent years. 

Unlike chemotherapy and radiation, immunotherapy uses a patient's own immunity system to attack and eliminate cancer cells. 

Unfortunately, not all types of cancer respond to this treatment, which is why MD Anderson launched a new research institute Thursday to find ways to bring the benefits of immunotherapy to all patients.

Raising the survival rate for all cancers is the ultimate goal.

“Immunotherapy has transformed cancer care over the past decade but, unfortunately, not all patients benefit equally. Our goal is to change that,” explained Dr. James Allison who the center is named after. “Our vision is to lead the world in immunotherapy research by empowering interdisciplinary scientific excellence and by accelerating discoveries into novel and synergetic therapies that enable cures.” 

Dr. Allison won a Nobel Prize in 2018 for his breakthrough discoveries and is known as the "Father of Immunotherapy."

To help achieve its very ambitious goals, the Allison Institute has hired some of the world's top researchers. They'll be encouraged to work together and share ideas to speed up progress.

“We endeavor to be a worldwide leader in research and innovation, and that requires moving away from the traditional departmental silos toward dynamic teams assembled and reassembled to answer specific questions,” Dr. Raghu Kalluri said. “By recruiting and engaging the top minds around the world, we will unleash individual brilliance in a collaborative environment.”

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