Our Strategy & Impact

Our Accomplishments

We are proud not only of our long history of scientific excellence and discovery that has helped many cancer patients over the past six decades, but also of our ability to innovate our approach to funding and research to achieve the most impact with our donor-supported resources.

Major Discoveries and Research Accomplishments

  1. Decades of work from CRI-funded scientists laid the foundation for the development of monoclonal antibodies, including anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab), an immunotherapy approved in 2011 for the treatment of advanced melanoma, and the first treatment ever proven to extend the lives of patients with advanced melanoma.
  2. Early support of basic and translational research studies involving dendritic cells helped to make possible the first FDA approval of a therapeutic cancer vaccine, Provenge for prostate cancer, in 2010.
  3. Funding for preclinical laboratory studies helped enable the creation and FDA approval of two preventive vaccines (Gardasil in 2006 and Cervarix in 2009)  that protect against cervical cancers by blocking HPV infection.
  4. CRI scientists confirmed that the immune system is capable of identifying and destroying cancer cells, and that immunotherapies can restore the immune system's power to control cancer.
  5. CRI scientists have identified and characterized numerous cancer targets, called antigens, that are used in vaccines and other targeted immunotherapies to home the immune system to cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
  6. Over a decade of clinical testing, CRI scientists have determined that optimal cancer immunotherapy regimens will include combinations of treatments that include cancer antigen targets, immune stimulants, and drugs that prevent the immune system from prematurely calling off the attack against cancer.

Major Program Accomplishments

  1. Decades of unwavering commitment to cancer immunology helped to firmly establish the field as a strong and mature area of scientific research that is producing some of today's most promising new cancer treatments.
  2. Through our postdoctoral fellowship program established in 1971, we have supported the continued professional training and early scientific work of nearly 1,400 young immunologists, ensuring a steady stream of talent to the field.
  3. In 2001, we together with the Ludwig Cancer Research established the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC Trials Network), a coordinated global network of cancer immunotherapy clinical trial sites and investigators. Since then, the network has conducted nearly 60 early phase clinical trials of promising immunotherapies, and has produced a breadth of knowledge on the immunological and clinical effects of cancer immunotherapy.
  4. In 2012, we launched the Clinical Accelerator, our most powerful and effective clinical research program to date. This program combines the expertise and resources of the CVC Trials Network with philanthropic dollars raised through our venture fund, a new model of donor-backed venture capital that brings powerful immune-based therapies into CVC clinical trials sooner through innovative deals with biotech and pharmaceutical companies. In just two years, the Clinical Accelerator has secured access to five highly promising immunotherapies, which will enter clinical trials over the next year.
  5. Through our Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, a network of biotech and pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions engaged in cancer immunotherapy development, we have made a number of contributions to the field including: new guidelines for minimal reporting requirements for studies using immunological assays, harmonized guidelines for conducting immunological assays, and the development of improved criteria for monitoring the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapies in clinical trials.

Thanks to donor support, we are able to continue advancing the highest quality science and improving the chances for successful development of promising immune-based cancer treatments.

Impacting All Cancers

CRI is making an impact on all cancers. Learn about how our work is helping to improve the lives of people with specific types of cancer.

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Timeline of Progress

See how the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy have evolved in the last 100 years, and CRI's role and impact in some of the major discoveries and milestones along the way in our interactive timeline.

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About CRI

Want to know more about CRI, our history and people, and why we do what we do?

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