Dana-Farber joins Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to accelerate cures for the world’s gravest cancers

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, one of the world’s leading cancer research and treatment centers, has partnered with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), the leading network of immuno-oncology (IO) expertise in the world, as a member of the PICI Network with a goal to better understand the tumor microenvironment across cancer types and translate these basic discoveries to the clinic as impactful cancer immunotherapies.

The PICI Network was established to promote collaboration between leading-edge research institutions in the field of cancer immunology. Encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and sharing research advances enables the network to maximize the scientific value of discoveries and catalyze the development of more effective cancer immunotherapies.

Funding for these centers is intended to support bold, high-risk scientific research and to bridge academia and biotech through the potential formation of companies founded to develop next-generation therapies for cancer. PICI also facilitates access to advanced bioinformatics, intellectual property, sequencing, immune monitoring, industry-owned drugs, cell manufacturing, genetic engineering and clinical trials management. Network institutes also are offered resources to develop the next generation of scientific leaders as part of PICI’s Early Career Researcher program.

“Dana-Farber investigators are innovators in immuno-oncology,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, Dana-Farber president and CEO. “As an institutional member of the PICI Network, we will have even more opportunity to work jointly with fellow leaders in the field, bringing together a powerful combination of expertise and resources that will have an even greater impact on patients.”

Glimcher also is director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Among multiple other research pursuits, scientists at Dana-Farber are drawing a clearer picture of how tumor microenvironments change in response to immunotherapy. The researchers believe this work points to potential targets for the development of more effective drug therapies.

Center Co-Directors will be F. Stephen Hodi Jr., MD, Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD, and Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD. This grant supports The Dana-Farber Campaign, Dana-Farber’s ambitious, multi-year $2 billion fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer by accelerating revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities.

As PICI Network collaborators since 2017, Dana-Farber researchers already have contributed to high-profile PICI cancer research studies, including the AMADEUS, REVOLUTION and PRINCE clinical trials; TRIBUTE, a data-driven approach to metastatic triple-negative breast cancer; the Tumor Neoantigen Selection Alliance; and the revolutionary discovery of a cancer detection protein in the immune system.

“As a PICI Network member, Dana-Farber will be an even more integral part of a national and international team of scientists working in concert to deliver cures to patients,” said John Connolly, Ph.D., PICI chief scientific officer. “We welcome the progression of our partnership and look forward to even greater collaboration ahead.”

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