First conference on cancer immunotherapy gets “explosion of interest”

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 11 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4876
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Registration for the first international conference on cancer immunotherapy, to be held in New York from 16 September, has sold out. The venue—the Sheraton in Times Square—is too small to accommodate the many who wanted to attend.

What the conference organisers call “an explosion of interest” in the subject has reached the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, better known for rejecting many new cancer drugs as costly and marginally effective. This week it gave approval to pembrolizumab, a new immunological treatment for melanoma, in record time.1

The man credited with pioneering the field in the 1990s, James Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Research Center, has just won a Lasker award, a prestigious prize many of whose recipients have …

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