Immunotherapy

Cancer immunotherapy, the practice of utilizing one’s own immune system to battle cancer cells, is a revolutionary treatment method and researchers at Roswell Park are helping blaze a trail.

A native of Italy, Sebastiano Battaglia, PhD, also lived and studied in the United Kingdom, Germany and Luxembourg. After obtaining a fellowship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Battaglia intended for Buffalo to be yet another stop on his educational journey. Six years later, he is still here and is happy to call WNY home.

Roswell Park made national headlines last April in securing an agreement to bring Cuba’s encouraging lung cancer vaccine, CIMAvax, to the United States for clinical testing. Nearly one year later, Cuba is back in the news and CIMAvax is receiving renewed attention. One of the most frequently asked questions about this vaccine is, “When will it be available for lung cancer patients in the U.S.?”

In 2015 alone, more than 21,000 women will receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and approximately 14,000 women will die of the disease. Often diagnosed at advanced stages, ovarian cancer is aggressive and particularly tough to treat.

Amid a historic normalizing of relations between the United States and Cuba, a potentially game-changing step was recently taken in the field of lung cancer research.

Last month, Roswell Park made headlines around the world with the announcement that we expect to be the first U.S. institution to offer a lung cancer treatment vaccine developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology in Cuba.

Immunotherapy—using the power of the immune system to fight cancer—is a hot topic in scientific research, so much so that it has earned its own month. June is recognized as Immunotherapy Awareness Month.

As Immunotherapy Awareness Month winds down, we want to highlight three different clinical trials being led by physicians at our Center for Immunotherapy of novel immunotherapy approaches for treating genitourinary cancers.

For decades, researchers have been aware of the body's potential to use its own immune system in the fight against cancer.