New Name Reflects Broader Focus on the Next Wave in Cancer Treatment

Newswise — The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that supports and coordinates laboratory and clinical efforts to harness the disease-fighting power of the immune system to treat, control, and prevent cancer, announced today that its program, the Cancer Vaccine Consortium—a leading global initiative on cancer vaccine research and development comprising industry, academia, and government institutions—has changed its name to the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC).

The name change reflects the broad coverage of CIC activities in the research and development of immune-based treatments for cancer in addition to therapeutic cancer vaccines. Since 2002, the CVC has served the cancer immunotherapy community with initiatives and solutions that were widely applicable to all forms of immunotherapies, from immunomodulatory antibodies to vaccines. The CVC name and its implied focus on cancer vaccines did not previously reflect this breadth.

Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., co-chair of the executive committee of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium and medical lead in Immunology/Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, made the announcement today at the opening of the 11th Annual Colloquium of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, taking place March 18-20 in Washington, D.C. The conference, organized by the Cancer Research Institute, has brought together more than 110 leaders of the field from around the world to discuss the biology of clinical success in cancer immunotherapy, a central topic for the field.

“The new name emphasizes to our membership and the greater cancer immunotherapy community CIC’s commitment to provide a platform for addressing all types of cancer immunotherapies including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and other modalities,” said Hoos. “The years 2009 and 2010 are indicating a turning point for the field with clinical trial successes for different types of immunotherapies that can benefit patients in need. The initiatives of CIC have contributed to enabling this trend, and the CIC’s new name reflects this contribution.”

“As a program within the Cancer Research Institute’s clinical investigation initiatives,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., executive director of CRI, “CIC is part of a larger spectrum of cancer immunotherapy clinical research and development that encompasses academic and industry efforts to discover, test, and refine immune-based cancer therapies. This includes working in concert with synergistic programs such as the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, an academic clinical trials network for translational research studies with immunotherapies, which is coordinated jointly between the Cancer Research Institute and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.”

CIC membership currently stands at 70 companies, academic institutions, and nonprofit or government agencies, including major biopharmaceutical companies, established and start-up biotechnology companies, leading academic research universities, and nonprofit health research associations. This broad representation of cancer immunotherapy stakeholders participating in the CIC provides unique opportunities for members and meeting attendees to contribute to community-wide initiatives that provide practical solutions to key challenges facing the field.

In addition to the new name, CRI has adopted a new logo for the CIC and has updated its Web site to reflect the new changes.

Media Contact: Brian M. Brewer, Director of Communications, Cancer Research Institute+212-688-7515, ext. 242[email protected]

About the Cancer Immunotherapy ConsortiumThe Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC), a program of the U.S.-based nonprofit Cancer Research Institute, is an international association of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic institutions that share a common interest in cancer immunotherapy research and development.

CIC’s mission is to improve patient care by making cancer immunotherapies part of the standard-of-care in oncology. CIC provides a platform that allows its stakeholders to advance the field through collaboration, focus, data- and consensus-driven initiatives, and premier expertise to achieve solutions to scientific and developmental challenges within the immunotherapy community.

Established in 2002 as the Cancer Vaccine Consortium, then under the auspices of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the newly named Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium became part of the Cancer Research Institute in January of 2008. Since its founding, the CIC has conducted and published results from a number of highly successful community initiatives that address issues of clinical paradigm development, immune assay harmonization, clinical trial endpoints, and regulatory dialogue, among others.

For more information about the CIC, visit For details on the CIC’s 11th Annual Colloquium go to

About the Cancer Research InstituteThe Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the support and coordination of scientific and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of cancer. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel Prize winners and twenty-nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI supports leading-edge cancer research at top medical centers and universities throughout the world.

The Cancer Research Institute has one of the lowest overhead expense ratios among non-profit organizations, with more than 85 percent of its resources going directly to the support of its science, medical, and research programs. CRI meets or exceeds all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, the most comprehensive U.S. charity evaluation service, and according to Charity Navigator exceeds or meets industry standards and performs as well as or better than most cancer charities. CRI has also received an 'A' grade for fiscal disclosure and efficiency from the American Institute of Philanthropy as well as top accolades from other charity watchdog organizations. For more information, visit