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Nonprofits Join Forces for a Cure: Cancer Research Institute


Competition has long been a barrier in cancer research. We aren’t here to compete. We’re here to collaborate. PICI shares many of the same goals as the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), so early in our inception, we joined forces to bring the best science forward in common areas of interest. Our charge: to coordinate and rapidly initiate clinical studies across our networks to answer some of the most difficult questions in immunotherapy research.

How it Works

We start with an ambitious science-focused approach. We ask our investigators to put forth their biggest, boldest ideas that have potential to bring the most effective treatment options to patients. We combine our in-house expertise – from clinical trials management and translational resources to informatics experts – with CRI’s long-standing history, expertise and connections in the field to move the top ideas forward. Together, we arm our investigators with advanced translational tools, access to novel and emerging drugs, and cutting-edge bioanalytical expertise to generate high quality data and maximize learnings from clinical research.

In just a few short years, we’re seeing the positive results from this collaboration:

  • We recently released data from our PRINCE pancreatic cancer trial that shows combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy shrank tumors – one of the first demonstrations of antitumor activity of immunotherapy in this tumor type.
  • We have also initiated three clinical trials with novel immunotherapy treatment approaches, including PORTER, a platform study to test multiple treatments in prostate cancer, TRIBUTE to tackle tough questions in breast cancer, and AMADEUS that looks at biomarkers to guide patient treatments.
  • In 2016, we launched our first joint project – the Tumor Neoantigen Selection Alliance – to bring together scientists from more than 40 of the leading neoantigen research groups to advance personalized cancer treatments through neoantigen discovery. We expect to make the first neoantigen prediction results public later this year.

Looking Forward

We’ve partnered with CRI on many other efforts, including workshops to discuss key challenges in prostate, bladder and breast cancers, and a whitepaper and working group on PD-1 resistance. We’re also in the planning stages of several new projects focused on emerging areas in immunotherapy. Our partnership with CRI was our very first with another nonprofit. Now, we work with several nonprofits and continue to look for partners that share our mission to make all cancers curable diseases.