NEW CANAAN, CT— Approximately forty of the world’s leading cancer vaccine researchers will meet this week at a scientific colloquium organized by the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute. Convening in think-tank sessions, they will report on the latest developments in this promising field of therapy focused on stimulation of the body’s immune system to attack existing cancerous cells. Cancer vaccines— alternatives to radiation and chemotherapy—are more targeted and would not cause the unwanted side effects cancer patients now face.
The meeting takes place this March 10-13 at Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas and is the sixth in the annual series of meetings known as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Colloquium on Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy. According to H.R. Shepherd, chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, “Each time that this many talented and dedicated scientists meet to advance cancer vaccine research, there is greater promise for vaccine therapies to become available for cancer patients—and all the sooner.”
The meeting is held is on a small island in the Bahamas otherwise known for sport fishing and the retreat where, in 1969, President Richard Nixon originated the now famous declaration of “war on cancer.” From the time of that declaration, however, cancer rates have climbed, though survival for many patients has been prolonged by research efforts and improved therapies. Vaccines would be the newest of the products available to treat cancer. This meeting will be the first since the death this past August of Robert Abplanalp, who owned the sport fishing compound on Walker’s Cay and provided the venue to the Institute for its meeting.
Participants in these by-invitation-only sessions are selected for specific key expertise drawn from biomedical research departments at several of the nation’s leading universities and institutions abroad, the pharmaceutical industry, nongovernmental organizations, members of biological research institutes and government research laboratories. This year’s colloquium will be co-chaired by W. Martin Kast, PhD, Walter A. Richter Chair for Cancer Research and professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the University of Southern California, and Hyam Levitsky, MD, professor of oncology, medicine, urology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University.
The mission of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute is to save lives by advancing development of new vaccines and increasing immunization rates throughout the world. Founded in 1993, the Institute pursues Dr. Albert Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease by vaccines.