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5 Questions with a Cancer Immunotherapy Expert

By November 12, 2018No Comments

For more than 40 years, Dr. Phil Greenberg has been working toward a vision: harnessing the power of a patient’s immune system to safely and effectively kill their tumors. When the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientist started his career, the idea was far from mainstream. Now, there’s a Nobel Prize, immunotherapies have become standard of care for several cancers, and a constant flood of new approaches are pouring into clinical trials.

Greenberg is one of the scientists who made that revolution possible.

Years before cancer immunotherapy started showing up on the nightly news, his team provided a bevy of “firsts” that demonstrated the power of immune cells called T cells to target and eradicate disease. Today, their latest innovations are offering new hope in some of the toughest cancers.

In recognition of his expertise and ongoing impact on the field, Greenberg will receive the 2018 Richard V. Smalley, M.D., Memorial Award and Lecture, the highest honor granted by the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer. The organization will grant the award on Saturday in Washington, D.C. at its annual conference.

We caught up with Greenberg before he left for the meeting, asking him five questions about where cancer immunotherapy is now and what is coming on the horizon. The transcript below has been lightly edited for readability.