Gateway for Cancer Research Celebrates 25 Years of Transformational Cancer Treatment Breakthroughs at Commemorative Scientific Symposium

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Organization to demonstrate “impact framework” and look ahead to Gateway’s role in patient-centric cancer research at Annual Meeting

Gateway for Cancer Research Annual Meeting and Symposium

For the last 25 years, we’ve pioneered the funding of more than 140 clinical trials that have enrolled and treated more than 3,000 patients at esteemed institutions worldwide...

Gateway for Cancer Research, a non-profit dedicated to funding transformational cancer research, will mark its 25-year anniversary of investing in patient-centric cancer research by hosting a commemorative scientific symposium showcasing its past and presently funded Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. The Gateway symposium, “Lifting Up Patient Voice & Quality of Life: A Scientific Symposium Highlighting 25 Years of Gateway’s Achievements in Driving Transformational Cancer Treatment,” will take place Friday, September 9 at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. It includes panels of researchers, including a patient who will give voice to her experience on a Gateway-funded trial.

Gateway’s Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Westin New York at Times Square. Gateway will announce the recipient of the Cancer Researcher of the Year Award, an annual recognition to honor and celebrate a current or previous Gateway grantee who has made significant contributions to the field of cancer research and improving the lives of today’s cancer patients.

“For the last 25 years, we’ve pioneered the funding of more than 140 clinical trials that have enrolled and treated more than 3,000 patients at esteemed institutions worldwide, many of which have advanced cancer research and led to innovative new treatments,” said Teresa Hall Bartels, president, Gateway for Cancer Research. “During the symposium, researchers will present new innovations and transformative discoveries, while attendees will learn the quantifiable impacts made in the industry, from clinical research advancements to patient-centric care.”

The symposium will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Stephen Emerson from Columbia University. In addition, the symposium will showcase clinical trials by presenting panels consisting of Gateway grantees, as well as recognized leaders in cancer research such as Dr. Adam Resnick, whose work focuses on cell signaling cascades and their alterations in pediatric brain tumors along with big data and consortia building in pediatric oncology.

The commemorative symposium recognizes Gateway’s advances in cancer research over the past 25 years by illustrating the three key strategies that drive Gateway’s impact – patients have a voice, cancer patients feel better and live longer and patients contribute to overcoming cancer in the future. In the spirit of Gateway’s newly developed “impact framework,” a takeaway from the symposium will be increased awareness of the following treatment breakthroughs across various cancer types:

•Metastatic Melanoma: Researchers developed a cell line that forms hybrids with patient-derived tumor cells so they are better tolerated after injected as a vaccine, and thus, improves quality of life (Gattoni-Celli, 2000)
•Breast Cancer: Researchers created a DNA vaccine targeting a breast cancer antigen, which was demonstrated to be safe and to increase patients’ immune response. The study also concluded that once patients completed conventional therapies, the vaccine could possibly stimulate the immune system to target and attack remaining or new cancer cells (Gillanders, 2014)
•Metastatic Lung Cancer: A Gateway funded researcher was one of the first to use inhalation therapy to deliver molecular therapy directly to metastatic lung cancer (Skubitz, 2000)
•Ovarian Cancer: Researchers created an innovative direct delivery of gene therapy to the fluid that surrounds cancerous ovaries with tolerable side effects for patients, which was pioneering for its time and could affect future gene therapy research (Curiel, 2000)
•Sarcoma: Researchers combined the dendritic cell vaccine with a specific radiation therapy to enhance the performance of immune system therapy for sarcoma patients. The findings showed a dramatic increase in T-cell levels within the tumors and 70 percent of patients were progression-free after one year (Gabrilovich, 2012)

These treatment breakthroughs are greater than a singular scientific discovery, as their impact leads to patients living longer. To date, Gateway trials have an approximately 50 percent survival rate among patients, with 17 percent experiencing a complete response or remission.

Patients like Michelle Ashby, a nurse and mother of two children, who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of inflammatory stage 4 breast cancer, was accepted into a breast cancer vaccine trial funded by Gateway and led by Dr. William Gillanders and Dr. Timothy Fleming. This led to her receiving a custom vaccine constructed from DNA that primed her immune system to recognize and destroy a protein on the surface of the tumor cells. Upon receiving three vaccines along with traditional treatments, she has now been cancer-free for more than four years.

“Cancer continues to strip our communities of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and lifelong friends,” said Ashby. “Gateway has a full recognition of this injustice and is wholly committed to finding cures.”

Admission is free for the commemorative symposium. Attendees can receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit, either 4.7 for ACCME and ANCC, respectively.

At the Annual Meeting, attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception and dinner. Gateway highlights from the year will be shown through commemorative photos, a patient video and during an award ceremony. The Annual Meeting keynote speaker will be Michael J. Pellini, MD, chief executive officer at Foundation Medicine, who brings a breadth of experience in life sciences and the clinical diagnostics and laboratory industries.

“Our goal is for clinicians and others interested in the cancer research space to learn the key insights on advancing the development and use of patient-centric reported outcomes,” said Bartels. “Gateway’s patient-centric approach is deeply invested in improving lives, which is why we require all funded clinical trials to ensure that patients have a voice, patients feel better and live longer, and they contribute to overcoming cancer in the future.”

Both events are free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance. The Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 8 from 5:30—8:30 p.m. at the Westin New York at Times Square, Majestic Foyer/Ballroom, 5th Floor: 270 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. The Symposium is on Friday, September 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Columbia University Medical Center in Bard Hall: 50 Haven Avenue, New York, NY 10032.

About Gateway for Cancer Research℠
Gateway for Cancer Research is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to funding innovative cancer research that helps people with cancer to feel better, live longer and conquer cancer TODAY! Thanks to generous underwriting, 99 cents of every dollar Gateway receives directly funds Phase I and Phase II cancer clinical trials at leading research institutions across the country and abroad. Since 1991, Gateway has supported more than 140 clinical trials and funded millions in breakthrough research. Get involved today by visiting, like us on Facebook at and join the conversation on Twitter @DemandCures, #BeAGateway.

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