In the field of science, innovation does not come quickly. It occurs slowly, one test tube at a time, but a breakthrough can change everything. In cancer treatment, that breakthrough was a new approach to immunotherapy, a type of treatment that uses a patient’s own immune system to fight the disease.
But an innovation happened in New Jersey that changed cancer treatment, research and the lives of many patients. Scientists at Medarex, a former biotechnology company based in Princeton, figured out a new kind of immunotherapy. It was a major discovery that led to a new class of cancer drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors.
At the Rutgers Cancer Institute, researchers are conducting clinical trials to expand the use of these checkpoint inhibitor drugs and to develop other treatments.
There are more than 850 immunotherapy clinical trials currently underway across the country. New Jersey’s is playing a key role and leading the way in oncology research.