publication date: Oct. 5, 2018

Guest Editorial Thank you, Jim Allison Ronald DePinho

By Ronald A. DePinho

Professor & past president,

Harry Graves Burkhart III Distinguished University Chair,

Department of Cancer Biology, MD Anderson Cancer Center


The year was 1998, location, Italian Alps. Jim and I were attending an intimate Pezcoller meeting organized by David Livingston. At that meeting, Jim presented something I had never seen in the entirety of my career—the eradication of cancer in mice following treatment with an antibody designed to inhibit a T cell checkpoint mechanism.

Afterwards, we talked about his provocative science and the potential of a new class of cancer drugs. As a physician scientist, I can vividly recall how deeply impressed I was with Jim’s intense passion to convert his science into a new medicine that could help cancer patients.

Years later, I learned that his intense drive for clinical impact was fueled by the loss of his mother when he was only 10 years old.

It took another 10 years for Jim’s dream to be realized. His drug for melanoma was approved, and early stage clinical trials … Continue reading Thank you, Jim Allison

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