James P. Allison and Robert D. Schreiber
2017 Balzan Prize for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy
Professors Schreiber and Allison have played transformative roles in the field of tumor immunology. Schreiber demonstrated that the immune system is crucially involved in fighting and shaping cancer and introduced the concept of cancer immunoediting, especially as it pertains to immune escape. Allison unraveled the molecular bases of this escape and succeeded to block it by monoclonal antibody therapy, increasing for the first time the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma. Both have collaborated with other scientists recently in the identification of tumor specific neoantigens, an approach that might lead to the development of effective personalized cancer-specific vaccines.

James P. Allison holds several positions  at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas: Chairman of the Department of Immunology in the Division of Basic Science Research, Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform, Associate Director of the Center for Cancer Immunological Research and Deputy Director of the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers.

Robert D. Schreiber holds several positions at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Director at the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs and Program Co-Leader of Tumor Immunology at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center.
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