Conquer Cancer Foundation Donor Spotlight: Ludwig Cancer Research

Oct 15, 2015

Ludwig Cancer Research, one of the newest supporters of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF), is an international community of distinguished scientists dedicated to preventing and controlling cancer. Ludwig’s emphasis on collaboration and longterm support has fostered its role as a leader in immunotherapy and other challenging aspects of cancer research.

“Supporting the Conquer Cancer Foundation was a natural fit,” said Robert L. Strausberg, PhD, Ludwig’s Executive Director of Collaborative Sciences. “We don’t doubt that the Conquer Cancer Foundation will know how to put these funds to work in service to what is, after all, a globally shared mission.”

Ludwig has supported the ASCO Annual Meeting through CCF for the past two years, most recently supporting the Cancer Prevention Track at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago. Many Ludwig scientists are also ASCO members. At the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, there were presentations from U.S.-based researchers at five Ludwig Centers, as well as from Ludwig’s international researchers in Europe and Australia.

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, and F. Stephen Hodi, MD, ASCO members and Ludwig researchers, presented findings at the 2015 Annual Meeting showing that people with advanced melanoma respond better to two immune checkpoint inhibitors, ipilimumab and nivolumab, than to either alone.

Ludwig supports more than 1,000 researchers and administrative staff in institutions and laboratories in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

According to Dr. Strausberg, Ludwig-designated sites “provide opportunities for collaboration and strong interdisciplinary basic and translational research.”

“The newly launched Ludwig Lausanne Branch is a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary partnership involving several local Swiss research institutions. Researchers there have the opportunity to work closely with leading hospitals, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies to develop novel immunotherapies,” Dr. Strausberg said.

In partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ludwig launched a research program to advance dietary interventions and technologies for the prevention of colon cancer. Ludwig researchers are looking at the impact of diet on the gut microbiome and ultimately on immune functions, building on their expertise in immune-intervention.

“We are also very interested in what is often referred to as secondary prevention, or developing screening technologies for the non-invasive detection of early-stage cancer and precancerous growths,” Dr. Strausberg said. “It is during these early stages that treatments are most effective.”

In addition to immunotherapy and cancer prevention, Ludwig has created leading programs in cellular signaling and genomics through the organization’s technology development program. “The program includes small molecule discovery, assay development, preclinical studies, and engineered antibodies. These resources, including scientific teams with specific expertise, help us assess how specific scientific discoveries can be further advanced,” Dr. Strausberg said.

A visionary organization, Ludwig takes a long-term view of scientific development and provides its scientists the freedom to fully pursue and develop their ideas, to take risks, and, if they fail, to do so intelligently.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation gratefully acknowledges and sincerely appreciates the support received from Ludwig Cancer Research,” said Nancy Daly, MS, MPH, Executive Director and Chief Philanthropic Officer of CCF. “It is only due to the generosity of our donors, such as Ludwig Cancer Research, that we are able to pursue our mission of conquering cancer worldwide by funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge.”

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