On June 17, 2020, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that it is recognizing Jedd D. Wolchok (photo), MD, PhD, with the 2020 AACR-Joseph Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research. Dr. Wolchok is the Lloyd J. Old/Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Investigation and Chief of the Immuno-Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He also serves as Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MSKCC, Associate Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, and Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Wolchok is being recognized for his leadership in the groundbreaking clinical development of CTLA-4 antibody therapy for melanoma and for his pivotal role in ushering in the field of checkpoint inhibitor therapies for cancer. The AACR and Bristol-Myers Squibb established this award (xxxx) in 1996 to recognize outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research. The award honors Dr. Joseph H. Burchenal, honorary member and Past President of the AACR, and a major figure in clinical cancer research. Dr. Wolchok is internationally recognized for his seminal role in developing ipilimumab (Yervoy), an anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody that promotes the release of cancer-fighting T cells in the body. He led the pivotal phase III clinical trial demonstrating that treatment with ipilimumab and the chemotherapeutic dacarbazine yields superior overall survival in patients with metastatic melanoma compared with dacarbazine treatment alone. Through his work with ipilimumab, Dr. Wolchok discovered differences in the kinetics of clinical tumor responses to immunotherapy and chemotherapy, which prompted him and his team to develop new criteria for evaluating treatment responses to immunotherapy.
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