This could be a major breakthrough for tech tycoon Sean Parker’s $250M bet to fight cancer

By : |April 11, 2017 0

The Parker’s Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy backed by the tech billionaire Sean Parker may have achieved a major breakthrough in its fight against the fatal disease.

According to a paper in the scientific journal Nature, scientists may have found a way to foretell whether melanoma patients will respond to treatments that target the PD-1 (programmed cell death protein) pathway in tumors through a simple blood test.

Surely, this isn’t the cure for the disease but it bodes well for the future research.


The ex Facebook president has invested an enormous $250 million sum out of his fortune of $3 billion to launch this institute. He then invited hundreds of top scientists from various research universities across the United States to come together and combat cancer through cutting-edge immunotherapy.

The Parker Institute includes over 40 laboratories and more than 300 researchers from the US’ leading cancer centers: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

For Parker, this is the first ray of hope that his mission and vision might be working out.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Memorial Sloan-Kettering came together for the first time to work on the project and they found that levels of the blood biomarker versus mutational load (tumor burden) may predict whether a cancer patient is responsive or not to treatment.

To know more on this, do check out the Nature article here.

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