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updated: 6/14/2013 10:52 PM

Gateway for Cancer Research honors cancer researcher for discoveries and patient impact

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  • The first Cancer Researcher of the Year Award is presented to Pierre-Yves Dietrich, MD, PhD, by Eveline Mumenthaler of The Gateway for Cancer Research (middle) and patient advocate Kay Kays.

      The first Cancer Researcher of the Year Award is presented to Pierre-Yves Dietrich, MD, PhD, by Eveline Mumenthaler of The Gateway for Cancer Research (middle) and patient advocate Kay Kays.
    Melissa Emory

 
Adam Zuckerman

With thousands of votes cast by the public as well as cancer researchers, survivors and advocates across the world, the winner of the inaugural Cancer Researcher of the Year Award has been named.

The Gateway for Cancer ResearchSM is proud to announce Dr. Pierre-Yves Dietrich, an accomplished medical oncologist and cancer researcher from Switzerland, as the very first recipient of the new award that recognizes Gateway-funded researchers who demonstrate excellence in the cancer research field while also positively impacting the lives of those living with cancer today.

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"Dr. Dietrich is a shining example of a forward-thinking, altruistic and passionate leader who pursues and applies knowledge in bold, new ways with a singular goal to help those afflicted by this deadly disease," said Eveline Mumenthaler, director of research and grants for The Gateway for Cancer Research in Schaumburg. "Dr. Dietrich's work represents true ingenuity and has great potential to create a paradigm shift in how brain cancer is treated today."

For Dr. Dietrich, being voted as Cancer Researcher of the Year by the community and his peers is humbling. "I am passionate about what I am doing and feel privileged to care for cancer patients. This award is an amazing source of motivation for both me and my team, of whom I share in this success for the outstanding quality of their work," said Dr. Dietrich, who leads the Center of Oncology at the University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland.

Dr. Dietrich's contributions in cancer research are wide-reaching, spanning the laboratory, classroom and patient care setting. More than 15 years ago, Dr. Dietrich became the first researcher to formulate and test a hypothesis in which the immune system aids in the fight against aggressive brain cancer tumors called gliomas. Dr. Dietrich and his research team gained insights on the mechanisms of effective anti-tumor immune responses in the brain, while also understanding how tumor cells seemingly evade attacks from current conventional treatments.

Throughout his career, Dr. Dietrich has been committed to bringing safer and more effective treatment solutions to cancer patients everywhere as he constantly challenges the current standards of care. A true leader in his field, Dr. Dietrich contributed to building the first study combining temozolomide with irradiation, leading to a new standard of care for treating brain cancer patients. What's more, he contested and invalidated the use of prophylactic intrathecal methotrexate as inappropriate and overly toxic approach for treating B-cell lymphoma patients. Dr. Dietrich is also involved in new drug development for melanoma, lymphoma and kidney cancer.

Dr. Dietrich also believes the best option for fighting cancer is through an integrated oncology model that considers the physical, social and psychological needs of each unique cancer patient. It's a patient-centered approach that Gateway fully embraces and pursues in each cancer research study the nonprofit funds.

Today, Dr. Dietrich is leading a Gateway-funded phase I/II clinical trial for cancer patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, which is the most prevalent and aggressive form of brain cancers. In his Gateway-funded cancer clinical trial, Dr. Dietrich is treating newly diagnosed patients with chemotherapy, an immunostimulant, and a new robust peptide-based cancer vaccine that includes 10 novel glioma-associated antigens recently identified by Dr. Dietrich and developed in collaboration with Immatics Biotechnologies. The goal of this treatment protocol is to elicit a response from the patient's immune system to target, attack and destroy cancer cells.

According to Mumenthaler, Dr. Dietrich's clinical trial is the result of true scientific advancement and carries great potential in treating brain cancer patients.

"By developing a cancer vaccine with an unprecedented quantity of 10 different peptides, Dr. Dietrich has taken a significant step toward the development of a potentially more effective cancer-fighting agent," said Mumenthaler, who points out that similar cancer vaccines only carry a single or triple peptide. "We are truly honored to award an innovator like Dr. Dietrich with the first Cancer Researcher of the Year Award. He truly embodies the vision and mission of The Gateway for Cancer Research."

Learn more about The Gateway for Cancer Research and the innovative, patient-centered cancer clinical trials it funds across the world by visiting DemandCuresToday.org.

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About The Gateway for Cancer Research

The Gateway for Cancer Research is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization committed to funding innovative cancer research and bold new ideas for lifesaving treatments that can make a difference today. Thanks to generous underwriting, 99 cents of every dollar received funds phase I and phase II cancer clinical trials all over the world to find better treatments and cures for today's cancer patients. Since our founding in 1991, Gateway has supported more than 100 clinical trials and contributed millions of dollars to leading-edge research, including blending the best of conventional and complementary/alternative therapies. It's time to stop cancer. Get involved today by visiting DemandCuresToday.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/demandcures and join the conversation on Twitter @DemandCures.

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