Sean Parker is best known for co-founding Napster and is a former Facebook President, but the 36-year-old billionaire is now in the spotlight for his huge contribution to a new kind of cancer treatment. The entrepreneur has given $250 million to launch the Parker Institute that will help with research and development with a treatment called immunotherapy. The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) has been researching immunotherapy since the 1950’s but now with more funding and support it is hopeful that results will be reached.
Currently the most popular treatment is chemotherapy which uses heavy drugs to destroy cancer cells however many healthy cells can be killed in the process. On the other hand, immunotherapy hopes to strengthen the immune system in order to identify and fight hard against cancer cells.
UC-San Francisco immunologist Jeffrey Bluestone said, “Immunotherapy represents a fundamentally new breakthrough treatment paradigm in the fight against cancer – it harnesses the body’s own powerful immune system to mobilise its highly refined disease-fighting arsenal to engage and eliminate the cancer cells.”
Some recently approved drugs such as Keytruda are showing phenomenal results but are only working about 30% of the time. Right now, researchers are striving towards finding specific antigens or toxins that illicit a response by the immune system so that immunotherapy can work for everyone.