Research into immunotherapy, which cancer experts are calling the most promising approach in decades, got a boost Tuesday when Michael Bloomberg and other philanthropists announced $125 million in donations to Johns Hopkins University for a new institute focused solely on the therapy and accelerated breakthroughs for patients.
Bloomberg, the businessman, philanthropist and former New York mayor, has agreed to donate $50 million, as has Sidney Kimmel, a philanthropist and founder of Jones Apparel Group. The institute, to be housed at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, will draw on experts in cancer, immunology, genetics, microbiology and biomedical engineering to pursue advances, Hopkins officials said.
Immune therapy aims to harness a patient’s own immune system to seek out and attack cancer. And while there’s “no magic bullet” to defeat the disease, Bloomberg said in an interview on Monday, the therapy “seems to have enormous potential. … This really may have the possibility for a unique eureka moment.”