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Immunotherapy is leading to longer life for more cancer patients

Learn about the state of cancer treatment at Beer with a Scientist July 17
Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D.

By Betty Coffman, UofL News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — At a Beer with a Scientist event four years ago, cancer specialist Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., described clinical trials in immunotherapy being conducted at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center. At that time, the new therapies were showing promise in the treatment of melanoma.

At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Chesney, director of the UofL Brown Cancer Center, will share just how far those therapies have come in improving treatment of cancer.

Chesney will discuss cutting-edge approaches to stimulate the immune system to eradicate previously terminal cancers, focusing on treatments that stimulate white blood cells called T cells to kill cancer cells using antibodies and viruses. These immunotherapies are proving to be effective for multiple types of cancer.

“These novel immunotherapies are translating to previously terminal cancer patients having normal life spans,” Chesney said. “I believe we will experience a 25 percent decrease in cancer-related deaths in the next five years.”

Chesney’s talk begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at Holsopple Brewing, 8023 Catherine Lane. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer or other items is not required but is encouraged. Organizers encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. At these events, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.