Awarded to the Saint John's Health Center Foundation, the largest gift in the cancer center's history will be used to strengthen clinical research programs focused on immunotherapy and precision genomic medicine, and will underwrite the creation of the Rosalie and Harold Brown Cancer Immunotherapy Research Program, named for the parents of Harold R. Brown, a trustee of the Rosalie and Harold Brown Charitable Foundation. Brown, whose father died of colon cancer, was a cancer patient himself and received immunotherapy treatments.
According to the center, while at least fifteen types of cancer have been treated successfully with immunotherapy, it does not work for every patient. Precision genomic medicine, which explores genetic changes in an individual's tumor that cause a cancer to grow and spread, can help more accurately predict which treatments and strategies will work for particular tumors and patients.
"This wonderful gift provides us the opportunity to further build on our deep work in immunotherapy and is faithful to the vision of bringing immunotherapy and precision medicine together," said hospital chief executive Michael Ricks.
"I'd like to see that magical question answered: the mechanisms that create cancer," said Brown. "This kind of gift helps everyone with cancer. That's what it's all about."