First Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 clinical trial launched

By: Sanford Health News .

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Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, the world’s most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative focusing on combination immunotherapy, has selected Sanford Health as one of three sites nationwide to launch the program’s first clinical trial. The study will explore an immunotherapy vaccine for patients with certain types of advanced breast cancer.

Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 was created in early 2016 by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, to facilitate collaboration among multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, academic centers and community oncologists in an effort to test novel immunotherapy protocols in combination with other treatment methods.

“Our mission at Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 is to turn cancer into a chronic disease, not a life-threatening disease,” said Soon-Shiong. “Sanford Health is a key partner in helping us achieve that goal. Their drive to bring advanced cancer treatment options to even the most rural areas shows their commitment to fighting cancer.”

Amy Sanford, M.D., an oncologist at Edith Sanford Breast Center in Sioux Falls, is the trial’s principal investigator. Her team will study if an immunotherapy vaccine designed to strengthen the body’s immune system can help patients fight breast cancer that cannot be treated with surgery or that has metastasized and is characterized by the HER2 gene.

“After years of offering clinical trials and ranking the potential of immunotherapy high on Sanford’s list of priorities, the power of our comprehensive clinical research program is evident by Cancer Breakthroughs 2020’s selection of Sanford to help start the inaugural study of the project,” said David Pearce, Ph.D., executive vice president for Sanford Research. “The next generation standard of care will be the result of teamwork among organizations like Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 and Sanford Health.”

Sanford Health has been involved in Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 since its inception early last year. In February, Sanford was announced as a founding member of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 Pediatrics Consortium. Sam Milanovich, M.D., is among the national experts using comprehensive cancer molecular diagnostic testing to study pediatric forms of cancer. This summer, Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., the founder of Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, finalized a relationship with Sanford Health to work clinical trials for human papillomavirus-, or HPV-, related cancers like head and neck cancer, cervical cancer and anal cancer.

The study is open at Edith Sanford Breast Center in Sioux Falls. For information or to enroll, call 1-87-SURVIVAL.

About Cancer Breakthroughs 2020

The Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational breakthroughs to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit and follow @Cancer2020 on Twitter.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 45 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Sanford Health’s 28,000 employees, including more than 1,300 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children’s clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. For more information, visit



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