Dr. Allison on the Urgency of Drug Development in Oncology

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>MD Anderson</b>

James P. Allison, PhD, discusses his experience with the urgency of drug development in oncology. 

James P. Allison, PhD, chair, Immunology, executive director, Immunotherapy Platform, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, recipient, 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, discusses his experience with the urgency of drug development in oncology. 

There was a lot of urgency in the early days of developing ipilimumab (Yervoy) when the antibody was made, Allison says. In the clinic, Allison was trying to hurry the development of ipilimumab along because his brother had metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. He was hoping that the drug may be available for use in his brother’s treatment; however, therapeutic development could only move so fast, Allison adds.

Nevertheless, the development of ipilimumab made Allison appreciate efficiency in conducting science-based work, he continues. Although speed is important during drug development, getting the science right is just as important, Allison concludes.