The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

JDRF, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the Helmsley Charitable Trust Form Cancer and Diabetes Research Initiative
What it is:
  • JDRF, The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced a collaborative research initiative to understand, predict and prevent insulin-dependent diabetes following checkpoint therapy for cancer.
  • The three nonprofits are jointly funding $10 million in autoimmunity research over a three-year period.
Why it matters:
  • Immunotherapy has become a first-line treatment for several types of cancer. Over time, researchers have observed that some patients develop autoimmune disorders following cancer immunotherapy.
  • After treatment with checkpoint inhibitors, for example, roughly 1% develop a kind of insulin-dependent diabetes that appears similar to type 1 diabetes (T1D), according to research published in the journal Diabetes.
  • The initiative represents the first time leading cancer immunotherapy and diabetes research organizations have come together to explore the intersection between these two types of chronic diseases.
  • The work also dovetails with additional autoimmunity research projects at the Parker Institute and JDRF’s immunology research to stop autoimmune attacks that target insulin-producing beta cells.