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Dr. James P. Allison. © Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud

HOUSTON – Dr. James P. “Jim” Allison, a trailblazing immunologist who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, will be the keynote speaker at the Kidney Cancer Association’s 2021 International Kidney Cancer Symposium (IKCS) in November in Austin, Texas.

Allison, chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, was awarded the Nobel Prize for establishing that our immune systems can be stimulated to launch an effective attack against tumor cells. He helped develop the drug ipilimumab (Yerevoy®), which is proven to improve survival in many cancers including kidney, melanoma, lung, bladder and colorectal.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Allison to IKCS 2021,” said Dr. Christopher G. Wood, Chair of the KCA’s Board of Directors and a surgeon and professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Jim’s discoveries over his career are foundational to how we treat kidney cancer today and how the field will advance in the future. It is fitting that we hear from him now as we’re poised again on the verge of a whole new wave of possibilities for the kidney cancer community and I’m very excited he will be sharing his perspectives with us.”  

IKCS 2021 will take place in Austin, Texas on November 5-6 as a hybrid event to accommodate attendees both in-person and virtually.

“After a year of holding virtual events, we’re excited at the prospect of gathering safely once again to learn, share, and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy each other’s company,” said Gretchen E. Vaughan, KCA’s President and CEO. “We’re truly grateful for Dr. Allison to bring his excellence in the basics of cancer science to bear on the broad translational focus of the IKCS 2021 program, which should illuminate the significant impacts researchers are making on how people with kidney cancer are treated.”

In addition to his research accolades, Allison is a talented musician. He and his band the CheckMates – a group of MD Anderson-based musicians – will perform at IKCS 2021 to commemorate and celebrate the return to in-person meetings.

Registration for IKCS 2021 will open in May. Ahead of IKCS 2021, the KCA’s European International Kidney Cancer Symposium (EIKCS) will be held virtually on April 23-24. Registration for EIKCS 2021 is open now.

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About the Kidney Cancer Association

The Kidney Cancer Association is a global community dedicated to serving and empowering patients and caregivers, and leading change through advocacy, research, and education in order to be the universal leader in finding the cure for kidney cancer. Founded in 1990 by Eugene P. Schonfeld and a small group of patients and doctors in Chicago, Illinois, the KCA has grown into an international non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas. The KCA promotes scientific advances through two annual research symposiums and a robust grant program, participates in legislative advocacy, and seeks to be a source of education and resources for patients, caregivers, and anyone impacted by kidney cancer.

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