Generosity Propels Innovative Immunotherapy Studies at the Lurie Cancer Center

Drs. Platanias and Hanson (left to right)

John P. Hanson Jr., MD, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the John P. Hanson Foundation for Cancer and Cellular Research, Inc., recently announced their commitment to raise $5 million to support a cancer immunology program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dr. Hanson also made a generous $100,000 commitment to establish the John P. Hanson Foundation for Cancer and Cellular Research Fund at the Lurie Cancer Center.

When the goal of raising $5 million is achieved, the funds will be used to establish an endowed professorship in cancer immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  

Dr. Hanson shared: “Northwestern research has changed lives, and will continue to change lives. I came to Northwestern 50 years ago, inspired by Bobby Kennedy’s words: ‘I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?’. The experience changed the course of my life. For me, research—specifically, research at Northwestern—provides the opportunity to explore the ‘why not’.”

T-Cells: On the Front Line

Cell-based targeted immunotherapy is a novel approach that uses a patient’s own genetically modified immune cells, known as T-cells. The cells are removed and reprogrammed, potentially allowing them to target and kill malignant cells. Once re-infused into the patient’s body, the T-cells recognize and bind to the cancerous cells, activate themselves, and destroy the cancer.

Dr. Hanson’s generosity and personal dedication to cutting-edge cancer therapy and survivorship are dynamic assets to the Lurie Cancer Center. As the pioneering field of T-cell based therapy expands and expert physician-scientists become specialists in its study and execution, this fund will not only bolster research efforts, but also the recruitment of outstanding faculty members.

“The Lurie Cancer is grateful for the support of the Hanson Foundation,” said Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology and interim director of the Lurie Cancer Center. “Dr. Hanson’s commitment will make a significant difference in our efforts to develop innovative immune therapies for the treatment of cancer.”

For more information or to support this exciting new initiative at the Lurie Cancer Center, please contact Sacha Patera at a-patera@northwestern.edu or 312-503-0762.

“For me, research—specifically, research at Northwestern—provides the opportunity to explore the 'why not'.”

- Dr. Hanson