News Release

Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee honored with AACR-Joseph Burchenal Award for Clinical Cancer Research

Grant and Award Announcement

American Association for Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA -- The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, with the 20th annual AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, to be held in Philadelphia, April 18-22.

Jaffee is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to cancer immunology in both the pre-clinical and early clinical settings. Her pioneering work in immunotherapies for breast and pancreatic cancers has been tremendously influential to the discovery and development of new and effective cancer treatments, providing renewed hope for those diagnosed with these diseases. In addition to her scientific accomplishments, she is also recognized as a mentor for the next generation of researchers and clinicians.

This award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research. It is named for the late Dr. Joseph H. Burchenal, honorary member and past president of the AACR, and a major figure in clinical cancer research and chemotherapy.

Jaffee, who is also the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer, the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, and the Cancer Immunology Program and Immunology and Hematopoiesis Division, will present her lecture, "Immunologic Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer: Current and Future Strategies," Tuesday, April 21, 4:15 p.m. ET, in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

"I am honored to be recognized by the AACR for my contributions to cancer research, and to be considered among an amazing group of clinical innovators who have come before me," Jaffee said.

Jaffee is credited with opening the door to immunotherapy as a potential treatment for pancreatic cancer. Her numerous clinical research successes include testing one of the earliest therapeutic pancreatic cancer vaccines (GVAX) in 1997. She has also shown that mesothelin is a viable target for therapeutic vaccines and adoptive therapy for pancreatic cancer. Jaffee recently led a phase II trial that showed that a GVAX prime and Listeria Monocytogenes vaccine boost improved overall survival for patients with pancreatic cancer; this approach was recently granted breakthrough status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Jaffee is currently leader of the Stand Up To Cancer-Lustgarten Foundation Dream Team: Transforming Pancreatic Cancer to a Treatable Disease. The Dream Team is conducting combination clinical trials and establishing biomarkers of tumor microenvironment reprogramming. The trials focus on novel immune-suppressive pathways within the tumor, either in combination with a T cell-activating vaccine or chemotherapy.

Jaffee is an active AACR member, currently serving on the board of directors, as chair of the Cancer Immunology Working Group, and as co-chair of the Immunology Program Committee at this year's AACR Annual Meeting. Additionally, she is deputy editor of Cancer Immunology Research and has been active in AACR mentoring programs, including those as part of the Women in Cancer Research Working Group.

Jaffee received her medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla and completed an internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh's Presbyterian-University Hospital. She first came to Johns Hopkins to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in 1989 and joined the faculty in 1992.

The AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research is generously supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.


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About the American Association for Cancer Research

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 35,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in 101 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 25 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with over 18,500 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit

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