Cancer MoonShot 2020 and NantHealth Form Collaborative Melanoma and Sarcoma Working Group with Columbia University and UPMC to Accelerate Personalized Immunotherapy

Physicians And Researchers From Columbia University And UPMC To Collaborate On The Development Of Combination Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Protocols Informed By Comprehensive Genomic And Proteomic Profiling

Augments Recently Announced Pediatric Cancer, Breast Cancer, Head And Neck Cancer And Radiation Working Groups

CULVER CITY, Calif.--()--NantHealth and Cancer MoonShot 2020, the nation's most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative, today announced the formation of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Working Group to accelerate molecular-informed immunotherapy trials. The team consists of physicians, researchers and oncology professors from across the nation who have come together to focus their collective wisdom and expertise on identifying and developing the most effective, cancer-directed immunotherapy treatments for patients with melanoma and sarcoma.

Experts within the group will collaborate to develop clinical trial protocols, carefully studying elements such as standard of care, molecular informed patient selection and novel combination-immunotherapy approaches.

“The establishment of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Working Group reinforces Cancer MoonShot 2020’s commitment to accelerate the war on cancer,” stated Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, founder and CEO of NantWorks and leader of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 program. “Through the collaborative effort of these academic and industry thought leaders, we will be able to provide patients with Melanoma and Sarcoma with next-generation immunotherapy treatment. The momentum to establish national collaborative groups addressing all cancer types continues, and I am so pleased by the excitement Cancer MoonShot 2020 has generated in the academic and scientific community.”

The Melanoma and Sarcoma Working Group will be chaired by Richard Carvajal, MD, Columbia University Medical Center, Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Melanoma Service, who will spearhead the team’s efforts with ongoing meetings, the development of protocols and continued expansion of the Working Group.

Other esteemed members of the Working Group include:

  • Gary Schwartz, MD, Columbia University Medical Center, Division Chief, Hematology/Oncology, and Associate Director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • John Kirkwood, MD, UPMC, Director, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program

“As members of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Working Group, we want to share – and gather – new knowledge and understanding of how to better treat our patients,” stated John Kirkwood, MD, Director of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program at UPMC. “Collectively, we have the passion and the expertise to help accelerate the goal of winning the war on cancer.”

CANCER MOONSHOT 2020 Working Group Established to Date:
Pediatric Cancer Working Group
Breast Cancer Working Group
Head And Neck Cancer Working Group
Radiation And Immuno-Oncology Working Group

About Cancer MoonShot 2020
The Cancer MoonShot 2020 program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit and follow Cancer MoonShot 2020 on Twitter.

About NantHealth
NantHealth, a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, is a next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company enabling improved patient outcomes and more effective treatment decisions for critical illnesses. NantHealth‘s unique systems-based approach to personalized healthcare applies novel diagnostics tailored to the specific molecular profiles of patient tissues and integrates this molecular data in a clinical setting with large-scale, real-time biometric signal and phenotypic data to track patient outcomes and deliver precision medicine. For nearly a decade, NantHealth has developed an adaptive learning system, CLINICS, which includes its unique software, middleware and hardware systems infrastructure that collects, indexes, analyzes and interprets billions of molecular, clinical, operational and financial data points derived from novel and traditional sources, continuously improves decision-making and further optimizes our clinical pathways and decision algorithms over time. For more information please visit and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter @DrPatSoonShiong.


Jen Hodson, 562-397-3639


Jen Hodson, 562-397-3639