The focus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy is on research to explore and develop innovative therapies that act by stimulating or strengthening the immune system's inherent ability to fight cancer.
In 2006, a team of Memorial Sloan-Kettering investigators led by James P. Allison, former Chair of the Sloan-Kettering Institute Immunology Program, was elected as one of six research groups across the country to share a $120 million gift from the Ludwig Fund, named after the late shipping industrialist Daniel K. Ludwig. Mr. Ludwig, who died in 1992, contributed the majority of his wealth in support of laboratory and clinical research to control cancer, which he considered to be one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.
The gift allowed Memorial Sloan-Kettering to establish a state-of-the-art collaborative research center focused on immune-system-based therapy, an approach showing great promise in the treatment of cancer and several other diseases. Staffed by some of the world's leading experts in the field, the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy is streamlining the translation of basic science discoveries made in a variety of cancers toward patient care.