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‘This is a Period of Rapid Progress:’ Dr. Giovanni Caforio of Bristol-Myers Squibb on the Revolution in Immunotherapy Drugs for Treating Advanced Cancers

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July 16, 2022


Every once in a while, we think there’s some value in giving the SN Connect audience a little taste of some very key players in the oncology system. A while back, SurvivorNet had the chance to sit down with Dr. Giovanni Caforio, chairman and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

After acquiring drugmaker Celgene, the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has accelerated progress in treatments ranging from immunotherapy to cancer vaccines.

Dr. Caforio says he thinks that part of the next generation of indications and use for medications coming out of the industry would involve combining blockbuster immunotherapy products such as NIVOLUMAB (OPDIVO) with other medications.

“This is a period of rapid progress,” Dr. Caforio told SurvivorNet in an interview. “Ultimately, I think it is [through] the combination of multiple treatment strategies that we’d be able to offer the most hope to the largest number of patients. Through immunotherapy [for instance], we’ve already transformed the lives of many patients that now have prolonged survival — but there is a lot still to be done.”

“The future of cancer treatment is incredibly bright,” Adam Lenkowsky, who leads BMS’ commercial organization, told SurvivorNet at a People V. Cancer conference, hosted by Atlantic LIVE in conjunction with SurvivorNet. “There’s been a tremendous amount of progress made over the last decade.”

BMS believes, he said, “that immunotherapy will really be the backbone of cancer treatment. … And we believe that it’s a combination of immunotherapy treatments. Raising that survival curve really becomes the standard of care and that’s what we’re focused on.”

We’re going to continue to present these viewpoints to the physician community here at SN Connect so that clinicians can decide, for themselves, what the industry should be focusing on.