BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This year, 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the US. It’s an uphill battle for patients and doctors but breakthrough research is making a big difference.

Mary Bubala reports putting dollars behind research is what the Ride to Conquer Cancer is all about.

In just days, the Ride to Conquer Cancer will kick off and lead cancer survivors and supporters on a 150 mile mission through Maryland and Virginia.

In that crowd, you’ll find Dr. Drew Pardoll. He’s a leader in the new frontier of immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. His clinical trials are restoring patients’ immune system’s ability to spot and attack cancer. The results are incredibly promising, with remission in lung cancer, melanoma, kidney and others.

“Bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer, lymphoma and stomach cancer. Also, we are seeing responses and this opens the door and just scratching the surface,” Pardoll said.

Dr. Pardoll and his research partners at Hopkins say they’ve only tapped about five percent of the potential of immunotherapy in treating and curing cancer. That’s why Dr. Pardoll and his team are raising money and training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. It benefits research at Johns Hopkins, Sibley Memorial and Suburban hospitals.

On race day, they will be focused on the mission as they get through those grueling 150 miles over two days.

“It’s one of those unfortunate things that ties us all together—cancer—and to see the amount of effort and physical tolls that people will put themselves through to show that they support this…it’s just going to be amazing,” said Paolo Vignali, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Total funds raised and final participant numbers for this year’s event will be announced moments before the ride begins at the opening ceremonies in Kensington on September 13.

For more information, click here.

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