Faced with terminal cancer, former Baltimore City Police Officer David Gobin found a miracle through immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins eight years ago.
"To all of you here today, I just want to say thanks. Thank you for giving me a second chance at life," said Gobin.
While these advances in fighting cancer couldn't save Vice President Joe Biden's eldest son, he's convinced it could help many of the 1.6 million Americans who will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year.
"This is personal for so many of us that are in this hall and the millions of Americans who'll face that dreaded phrase, 'I'm afraid you have cancer,'" Biden said.
The vice president helped launch the new Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which presents one of the best hopes of advancing research into how the patient's own immune system may hold the key in spotting and attacking cancerous cells on its own.
"Because of its versatility, it has the potential to cure and end virtually all kinds of cancer and that may sound farfetched or futuristic, but it's not,” said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The results from some of the latest immunotherapy trials have been nothing short of astounding."
With a total of $125 million in financial gifts, ncluding $50 million from Bloomberg and another $50 million from Jones apparel group founder Sidney Kimmel, the new center will be able to retain and attract some of the top scientists in the field who will focus primarily on melanoma, colon, pancreatic, urologic, lung, breast and ovarian cancers.
"The progress that we are going to make over the next 10 years will eclipse everything that's happened over the previous 50 years... maybe longer," said the vice president.
Many of the greatest strides in immunotherapy thus far have come from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and it's not just clinical trials.
They came up with some anti-cancer drugs, which the U.S. Food & Drug Administration just approved for widespread use among patients in January.