V Successes

A Doctor’s Appointment with Antoni Ribas

Our “Doctor’s Appointment” posts provide you the opportunity to get to know, understand and relate to the doctors who are working hard to find a cure for cancer.

Antoni Ribas, M.D, is a top medical oncologist at UCLA and received a grant from The V Foundation in 2007.  Since then, he and his team have been working on a way to harness the immune system to fight metastatic melanoma, which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer.

The grant given by The V Foundation was able to fund the research and salaries of three post-doctoral researchers in Ribas’ laboratory. Theses three researchers are working to understand the biology of the cancer and find ways to control it, using new therapies and drugs.

Ribas said that they are making progress with ways to treat the cancer but they now want to take their research a step further.  “We want to understand when [the cancer] becomes resistant to this treatment, or understand the cases that do not respond to this treatment.”

Ribas explained that in order to pursue cutting-edge research and treatments, doctors rely on philanthropic funds like those from The V Foundation. He said that doctors cannot ask for grants from traditional funding mechanisms without a lot of data and therefore The V Foundation gives researchers the opportunity for that first step.

“V Foundation funds are really critical for our ability to continue the lines of research or start new lines of research,” said Ribas.

Dr. Antoni Ribas is a professor of medicine, surgery and molecular media pharmacology at UCLA. He is also the director the Tumor Immunology Program Area of the Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center.