CULVER CITY, Calif. and VATICAN CITY – April 29, 2016 – Today, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who grew up in Apartheid South Africa and has dedicated his life to pioneering novel cellular therapies for diabetes and cancer, including the development of the revolutionary cancer drug Abraxane, was honored at the Vatican with the 2016 Pontifical Key Visionary Award. The award, presented by His Eminence Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, recognizes medical innovators who change the course of history and reduce suffering on a global scale by blending visionary thinking with real action.

“We congratulate Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the recipient of the 2016 Key Visionary Award,” said Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council For Culture. “In this Jubilee year of Mercy, he gives hope to the many people suffering around the world that his vision and actions will lead to better medicine and a cure for cancer, ushering in healing, hope and mercy for millions of people around the world.”

Dr. Soon-Shiong, a surgeon, scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, is the CEO of NantWorks, an ecosystem of innovative platform technologies developed to address life threatening diseases which will impact humanity, including cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, infectious disease and diabetes. As a surgeon, Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world’s first encapsulated islet transplant in Type 1 diabetic patients. As a scientist, he created Abraxane®, the nation’s first FDA approved nanotechnology-based chemotherapeutic agent. He is also the founder of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program, the nation’s most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative formed through a historic alliance of leaders of large pharma and biotech companies, insurance providers, Fortune 50 companies, and academia and community oncologists to accelerate next-generation immunotherapy in cancer.

“We’re so proud to give this award to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong,” said Dr. Robin Smith, President of The Stem For Life Foundation. “Beyond his unique contributions to the treatment of cancer, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is one of the leading figures creating new paradigms to deliver cures ─ linking diagnostics, big data and drug delivery ─ in ways never before thought possible, fostering a new era in personalized medicine.”

During his talk at the Vatican, Dr. Soon-Shiong ‎will present positive data on the nation’s first colon cancer and announce the first in human breast cancer vaccine developed from a common cold virus.

“I am profoundly honored to be awarded this year’s Pontifical Key Visionary Award,” Dr. Soon-Shiong said. “The wealth of knowledge and commitment the world leaders here at The Third International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and its Cultural Impact have is testament to how we are expanding beyond the medical community to treat cancer through comprehensive precision care. I am excited to share our breaking news on a cancer vaccine for colon and breast cancer at this conference at the Vatican and I am thrilled that Vice President Biden will be also be addressing the audience about his commitment to accelerating next generation cancer care.”

The Third International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and Its Cultural Impact is the continuation of a seven-year collaboration between The Stem For Life Foundation, a not-for-profit organization devoted to advancing global awareness of regenerative medicine and cell therapy, The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and its foundation, STOQ (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

This year’s focus is on Cellular Horizons and will explore the future and how science, technology, information and communication will allow us to personalize medical solutions to remove inefficiencies, eliminate unnecessary care, and improve clinical outcomes at an individual level increase.

The Stem For Life Foundation (SFLF)

SFLF is the educational and advocacy subsidiary of The Cura Foundation and is devoted to fostering global awareness of the potential for regenerative medicine to treat and cure a range of deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions, as opposed to merely treating their symptoms. The Foundation stands at the forefront of a fundamental shift away from traditional drug treatment in favor of amplifying the body’s natural repair mechanisms to vanquish disease. For more information on The Stem For Life Foundation, please visit To follow the Vatican event on Twitter, please join the conversation @StemForLife or via the hashtag #UNITETOCURE

About Cancer Breakthroughs 2020

The Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiatives launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational cancer initiative to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit and follow Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 on Twitter.

The QUILT Trial

A Quantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial in patients with cancer undergoing next generation panomic analysis (genome, proteome, immunome and metabolome) to inform precise cancer care based on individualized and dynamic biology of the disease. The protocols will be designed to harness all the elements of the immune system (dendritic cells, T-cells, and NK cells) to combine vaccines and cell based immunotherapy with metronomic chemotherapy and immunomodulators with the goal of durable, long-lasting remission of the disease with the highest quality of life.

Media Contacts


Jen Hodson, Public Relations Director

Phone: 562-397-3639



Stem For Life

Linda Burns, Allison+Partners

Phone: 646-428-0606