Viral Oncology Program

Tomorrow's Cure

Immunotherapy Research

Today, more and more cancers are linked to viral infections. On a global scale, it’s estimated that these infectious agents are causing one in every five deaths of cancer patients. For Louisiana, with high rates of HIV and cervical cancer, this hits close to home.

One viral cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, took Al Copeland Sr.’s life in 2008. In the wake of this tragedy, the Al Copeland Foundation confronted these staggering viral infection numbers by recognizing a need for more help in Louisiana.

The Al Copeland Foundation-LSUHSC Partnership in Viruses, Cancer, and Immunotherapy was born. With community-funded efforts underway, the most brilliant minds in Louisiana set their focus on researching viral cancers and their interactions with the immune system. The initiative builds upon their valued expertise in viruses and immunotherapy一both strengths of the LSUHSC faculty一to be on the frontline for this therapy of the future.

Fewer Risks Taken

More Lives Saved

Our goal is to discover the best, most advanced techniques that can be used to prevent and treat viral cancers. Through critical research and extensive clinical trials, our program has continued to make progress in treating and learning more about this type of cancer. Immunotherapy treatment recognizes the virus in the body and attacks it, like it would a common cold. This process eliminates the need for more aggressive treatments, like chemotherapy, and allows patients to heal from within, without harming all the good cells helping fight the infection.

Thanks to generous donors like you, and the dedication of the entire LSUHSC faculty, the first Merkel Cell clinical trial patient received immunotherapy treatment in 2016. To this day, that patient is cancer-free, but our fight against viral cancer continues.

Help Save Lives

Our partnership with LSUHSC is building towards ultimately discovering a cure for these unpredictable cancers and finding healthier alternatives to more traditional, more aggressive treatments.