Dr. Otto Sankey, PhD

Arizona State University

Contact Details

Arizona State University


Otto Sankey, a patient advocate member of SITC. (Yes, you do have such a category with perhaps 2 members.) I was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 2013 and have undergone the usual treatments and have been very active in my planning my cancer journey. I am a retired Regents' Professor of Physics at Arizona State University and have been "doing" science" for 40 years. Immunotherapy is more targeted than many other cancer therapies, is potentially able to attack a broad spectrum of cancers, and is reasonably non-toxic (with glaring exceptions). For these reasons I am quite hopeful that immunotherapy will soon breakout as a first line treatment in cancer, including prostate cancer. I have somewhat of a distinction within SITC as having personally experienced some of the immunotherapies. I've had dendritic cell vaccines with PAP antigens (Sipuleucel-T = Provenge), and have currently just finished 4 rounds of immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA4, Opdivo and Yervoy).

He has worked in several areas of physics, mainly theoretical and computational materials physics and biological physics. He is a founding at member of the Center of Biological Physics at ASU, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, recipient Arizona State University Faculty Achievement Award – Most Influential Paper (Research) 2007, recipient Distinguished Alumni Award University of Missouri–St. Louis, and twice recipient of teaching awards at ASU. He has authored with students, and collaborators around the world 225 papers in scientific journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Nanotechnology, and his work is highly cited (h index of 56).

He was diagnosed with advance prostate cancer in October of 2013. Since then he has become a prostate cancer “warrior” fighting the disease, facilitates an UsTOO prostate cancer support and education group, and initiated a personal expedition exploring the science of prostate cancer, which led to the book
"Trouble With The Man Gland -- Journeys Of a Scientist Patient Exploring The Science of Advanced Prostate Cancer," and a science of advanced prostate cancer website .