$1 Million Grant For Cancer Gene Therapy Research

Cancer Research, News — By on November 4, 2008 at 9:50 am

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death.

Dr. Carl June, director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in Penn’s School of Medicine, has received $1 million over the next three years from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Inc. (ACGT) to harness the immune system to fight the worst cases of ovarian cancer.

The award is entitled The Joan Miller and Linda Bernstein Gene Therapy Ovarian Cancer Award.

“With this grant from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy we plan to carry out a Phase 1 clinical trial to test whether the immune cells we designed to withstand the toxic effects of ovarian tumors are able to mediate tumor regression in patients with advanced cancer that has failed to regress after chemotherapy,” said Dr. June.

In preliminary studies, Dr. June’s group has developed genetically engineered T cells to augment traditional treatments. The engineered T cells have eradicated large tumors in pre-clinical experiments with animals.

Dr. June was selected by ACGT’s 12-member Scientific Advisory Council, which includes some of the nation’s most preeminent physicians and researchers in cancer gene therapy.

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