February 23, 2016




Vice President, Joe Biden, meets with UPenn representatives, including Dr. Carl June (pictured second from right).
Following the President's State of the Union call to shoot the moon on cancer, Vice President Biden is leading the charge. The Vice President launched the effort at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center, where ACGT has a longstanding partnership, and highlighted the revolutionary immunotherapy research conducted there. Two ACGT Scientists have been at the forefront of Abramson's research into immune-mediated treatments: Dr. Carl June, ACGT Scientific Advisory Council member, whose clinical trials lead the field, and Dr. Robert Vonderheide, with groundbreaking research in melanoma and pancreatic cancer. The President has asked Congress for nearly $1 billion in new funding to support a government-wide effort to break down the barriers to progress. Read more about the cancer moonshot.



Three ACGT Young Investigator grants have been awarded to researchers to build upon earlier bench research. These state-of-the-art academics are raising the bar for medical science and forging the groundwork for more effective treatments.

Dr. Yvonne Chen
Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Chen is using CAR-T therapy, with a focus on proteins that bind to a specific disease marker found in advanced leukemia and lymphoma. Because of this marker, conventional treatments have been ineffective. Dr. Chen plans to further research the technique to better understand the biochemistry and to refine the screening method in order to ensure consistently high outcomes.

Dr. Brent Hanks
Assistant Professor, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Dr. Hanks is expanding on promising laboratory research to develop a vaccine that triggers the immune system to attack melanoma, a cancer that has been steadily increasing, with 76,000 new cases last year alone. The research focuses on a fatty acid that may hold the key to shutting down the tumor's natural blockade so that the body's killer T-cells can attack and destroy the tumor.

Dr. Samuel Katz
Assistant Professor, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Dr. Katz's research uses RNA proteins extracted from a patient and re-engineered to turn on the immune system to destroy blood cancer, an approach that may prove applicable to many forms of cancer. This form of immunotherapy, like most cell and gene therapies, attacks only the cancer, without damage to other parts of the body, and side effects are minimal. Chimeric antigen receptor [CAR] T-cell treatment is proving successful in many laboratories and there is tremendous potential for immune-mediated treatments to become the more effective protocol in cancer care.


Leigh Perkins is a supporter of ACGT.
Leigh Perkins of Ohio is a 16 year-old philanthropist who is fascinated with cancer cell and gene therapy. She says she gained perspective on the world as just a first grader, when she traveled with her mother and brother for a year. More recently, she had a [thankfully uneventful] medical scare that spurred an interest in genetic disease. She says she has been taught since she was very young to encourage change and her great grandfather started a family foundation to inspire generosity. "I think philanthropy is one of the most important things you can do - five dollars or five trillion dollars, or simply raising awareness - anything you do is a step toward a better world." Thank you, Leigh, for supporting ACGT. We cannot do all we do without people like you.

  "Charities like ACGT are here to do the hard work: hiring the right people, targeting problems and solutions, conducting research, etc. I love that ACGT takes a very individualized, down-to-the core approach. All they need is for us to lift them up."
Leigh Perkins

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Harvard Club of New York City
5:30 PM Reception with Scientists
6:15 PM Award Presentation

This is a free event, but space is limited. Please contact Joshua Corday for reservations jcorday@acgtfoundation.org or 203-358-5055.

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events.

Swimmers, boaters, and volunteers needed. Register today.

ACGT is the only non-profit organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to funding  cell and gene therapies for cancer. Since its founding in 2001, ACGT has awarded 49 grants of over $25 million in North America, and continues to be a catalyst for cell and gene therapy research.
100% of all donations are used to support ACGT research grants and studies in cell and gene therapies for cancer.

Share our hope and share our dedication to more effective ways of targeting cancer .
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