Abramson Cancer Center Investigators Receive $500K for CAR T-cell Gene Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Feb 17, 2020 | Abramson Cancer Center, CAR T cell therapy, Gene Therapy, Prostate Cancer

Abramson Cancer Center Investigators Receive $500K for CAR T-cell Gene Therapy for Prostate Cancer

An elite scientific team developing new CAR T-cell gene therapy treatment for advanced metastatic prostate cancer at Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania received a $500,000 grant from Alliance for Cancer Care Therapy (ACGT).

Specifically, Joseph Fraietta, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and a T-cell biologist with expertise in tumor immunology and translational medicine, as well as Naomi Haas, MD, director of the Prostate and Kidney Cancer Program and nationally renowned expert in the field of prostate and kidney cancer, received the grant to overcome prostate cancer’s stubborn resistance to CAR T-cell therapy. To date CAR T-cell therapy has been successful in treating blood cancers. The Philadelphia-based team will explore approaches for reengineering T-cells to enable them to induce safe, long-term remission for advanced, metastatic prostate cancer patients.

Bedside back to Benchtop

In the ACGT-funded study, Drs. Fraietta and Haas are going from the bedside back to the benchtop to employ new insight into how to better enable T-cells to battle cancer cells in solid tumors. Drs. Haas and Fraietta will explore the connection between nutrient availability and epigenetic programming, and how these factors influence the viability of T-cells and their anti-tumor functionality. This research builds on durable results being achieved by Dr. Haas in related prostate cancer clinical trials. In these trials, different doses of CAR T-cell gene therapies are being used to treat metastatic patients for whom traditional hormonal therapies, chemotherapies, radiation and surgery have failed.

Who is Alliance for Cancer Care Therapy (ACGT)?

Based in Stamford, CT, the ACGT has spent the last 20 years funding research that helps bring innovative treatment options to people living with deadly cancers – treatments that save lives and offer new hope to all cancer patients. Founded by Barbara and Edward Netter after their daughter-in-law’s devastating death from breast cancer, ACGT funds researchers who are pioneering the potential of cancer cell and gene therapy – talented visionaries whose scientific advancements are driving the development of groundbreaking treatments for ovarian, prostate, sarcoma, glioblastoma, melanoma and pancreatic cancers. 100% of all public funds raised by ACGT directly support research.

Lead Research/Investigator

Joseph Fraietta, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and a T-cell biologist with expertise in tumor immunology and translational medicine

Naomi Haas, MD, director of the Prostate and Kidney Cancer Program

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Source: EurekAlert!

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