The mission of ACGT is to support revolutionary scientific research into the causes, treatment and prevention of all types of cancer using cells and genes as medicine. ACGT is committed to building alliances between philanthropic individuals and organizations, and medical and academic institutions, to promote gene therapy research to combat cancer.

In the words of ACGT Co-Founder, Edward Netter, “We are confident that cancer gene therapies are moving towards a tipping point and that someday, sooner rather than later, cancer will be treated with far greater odds of success and less toxicity to the patient.”

Progress & Achievements


  • FDA approves the first gene therapy treatment for cancer in the United States, a CAR T gene therapy developed by Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania based on early funding from ACGT.


  • Turnstone Biologics is co-founded by ACGT Fellow and Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. John Bell, to develop the next-generation of immunotherapies for cancer patients with a focus on oncolytic virotherapy.
  • ACGT Fellow, Dr. Laurence Cooper, becomes CEO of Ziopharm, a biotechnology company employing novel gene expression, control and cell technologies to deliver safe, effective and scalable cell-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and graft-versus-host-disease, a type of auto-immune disease.
  • Wendy Walk,org co-funds three-year clinical award for sarcoma research with Swim Across America


  • ACGT Fellow and Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. Michel Sadelain, is a founding scientist of Juno Therapeutics, biotechnology company focused on bringing forward novel immunotherapies for cancer that include the reprogramming of T cells to attack cancer.


  • ACGT Fellow Dr. Thomas Kipps of the University of San Diego achieves remission in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with immunotherapy treatment that received research funding from Swim Across America grant.
  • Novartis enters into an exclusive global research and licensing agreement with the University of Pennsylvania to further study and commercialize novel cellular immunotherapies using CAR T technologies developed by ACGT Fellow and Scientific Advisory Council member, Dr. Carl June.


  • Dr. Carl June achieves remission in adult CLL patients with CAR T gene therapy treatment.
  • Biotech and pharmaceutical companies begin to form partnerships with researchers to accelerate progress.


  • Swim Across America selects ACGT to be beneficiary of the 2007 inaugural Greenwich-Stamford Swim.
  • ACGT meets extensive standards of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, America’s most experienced charity evaluator.


  • ACGT awards first clinical translational grants for immunotherapy to Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Michel Sadelain at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


  • Phase I of Human Genome Map completed
  • Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy founded by Barbara and Edward Netter to promote cell and gene therapy research for cancer.