Carl June MD

Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Director, Translational Research Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Research Focus: Immunotherapy & Cancer Vaccines

Cancer Type: Lymphoma & Leukemia Ovarian Cancer

Award: Joan Miller & Linda Bernstein Gene Therapy Ovarian Cancer Award

Mesothelin Redirected T Cells Engineered for Enhanced Survival
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death, and though most patients respond to initial chemotherapy, the majority will eventually relapse and die of chemotherapy resistant disease. Despite the advent of newer chemotherapies, the 5-year survival for patients with advanced disease remains only 25%, and few patients are cured. In preliminary studies, we have developed genetically engineered T cells as a complimentary immunotherapy to augment traditional treatment strategies. The engineered T cells eradicate large tumors in pre-clinical experiments. In this project, we will conduct FDA-mandated pre-clinical experiments, manufacture clinical grade vector, obtain local IRB approval and FDA and NIH/OBA RAC federal approval for the protocol, and then conduct the clinical protocol. The protocol will test whether the T cells that are designed to withstand the toxic effects of the tumor are able to mediate tumor regression in patients with advanced ovarian cancer that has failed to regress after chemotherapy.

In addition to his laboratory work, Dr. June presented a double program at the ASGCT 2011 annual meeting: a symposium on the challenges of multi-center trials, and another which presented results of his trial using gene-modified T cells for HIV.


Dr. Carl June and his team at University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center are making great strides for the treatment of advanced CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia). The clinical trial, originally funded by ACGT, uses genetically modified versions of the patient’s own T cells. Both children and adults are now in remission.

In the words of Dr. June, “It is a great time for cancer gene therapy.”

Dr. Carl H. June, Gene Therapy for Lymphoma and Leukemia Award Recipient (2004)

Dr. Carl H. June, Scientific Advisory Council

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