The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing cancer immunotherapy. SITC aims to make cancer immunotherapy a standard of care and the word “cure” a reality for cancer patients everywhere.
Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) shares that goal and believes cancer cell and gene therapy will continue to hold curative potential for patients in need.
Throughout the 37th annual SITC meeting in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this month, the impact of ACGT was clearly demonstrated with ACGT Research Fellows and Scientific Advisory Council members leading plenary sessions and panel discussions and presenting the latest progress in cancer cell and gene therapy.
The cancer cell and gene therapy research pipeline continues to expand every year, and for the first time at SITC, there were more scientific abstracts submitted addressing cell therapy for cancer than any other field of immunotherapy. This underscores ACGT’s success in advancing innovative research and the proven potential of these therapies. ACGT has played a fundamental role in seeding and supporting the foundational cell and gene research that is now moving rapidly into clinical trials for patients.
ACGT hosts cell and gene therapy luminaries during SITC2022
On November 11, ACGT hosted an invitation-only cell and gene therapy luncheon hosted by ACGT’s Scientific Advisory Chair, Michael Lotze, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is both a prior president of SITC and a lifetime achievement awardee.
Crystal Mackall, MD – a member of ACGT’s Scientific Advisory Board, an ACGT Research Fellow focused on developing CAR T-cell therapy for pediatric cancers, and the SITC 2021 Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award winner – served as co-keynote speaker along with Hideho Okada, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, who both presented clinically impactful programs in brain tumors and solid tumors.
“Incrementally, step by step and with incredible perseverance and iterative invention we bring ideas to practical application.” — Crystal Mackall, MD, ACGT Research Fellow and Scientific Advisory Council member
Attendees included ACGT alliance members, fellows and industry leaders including:
- Century Therapeutics
- Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
- Third Rock Ventures
- Myeloid Therapeutics
- Leading cancer researchers from the top medical institutions
ACGT scientists featured during SITC meeting
This year’s meeting began with a plenary session that included ACGT Scientific Advisory Council members, ACGT Research Fellows, and cell and gene therapy luminaries, such as:
- Dr. Mackall, Stanford University
- Carl June, MD, University of Pennsylvania
- Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
“A challenge for the whole field is to solve the issue of the tumor microenvironment. It is going to be possible,” Dr. June said.
All three brilliant scientists were funded early by ACGT in their exploration of the potential of CAR T-cell therapy for blood cancers and sarcomas. That research led to the FDA approval of CAR T-cell therapy that is helping a growing number of patients and has enabled Dr. Mackall to pursue breakthroughs in treating children with deadly brain tumors.
“Brain tumors are an opportunity for cell therapies and CAR T in particular,” Dr. Mackall said.
Throughout the SITC week, ACGT Research Fellows were in full force presenting the latest progress from their labs:
- Brian Brown, PhD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented “The Diversity, Function and therapeutic Opportunities of Myeloid Cells in Cancer”
- Greg M. Delgoffe, PhD, of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, presented “Metabolism in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy”
These two presentations were part of a primer on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy designed to educate and motivate young scientists to join the cancer immunology field. This was followed by a presentation titled “Synthetic Biology in the Age of Cell-Based Immunotherapy” by ACGT Research Fellow, Yvonne Chen, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles.
ACGT continues its work advancing cancer cell and gene therapy research and its curative potential for cancer patients. Learn how you can be part of our alliance:
- For the latest of cancer cell and gene therapy from Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and to register for future events, please sign-up on our website.
- If you’d like to contact ACGT directly, please reach out in email to Barbara Lavery, Chief Program Officer of Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.
- If you would like to contribute to critical cancer cell and gene therapy research, please donate here. 100% of donations supports our research and programs.