Why we exist.

“I have no doubt that new gene therapies will become the solutions we need to fight cancer. They are already transforming the world of medicine.”

Seth Pollack, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Why We Exist

The need to succeed.

Every year in the U.S., nearly two million people are diagnosed with cancer. Traditional cancer surgery, chemotherapy and radiation give patients precious moments but no long-term promise. New cancer therapies using the body’s own cells and genes are changing this.

In 2001, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy became one of the first and only funding agencies to embrace a progressive vision for the underfunded but exceptionally promising discipline of cancer cell and gene therapy. The organization quickly became a catalytic force in shaping entirely new cancer treatment models by identifying, funding, and advancing the most innovative and impactful translational research in cell and gene therapies.

To date, we have awarded more than $30 million in grants to world class cancer researchers representing the top medical institutions in the U.S. and Canada, advancing new approaches to leukemia, lymphoma, ovarian, prostate, sarcoma, glioblastoma, melanoma, lung and pancreatic cancers.

While we have made incredible breakthroughs, we are still facing huge unmet needs, particularly in hard-to-treat cancers like pancreatic cancer and brain cancer.

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It’s time for another breakthrough.

Among the most life-changing breakthroughs for patients are the previously unattainable long-term remissions now being achieved through chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for blood cancers. These include KYMRIAH®, developed by Novartis; and YESCARTA® and Tecartus™, developed by Kite – a Gilead Company. These therapies were driven by Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy’s funding of early work by some of the most impactful innovators in cancer research, including Carl H. June, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania and Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Today there is an urgent need to translate the profound success of CAR T-cell therapies for blood cancers into successful therapies for the most complex and deadly cancers – solid tumor cancers. Current funding priorities work to tackle pancreatic cancer and brain cancer, and to advance the understanding of solid tumor biology that will lead to curative therapies.

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Our story begins and ends with patients.

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy founders Edward and Barbara Netter became strong advocates of cell and gene therapies after losing their daughter-in-law to an 11-year battle with breast cancer. Their vision for the organization has led directly to profound scientific breakthroughs and completely new approaches to treating cancer.

Unlike surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, cancer cell and gene therapies create “living drugs” that use a person’s own cells and genes as medicine to stem, control and ultimately eliminate cancer in the body. Every cancer cell and gene therapy study, every clinical trial, every success and even every failure strengthens the research community’s understanding of the immune system’s complexities and the biological building blocks that make cancer such a formidable foe.

Today, patients with blood cancers are achieving long-term remission far beyond what was previously possible and new cell and gene therapies are being tested in hundreds of clinical trials – bringing cures within reach for all cancer patients.

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Help advance our vision for a cure to all cancers.

100% of public donations directly support frontline scientists working on thoroughly vetted and responsibly monitored cancer cell and gene therapy research enabling Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy to award $30.7 million through 61 grants to 59 innovative researchers, representing 34 top medical institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

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