As we celebrate this wonderful season of giving, we want to thank all of our donors for helping support ACGT’s breakthrough research. And we want to thank our researchers and their patients who are continually moving cell and gene therapies for cancer to the forefront of innovation in the treatment of this deadly disease. 2015 has been a wonderful year full of outstanding cell and gene therapy progress, and there is much to celebrate. We continue to see more successful results with the use of T-cell therapy for the treatment of leukemia in both adult and pediatric patients. Many of our researchers continue to achieve life-saving results including Dr. Carl June, Dr. Michel Sadelain, Dr. Laurence Cooper, Dr. Thomas Kipps to name a few.
2015 has also been the year of oncolytic viruses (OV), as the FDA recently approved the first OV therapy for the treatment of blood cancer. Many of ACGT’s scientists, including current ACGT grantee Dr. John Bell, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute have pioneered this gene therapy. We have also witnessed the emergence of gene editing, and in London, it was successfully used on donor T-cells to treat a little girl in London who was dying of leukemia and is now cancer-free. And just this month, suicide gene therapy was use to successfully kill prostate tumor cells.
All of these powerful therapies are being researched by ACGT Research Fellows and members of our esteemed Scientific Advisory Council. But there is still much to do. These therapies are still in their infancy and need more support to get them into more patients, while keeping the costs of production down. And we need more support for ACGT’s Young Investigator program which supports newly minted Assistant Professors conducting novel independent basic science using cell and gene therapies.
Again, thank you to all and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2016.