On June 10, 2013, Carl H. June, M.D., a specialist in T cell biology and lymphocyte activation at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, discussed his groundbreaking work that has led to remarkable remissions of advanced cancer. He focused on recent and ongoing successes in developing treatments with T cells that have been genetically engineered to target cancer. Called chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR T cells), these modified immune cells have proven effective at eliminating cancer in some patients, and offer great hope for this emerging strategy in cancer immunotherapy.
Dr. June is director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, is an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, and is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the last decade years the June laboratory has been studying the potential use of adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and HIV infection. His lab has developed a large-scale tissue culture technique that permits the efficient propagation of polyclonal HIV CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets. Several clinical trials involving adoptive immunotherapy of autologous and allogeneic T cells are in process. Dr. June is currently leading a clinical trial testing his T cell therapy in pancreatic cancer patients. The trial is funded by Cancer Research Institute and the Lustgarten Foundation.