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DKMS honors Professor Carl June for his work in cancer immunology

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June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Foundation DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden honors Professor Carl H. June for his outstanding achievements in cancer immunology with the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award 2023. Throughout his career, the physician-scientist has made significant contributions to the field of immunology, including his pioneering work on the use of T cells in cancer. He was instrumental in the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, which has proven remarkably effective in treating patients with relapsed and refractory leukemia and lymphoma. Moreover, his work has not only created a paradigm shift in the treatment of blood cancers, but it also has the potential to improve treatment options for solid cancers, chronic infections, and autoimmune diseases in the future. Already, numerous preclinical and clinical trials are underway, which hold great promise not only for the scientific community, but most importantly for all affected patients and their families.

June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Following his early report of synthetic T cell activation nearly 30 years ago, June successfully developed a method of producing CAR-T cells to treat refractory and relapsed leukemia. This technology, which involves the genetic reengineering of a patient’s T cells to combat their disease, is the first gene transfer therapy technique that has demonstrated sustained success in cancer patients and has shown tremendous promise for the treatment of hematological malignancies. June demonstrated that it is possible to genetically alter patient-derived T cells to enable them to specifically recognise and kill cells that overexpress certain proteins, such as the CD19 (cluster of differentiation 19) antigen.

“It is a great honor to be selected for the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award. I join the ranks of many other great physicians and scientists who have already received this award. I share with the Harf family the sad story of losing a beloved family member far too soon, so it means a lot to me that we can meet in this way and toast to the future of cancer treatment. I thank DKMS and my many brilliant colleagues, along with all of the patients and their families who have put their trust in our research”, says Dr June.

 

 

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