New Approach for Cell Therapy Shows Potential Against Solid Tumors with KRAS Mutations

A new technology for cellular immunotherapy developed by Abramson Cancer Center researchers at Penn Medicine showed promising anti-tumor activity in the lab against hard-to-treat cancers driven by the once-considered “undruggable” KRAS mutation, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic.

AACI Members Choose Winn as President-Elect

Robert Winn, MD, director of VCU Massey Cancer Center, has been elected by the members of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) to serve as vice president/president-elect of AACI’s board of directors.

Low on Antibodies, Blood Cancer Patients Can Fight off COVID-19 with T Cells

Antibodies aren’t the only immune cells needed to fight off COVID-19 — T cells are equally important and can step up to do the job when antibodies are depleted, suggests a new Penn Medicine study of blood cancer patients with COVID-19 published in Nature Medicine.

Five Years Later: Penn-developed CAR T Therapy Shows Long-lasting Remissions in Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

A significant number of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients in a Penn Medicine-initiated clinical trial continue to be in remission five years after receiving the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah™, researchers in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Penn Medicine Cancer Cell Therapy Pioneer Carl June, MD, Named 2021 Dan David Prize Laureate

International cancer cell therapy pioneer Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, has been named a 2021 Dan David Prize Laureate.

New Biomarker May Predict Which Pancreatic Cancer Patients Respond to CD40 Immunotherapy

Inflammation in the blood could serve as a new biomarker to help identify patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who won’t respond to the immune-stimulating drugs known as CD40 agonists, suggests a new study from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania published in JCI Insight.

Penn Medicine Researchers Receive $5.4 million Grant to Find Genetic Drivers of Testicular Cancer

A team of researchers led by Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, deputy director of the Abramson Cancer Center and the Pearl Basser Professor for BRCA-Related Research in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently awarded $5.4 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to continue the long-standing genomics work of the TEsticular CAncer Consortium.

Brain Tumor Organoids May be Key to Time-sensitive Treatments for Glioblastomas

Lab-grown brain organoids developed from a patient’s own glioblastoma, the most aggressive and common form of brain cancer, may hold the answers on how to best treat it. A new study in Cell from researchers at Penn Medicine showed how glioblastoma organoids could serve as effective models to rapidly test personalized treatment strategies.

How Oncologists Can Ethically Navigate the “Right-to-Try” Drug Law

The 2018 federal Right to Try Act allows patients with a life-threatening illness to be treated with drugs that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many in the oncology community say Right to Try strips away important regulatory protections and view the move as a risky step bound to create ethical dilemmas for physicians whose goal is to guide patients toward safe and appropriate treatment decisions. Oncology is one field at the forefront of requests for unapproved drugs. An interdisciplinary team of bioethicists, oncologists, and lawyers from Penn Medicine and other institutions penned a commentary published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology to offer recommendations to help oncologists navigate this new “Right to Try” world, while maintaining their ethical obligations to patients.