Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for UC San Diego Health patients and visitors. Learn More

Menu
Search

Thomas Kipps Receives ACGT Investigator Award

 

April 20, 2011  |  

Grant will help fund further testing of gene therapy treatment for leukemia patients

Citing his on-going development of an immune-mediated gene therapy for intractable B cell leukemia, the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) has awarded Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and deputy director of research operations at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, its 2010 Investigator Award in Clinical Translation of Cell and Gene Therapy.

The award comes with a $750,000 grant spread over three years. Kipps had previously received a 2005 ACGT Investigator grant to conduct a phase 1 safety trial of the gene therapy approach.

Thomas Kipps

Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD

Kipps, who holds the Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, specializes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL, the most common form of leukemia among adults in Western societies. CLL is currently consid¬ered incurable. More than 50 percent of relapsed CLL patients and 10 to 20 percent of newly diagnosed CLL patients have limited or no response to existing treatments, leading to a poor prognosis for survival.

Most therapy-resistant CLL patients exhibit a gene dysfunction on a particular chromosome.  Current therapeutic options for these patients usually involve high-risk immunosuppressive treat-ments, which further reduces their lifespan. Kipps’ alternative approach involves sensitizing leukemia cells to cell death (apoptosis), potentially making future treatments faster and more effective. Early research findings have been corroborated in vitro and in test patients who completed the proposed treatment course and achieved a complete response.

“There is a tremendous amount of new work that’s going on to find the effective targets for gene therapy and also the delivery vehicles,” said Kipps. “We’re seeing some very encouraging results right now that are being translated into clinical trials.”

About the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy
Over the past 10 years, the non-profit ACGT has funded more than $22 million in grants to some of the nation’s top investigators in the field of cell and gene therapy. Gene therapy is the process of introducing genetic material, usually DNA, to fight an acquired or inherited disease. Cell therapy treats disease by infusing or transplanting whole cells into the patient for the same purpose. For more information, visit www.acgtfoundation.org.

# # #

Media Contact: Scott LaFee, 619-543-6163, slafee@ucsd.edu


Related Specialties

Cancer


Media Contact

Share This Article


Related News

4/2/2020
Donations of personal protective equipment, food and money have flooded into UC San Diego Health, part of a community effort to treat and protect patients, staff and the community from COVID-19.
3/26/2020
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine are launching a pair of studies to answer critical questions regarding the roles COVID-19 may play in breast milk and pregnancy.
3/24/2020
Researchers at four University of California Health medical centers have begun recruiting participants for a Phase II clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of treating adult patients w ...
3/20/2020
Partnering with five diagnostics manufacturers, UC San Diego is significantly ramping up testing for COVID-19, projecting capacity to complete up to 1,500 tests daily within two to three weeks.



Follow Us