Gene therapy is the transfer of normal or redesigned genes into a patient to reduce or alleviate a disease state.
Certain potentially cancerous genes are dormant in all of us and are sometimes triggered into activity. Other genes, tumor-suppressor genes, act naturally to stop unregulated growth of cancer cells.
The W. M. Keck Center for Innovative Cancer Therapies program at MD Anderson has assembled scientists and clinicians with an interest in sharing research ideas and findings worldwide. We all share the common goal of curing cancer.
The major goals of the Innovative Cancer Therapies Program will be to enhance communication and collaboration among investigators and to develop new funding opportunities. One goal of the program is to obtain sufficient funding to set up a permanent endowment. This endowment would provide continuous funding for a Innovative Cancer Therapies Institute. This would be “an institute without walls” that would be inclusive for all investigators with an interest in relaxed areas of research.
The Innovative Cancer Therapies Program would be highly interactive with existing programs. It is likely that gene therapy research projects will develop in other programs and that these programs will seek expertise in gene therapy. We envision these specific goals:
- Recruitment of faculty with expertise in areas of gene transfer
- Seminars and symposium
- New funding initiatives
- Web site
- Invited speakers
From the Director - Jack A. Roth, M.D.
Cancer is a disease of genes. The genetic abnormalities in cancer cells present new targets for cancer treatment and prevention. The Innovative Cancer Therapies program at MD Anderson has organized over 50 researchers with an interest in this exciting area of gene therapy. The program members include basic scientist and clinicians with interests including vector development, regulation of gene expression, functional genomics and clinical trials.
The mission of the Innovative Cancer Therapies program is to provide a forum for investigators sharing research ideas and findings worldwide. Membership in the Program is open to all investigators with an interest in gene therapy research.