Award Winner 2018

The 2018 Award of 50’000,00 Swiss Francs has been granted on June 19, 2019 in Lugano during the inaugural ceremony of the 15th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) to

Prof. Carl H. June, MD

for having developed the clinical methodology of using CAR-T cells, which could revolutionize the therapeutic approach to malignant lymphomas.

Prof. Carl H. June, MD is:
Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies
Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Carl H. June, born in 1953, is an American immunologist and oncologist. He is currently the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, which he joined in 1999 as a Professor of molecular and cellular engineering. He is a pioneer in the field of immunotherapy, most widely known for the development of T-cell therapy for different forms of cancer. In the 80’s, his lab discovered the CD28 molecule as the major control switch for the antitumor activity of T cells. A few years later, he tested the ability to culture genetically modified CAR-Ts in humans: these are lymphoid cells, which after the genetic modification are able to display typical activities of both B and T cells, including anti-tumors effects.

He was particularly able to discover how to culture these genetic modified CAR-Ts, observing that the cells could engraft and persist in patients with HIV-AIDS for years. Based on this observation, he developed then an astonishingly active treatment for end stage acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children. Since then this modality has been used and evaluated in different other neoplasms, first of all in malignant lymphomas. His discoveries have also led to the commercialization of CAR-T cells by various pharmaceutical companies.

The San Salvatore Foundation, with its base in Lugano (Switzerland) was created in 1979 by Carlo Pernsch, a well-known banker, and his wife Célestine with the purpose of promoting and rewarding medical and scientific research in the area of antitumor therapies.

For 40th years the San Salvatore Foundation has recognized with its awards numerous scientists who have contributed in a substantial manner to the scientific research on new approaches to antitumor therapeutics and has provided subsidies for and has financed scientific projects for the cure of neoplastic forms.