"Alberta Cellular Therapy and Immune Oncology Initiative" text laid over city of Calgary landscape

Alberta Cellular Therapy and Immune Oncology Initiative

An Alberta based research initiative in designer immune cell therapy of cancer. 

What is Immunotherapy?

Hope for patients with hard-to-treat cancers has emerged from a new type of treatment called immunotherapy, which leverages the patient's own immune system to fight cancer. One very exciting form of immunotherapy involves engineering the patients cells (e.g., chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells) to find and attack cancer cells. 

Illustration of a gene for a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) being inserted into an immune cell to create a CAR immune cell. The CAR immune cell has now been programmed to find a unique target on cancer cells, and attack those cancer cells leading to the death of cancer cells.

The overarching goal of ACTION is to develop effective immune-based therapies for cancers of children and adults using immune cells (e.g., T-cells) that are engineered to recognize and kill cancer cells, without harming normal tissues—a challenge for many of our current cancer treatments.

To achieve this goal, our scientists and doctors have launched a new program of discovery and innovation to create the next-generation of designer immune cell therapies for cancer. 

Our Vision

Better treatments for deadly cancers

Our Mission

Develop innovative new designer cell therapies for safe and effective treatment of high-fatality cancers in children and adults


Core Values

Capacity Building

Build capacity that will enable our specific research objectives, create an environment for sustainable immunotherapy research in Alberta, and train the next generation of basic and clinical immunotherapy scientists. 

Integrated Knowledge Translation

Involve knowledge end-users (including patients, clinicians, advocates, regulators and decision-makers) in the research process to transform existing and new knowledge generated into better medicines and services for cancer care. 

Teamwork

Enable interdisciplinary team-based science that builds on local strengths and supports excellent and impactful "bench-to-bedside" science with pillars of discovery, innovation and clinical translation. 

Hope

Create hope for cancer patients, including underserved cancer populations with rare and refractory cancers.