Teams led by Ludwig MIT’s Sangeeta Bhatia and Imperial College London’s Molly Stevens have developed a tool that detects colon cancer through a color change in urine. This early stage technology involves injecting nanosensors into mice. These protein sensors are cut up by enzymes in tumors known as proteases and released in urine, where their presence is detected by color change.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein and Ludwig Stanford Director Irv Weissman have won the 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Weissman is renowned for being the first to isolate and characterize a human tissue stem cell—the hematopoeitic stem cell. Vogelstein is known for modeling the progressive mutational events underlying colorectal cancer and for being part of the team that first sequenced a cancer exome.
In an open access BMC Medicine article co-authored by Ludwig’s Deputy Scientific Director Bob Strausberg, an international collaborative led by Ludwig Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK has identified key areas that are central to uncovering the complex relationship between nutrition and cancer. Advancing research on these core areas using a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach could catalyze progress urgently needed to prevent cancer and improve public health globally.
Researchers led by Ludwig Stanford Director Irv Weissman have discovered a new signal, transmitted by a protein known as CD24, that cancer uses to evade destruction by the immune system. Blocking this signal in mice implanted with human cancers allows immune cells to attack the cancers.
In this interview, Ludwig San Diego’s Frank Furnari discusses a recent Cancer Cell paper, in which he defined a targetable mechanism that increased the sensitivity of glioblastoma (GBM) to radiotherapy.
Ludwig Harvard investigator Rakesh Jain is one of several scientists exploring how the tumor microenvironment can help shield cancer cells from chemotherapy. His lab has shown that fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment impair the delivery of chemotherapies, while Ludwig Lausanne’s Johanna Joyce has investigated how chemotherapy can transform macrophages into allies of the tumor.
In a Science Translational Medicine study, researchers led in part by Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein describe how a laboratory test using artificial intelligence tools has the potential to more accurately sort out which people with pancreatic cysts will go on to develop pancreatic cancers.
In this interview, Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos discusses the potential of immunotherapies like checkpoint inhibitors and T-cell therapy to expand treatment options for cancer patients. This article is in German.
A Cell Metabolism study led by Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel has identified an enzyme involved in remodeling the cell membrane of cancer cells that is critical to both the survival and uncontrolled growth of multiple types of tumors. The study suggests a potential target for new cancer therapies.
In this interview, Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos explores the potential that immunotherapies have to transform cancer management, the costs associated with further research and the implications for patients.
Precision oncology has moved from a niche focus area to expand across the practice of oncology. In this interview, Ludwig Scientific Director Chi Van Dang reflects on his experiences with precision oncology in clinical practice and promising scientific research. (Subscription required)
Ludwig Johns Hopkins’ Bert Vogelstein and his colleagues have developed several technologies in the past few years that have become the foundations for well-funded spinoff cancer diagnostics companies. For example, CancerSEEK—liquid biopsy tech designed to screen for and detect at least eight different types of cancer at earlier stages—was recently spun out into a startup called Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. (Subscription required)
Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos and his team have deciphered a complex molecular conversation between cancer and immune cells that is key to orchestrating the successful invasion of tumors by T cells that kill cancer cells. The Cancer Cell study identifies biomarkers of great relevance to cancer immunotherapy and could enable a more precise clinical classification of tumors.
In this interview, Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, highlights GBM AGILE, a study run by nonprofit brain cancer groups that aims to test various glioblastoma treatments. GBM AGILE was initially conceived in 2015 by over 130 global collaborators, including Web Cavenee, Director of Strategic Alliances in Central Nervous System Cancers, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
When at Memorial Sloan Kettering, immunotherapy pioneer Nils Lonberg exchanged ideas with Dr. Lloyd Old, former Ludwig Institute Scientific Director and CEO, who believed the immune system could be harnessed against cancer.
In this interview, Ludwig Harvard researcher Arlene Sharpe discusses her career, scientific discoveries and research on the PD-1 pathway, which has led to immunotherapy drugs now being used against more than a dozen types of cancer.
In a new eLife study, a team led by Matthew Vander Heiden of Ludwig MIT analyzed the composition of the interstitial fluid that normally surrounds pancreatic tumors and found that its nutrient composition is different from that of the culture medium normally used to grow cancer cells. Growing cancer cells in a culture medium more similar to this interstitial fluid could help researchers better predict how experimental drugs will affect cancer cells.
In this interview, Ludwig Stanford investigator Maximilian Diehn discusses the new urine test method he and his team developed to detect bladder cancer, the benefit of urine-based tests compared with other bladder cancer detection methods, and the likelihood that this approach could become widely adopted.
In a panel at the AACR Annual Meeting, Ludwig Johns Hopkins’ Nickolas Papadopoulos discussed the potential for liquid biopsies to help detect cancer earlier, but noted that much more research is needed. He also said that with detection, “it’s a difference of thinking proactively rather than reactively” in our response to cancer.
Heterogeneity in human tumors is key to cancers’ ability to develop immunotherapy resistance. So rather than using mouse models, Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos has obtained surgically resected human tumors for testing new immunotherapy drugs.
In this video interview from the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok discusses the data to date on checkpoint blockades and the rationale for combination therapies and novel agents.
In this opinion piece, Ludwig Stanford’s Sam Gambhir argues that we should more aggressively pursue “precision health,” which he defined as ways to prevent disease and, when that isn’t possible, intercept and treat it earlier.
The AGORA building—which will eventually house around 300 scientists from three Lausanne institutions (CHUV, EPFL, UNIL), two Geneva institutions (UNIGE and HUG) and from the Ludwig Institute—will facilitate collaboration and act as a melting pot for scientific ideas.
Researchers at the Ludwig Center at Harvard have used single-cell technologies and machine learning to create a detailed “atlas of cell states” for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that could help improve treatment of the aggressive cancer. (Subscription required)
Bisulfite sequencing has long been the gold standard for analyzing methylation, despite its shortcomings. Now, Ludwig Oxford scientists have developed a new and improved method, called TET-assisted pyridine borane sequencing, or TAPS, to detect chemical modifications to DNA. (Subscription required)
CancerSEEK, a blood test devised by researchers at the Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins, is one of several methods in development to detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), which may indicate cancer.
The health-care industry is preparing for a new law, going in effect in 2020, that researchers say will mean more treatments for pediatric cancers. Ludwig Stanford’s Crystal Mackall says “It is an incredibly exciting time …We have lots of drug companies who want to speak with us suddenly. Before, we went hat in hand, cajoling.” (Subscription required.)