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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Ludwig Lausanne’s George Coukos was named the Personality in Science by Finanz und Wirtschaft, a leading Swiss business paper that selects four people each year as the “Personalities of the Year.” This article is in German (PDF).
A Cell study led by Ludwig Stanford’s Michelle Monje examines the cellular mechanisms behind “chemo brain,” the cognitive impairment from chemotherapy that lingers after the cancer is gone, and identifies a potential remedy.
Ludwig Lausanne’s Lana Kandalaft discusses emerging dendritic cell targets, treatment cost and the future of cancer immunotherapy.
Phil Greenberg, a Ludwig SAC member and recipient of the 2018 Richard V. Smalley, M.D., Memorial Award and Lecture, answers five questions about the present and future of cancer immunotherapy.
Home to the new translational research center on cancer, the Agora building in Lausanne will bring together nearly 300 researchers and clinicians to create new therapies for patients. Initiated in 2013 by the ISREC Foundation, this project stems from a partnership between the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the CHUV, the HUG, the University of Lausanne, the University of Geneva and EPFL. This article is in French.
Two new pancreatic cancer research laboratories opening at MIT and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are giving researchers and patients renewed hope in fighting a disease that claims thousands of lives each year. The lab led by Ludwig MIT’s Tyler Jacks will focus on how doctors can use the immune system to control pancreatic cancer.
In this contributed piece, Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok, Roberta Zappasodi and Taha Merghoub describe their recent Cancer Cell study, in which they identified a new subset of immunosuppressive T cells.
Ludwig MSK’s Luis Felipe Campesato argues in this essay that though recent breakthroughs have made immunotherapy one of the pillars of cancer care, much progress is needed to expand its use across patients and cancer types.
“The Microenvironmental Landscape of Brain Tumors,” a review written by Ludwig Lausanne’s Johanna Joyce and her colleague Daniela Quail, was selected to be part of Cancer Cell’s ‘Best of 2017’ issue.
When patients with adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma were treated with nivolumab (Opdivo), a checkpoint inhibitor, their disease quickly became much worse, doctors reported in a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine. “This is a time of very rapid learning,” said Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok, who was not involved in the study. He believes that patients with any type of T-cell lymphoma should be carefully monitored if given a checkpoint inhibitor.
Scientists have reported a new approach that eliminated all evidence of advanced-stage breast cancer after a single infusion of the patient’s own immune cells. Ludwig Stanford’s Crystal Mackall, who was not involved in the study, called it “elegant in its simplicity” but noted that the approach will only be a viable option if scientists can uncover faster, simpler and cheaper ways to find, isolate and multiply the tiny subset of immune cells that are still in the fight.
Genetic research advances are beginning to make personalized treatments a reality. Ludwig Lausanne’s George Coukos comments that this is “an extraordinary moment in human history” when the word “cure” can be seriously used in relation to cancer, our most feared global killer. However, uncertainties and frustrations must be overcome if the vision of defeating cancer is to become a reality for all.
During the society’s annual meeting scheduled for June 1-5 in Chicago, ASCO will present awards to several leaders of cancer care including Ludwig Chicago’s Ralph R. Weichselbaum, who received the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture, which recognizes an oncologist who has made outstanding contribution to cancer research, diagnosis, or treatment.
Immunotherapy remains one of the biggest hopes for finding a breast cancer cure. Among other topics, Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok discusses lessons researchers can take from successful cases—melanoma, lung or other cancers—that can be applied to breast cancer on Investigating Breast Cancer, the official podcast of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Ludwig Lausanne’s Lana Kandalaft, George Coukos and Alexandre Harari study shows that an entirely new type of personalized cancer vaccine induces novel, potent and clinically effective immune responses in patients receiving a combination of standard therapies for recurrent, stage III and IV ovarian cancer.
A study published in Science Translational Medicine led by Ludwig MIT’s Robert Weinberg found that surgery in breast cancer patients may trigger a systemic immunosuppressive response, allowing the outgrowth of dormant cancer cells at distant sites whose ability to generate tumors had previously been kept in check by the immune system.
A Ludwig Cancer Research study, led by Ludwig Lausanne investigator Alexandre Harari and Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos, shows that ovarian cancer, which has proved resistant to currently available immunotherapies, could be susceptible to personalized immunotherapy.
Ludwig’s Scientific Director Chi Van Dang, the new Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research, discusses the evolution of cancer research, advances in areas like the tumor microenvironment, and challenges raised by the complexity of cancer.
Ludwig’s Scientific Director Chi Van Dang expressed excitement about promising areas in the Lancet Oncology Commission report, which expands on recommendations of the Cancer Moonshot’s blue ribbon panel.
In this interview, Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos discusses why he chose to focus on tumor research and immunotherapy, how innovative technologies can lead to greater understanding of tumor development, novel therapeutic options for cancer and more.
“A key challenge in cancer immunotherapy is to understand why some patients respond to immunotherapy but many others do not,” says Ludwig Brussels Director Benoit Van den Eynde. In a new study, covered by AACR, Van den Eynde and colleagues provide a rationale for testing anti-PD1 immunotherapy in combination with COX-2 inhibitors in the clinic to improve responses.
Companies like iTeos, founded by Ludwig Cancer Research, are testing IDO inhibitors to boost cancer immunotherapy. Founded by Ludwig with the de Duve Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, iTeos is led by a team experienced in tumor immunology, immunotherapy, drug discovery, business development and entrepreneurship.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins scientists were involved in the development of the first FDA-approved drug for cancer based on disease genetics rather than location. Now, some patients with advanced pancreatic cancer have another treatment option.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein illustrated the theme of the 2017 ACCR Annual Meeting—”Discover, Predict, Prevent, Treat”—at this year’s opening plenary. He explained that the development of new therapies goes hand in hand with the development of new prevention strategies. One key step is identifying the source of mutations for each type of cancer by improved molecular markers of disease using diagnostics such as liquid biopsies.
The Lausanne University Hospital (Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, CHUV) is focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies. Under the guidance of Ludwig Lausanne Director George Coukos, the chosen path forward is immunotherapy. In this interview, Lana Kandalaft, Ludwig Lausanne scientist and head of The Center for Experimental Therapies (CTE), shares an update on how her team is working to bring research to the clinic. This article is in French.
Ludwig MSK’s Dmitriy Zamarin spoke with Targeted Oncology about ways to make immunotherapy more effective in gynecological cancers. Zamarin says success will require combination approaches, biomarker development and identifying subpopulations that are more likely to benefit from immunotherapy.
As we step into 2017, a big question looming in the minds of all stakeholders in the cancer research arena is: What is the future of cancer research in the new administration?
Researchers led by Ludwig MSK’s Taha Merghoub reported how a targeted drug can reverse the effects of certain immune cells that suppress responses to cancer immunotherapy. ”We can now potentially identify patients whose tumors possess immune suppressor cells and add a drug to their treatment regimen to specifically disarm them,” Merghoub tells GEN.
Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok is joining forces with scientists across disciplines to fight a common foe: pancreatic cancer. This “convergence” team includes physicists, computational biologists and physicians who will pool their skills and knowledge to test a new hypothesis—that treatment with synthetic vitamin D can make treatment-resistant pancreas tumors vulnerable to a patient’s immune system.
A blue ribbon panel, co-chaired by Tyler Jacks of Ludwig MIT and including Ludwig scientists George Demetri and Levi Garraway, released a report for the Cancer Moonshot that describes a set of 10 recommendations for accelerating cancer research to achieve the ambitious goal of making a decade’s worth of progress in 5 years.
Ludwig MSK scientist Jedd Wolchok discusses innovative ways that doctors are using the immune system to treat cancer.
A team co-led by Sangeeta Bhatia, researcher at Ludwig MIT, engineered strains of Salmonella bacteria to produce three types of cancer-killing drugs. The Atlantic reported on their findings, which show that, when used in combination with chemotherapy, the engineered bacteria can induce dramatic regressions of aggressive colon tumors.
A new Nature study co-authored by Irv Weissman, director of Ludwig Stanford, found that the “don’t eat me” signal many tumor cells display on their surfaces to evade immune system attack – called CD47 – also appears to play a role in enabling atherosclerosis, the process underlying heart attacks and strokes. Stanford’s Scope blog explains the significance of these findings.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins scientist Luis Diaz spoke to Bloomberg about how a cancer patient’s response to immunotherapy is tied to the number of mutations in tumor cells.
Ludwig Stanford scientist Crystal Mackall shares her research and weighs in on recent successes in the field, stating that immunotherapy is “the biggest thing to hit cancer in the last decade and likely will dominate the next.”
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivered an address at the AACR Annual Meeting, calling on researchers to accelerate progress against cancer by working more collaboratively and sharing data more freely. Ludwig Harvard director George Demetri was quoted in this article on the address, which also summarized key findings reported at the meeting.
Researchers led by Ludwig Harvard scientist Stephen Hodi reported at the AACR Annual Meeting that 34 percent of patients with advanced melanoma who were treated the immunotherapy nivolumab alone were still alive five years later.
Ludwig Harvard scientist Stephen Hodi discussed the results of the longest follow-up survival study conducted to date on patients with advanced melanoma who were treated with the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab.
Forty Seven, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company founded by Ludwig Stanford director Irv Weissman, announced that it has completed the first half of a $75 million financing round and has licensed the rights to multiple immuno-oncology programs from Stanford University.
Ludwig Harvard director George Demetri talks to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews about what can be accomplished with Vice President Biden’s “Moonshot” initiative.
Ludwig Harvard director George Demetri was among the top cancer researchers who met with United States Vice President Joe Biden’s staff to discuss ideas for his cancer “moonshot” initiative announced during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
In the war on cancer, 2015 will be remembered for more than just the new drugs that were approved. It was a year marked by many new discoveries about the disease that will continue to drive improvements in how it is prevented and treated.
In this Q&A, Ludwig MSK’s Alexander Rudensky talks about the function of regulatory T cells, a type of immune cell, and how targeting these cells may eventually lead to new immunotherapy treatments for cancer as well as other types of disease.
Seen as a major breakthrough in cancer treatment, immuno-oncology could be the hope the world has waited for.
Owing to successful outcomes from clinical trials, the FDA has approved three immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat certain metastatic melanomas and advanced lung cancers. All current FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitors are antibodies. But are antibodies truly the best immune checkpoint inhibitors?
Le Conseil d’Etat vaudois et un institut américain ont annoncé jeudi des dizaines de millions de francs d’investissement pour développer la recherche sur le cancer au CHUV et à l’UNIL.
Treating advanced melanoma patients with two of the new drugs that help their immune systems fight cancer is more effective than using either drug alone, researchers showed in a study released Sunday that expands physicians’ arsenal against the lethal disease and, potentially, other cancers.
Patients with colon and other cancers who have a specific defect in genes needed for DNA repair are far more likely to respond to a new class of drugs such as Merck & Co’s Keytruda, which enlist the immune system to attack tumors, a new study has shown.
Recent clinical data suggest that combination immunotherapy may be the wave of the future. To capitalize on these exciting findings, the scientific, logistical, proprietary and financial hurdles to the clinical testing of combination therapy must be addressed.
New drugs release the body’s own weapons: killer white blood cells called T cells. And that approach is one of several bringing a huge amount of excitement to the field of cancer research, one that can be palpably felt here at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, where researchers are unveiling advances large and small.
How exactly genes and environment interact to propel malignancy is only just beginning to be worked out, but one thing is clear: our habits play a big role.
Each new study seems to augment the good news about checkpoint inhibitors. Second-generation versions of these drugs, which lift the brake that tumor cells put on T-cell activation, have gained approval for recurrent melanoma and shown some activity against advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.
Immunotherapy has shown remarkable gains in treating cancer by harnessing the body’s own immune system, and Dr. Jedd Wolchok of Ludwig MSK is one of the leading researchers in the field.
Jedd D. Wolchok of Ludwig MSK discusses remaining questions regarding immunotherapies for the treatment of melanoma. Despite success, there are several questions that remain. One crucial area, Wolchok says, is the need identify biomarkers to enrich patient populations.
Victorian Suzanne Reynolds, who had melanoma in her brain, sinus, bone and gallbladder, went into an incredibly rare ‘spontaneous remission’ where her own immune system fired up and killed the cancer. Now, more than a decade later, there are drugs that replicate this astonishing occurrence in a revolutionary new approach to cancer treatment called immunotherapy.
Ludwig Cancer Research recently announced plans to explore three monoclonal antibodies aimed at two different checkpoint modulators. The term encompasses antibodies devised to block receptors that inhibit the immune response against cancer as well as those that bind and activate receptors known to have the opposite effect.
How Daniel K Ludwig’s formula for success has fuelled four decades – and counting – of top-notch cancer research.
Ludwig MSK’s Jedd Wolchok speaks on the latest developments in cancer immunotherapy.
By releasing the brakes that tumor cells place on the immune system, researchers are developing a new generation of more powerful treatments against malignancy.
Government funding, which has long supported the bulk of basic scientific research, is increasingly threatened in the U.S. If we hope to capitalize on the remarkable progress made in molecular medicine over the past few decades to solve such intractable problems as cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, something will have to change—and soon.
American science is increasingly starved of funds. In 2013, the U.S. National Institutes of Health was forced to slash $1.5 billion from its budget. As a consequence, only one in seven biomedical researchers who apply for an NIH grant today will receive one — marking an historic low.
Ludwig Cancer Research and Agenus Inc. announced that the companies are advancing three selected monoclonal antibody checkpoint modulators (CPMs) into preclinical development.
This month, Daniel Ludwig’s trust made a final US$540 million donation to the six American Ludwig Centers he had helped to found. In total, Ludwig has given over $900 million to the six centres.
In the case of these six cancer research centers, a $540 million endowment is meant to help them pursue work that is speculative and risky, unencumbered by the profit requirements of “the market” or the conservatism and restrictions of government funding.
Six U.S. medical centers will each receive $90 million to pursue cancer research with very few strings attached.
Six facilities for cancer studies launched in 2006 by New York-based charity Ludwig Cancer Research will each receive $90-million more from the parent group to pursue unrestricted research into how the disease starts, spreads, and can be stopped.
The estate of the late American shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig on Monday donated a total of $540 million to six elite U.S. cancer research facilities, making one of the largest one-time gifts dedicated to combating the disease.
An American shipping magnate’s trust will announce on Monday one of the largest philanthropic gifts to support cancer research: more than half a billion dollars to be divided equally among six institutions, including Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Stanford has received a vast sum of money to study a tiny population of deadly cancer cells, a gift that could help combat the heartbreak of phoenixlike disease recurrence.
Gift from Ludwig Cancer Research fund comes as government, private grants have declined.
The Ludwig Cancer Research organization announces one of the largest gifts ever toward cancer research with $540 million to six research centers across the country.
Johns Hopkins University scientists will share in one of the largest one-time philanthropic gifts for cancer research ever made, $540 million aimed at preventing and curing the disease, officials are scheduled to announce today.
MIT and Harvard each received $90 million from Ludwig Cancer Research, on behalf of its founder Daniel K. Ludwig, which will provide funding to transform basic research on metastasis, the process by which cancer cells spread from a primary tumor to distant sites in the body.
A trust fund created by billionaire shipping tycoon Daniel K. Ludwig ends today with a bang and a gift to research. Six U.S. medical centers will receive $540 million—$90 million each—from the fund to endow cancer studies in perpetuity.
It’s time to give combination immunotherapy a chance against a broader range of cancers. Historically, such strategies have primarily been investigated for melanoma and kidney cancers.
Seattle-based Immune Design took a big step forward as a company in 2010 when it struck a deal to let AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit test out its proprietary vaccine boosters, or adjuvants. Now, it’s got a bigger goal in mind: using a broad collaboration with two big non-profit organizations to break into the hot field of cancer immunotherapy.
A large trial combining two drugs for people with advanced melanoma is due to begin at several Australian hospitals in coming months after a small American study of 52 people found the treatment shrank most participants’ tumours.
Today, many cancer patients are treated with antibody drugs that work in part by marking tumor cells for destruction by macrophages. Although these drugs have extended lives, they don’t always work very well—partly because cancer cells fight back by sending a “don’t eat me” signal to the immune cells.
Cancer researchers are growing increasingly enthusiastic about harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight tumors. And new research shows that two drugs that use this approach may be even better than one.
Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Roche Holding AG have opened a new front against cancer with the next generation of experimental drugs that use the human immune system to seek and destroy tumor cells.
AstraZeneca’s biologics arm, MedImmune, is joining forces with two cancer organisations in a bid to advance the research of immunotherapy in cancer.
Cancer immunotherapy research has once again topped the R&D charts as one of the hottest fields in biotech. And now MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca ($AZN), has teamed up with some prestigious research teams to come up with some revved up combo therapies using a few of their most promising antibodies.
In rare case, her immune system was spurred to eliminate tumors even in distant sites, researchers say.