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.)
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.
Researchers led by Ludwig Stanford’s Howard Chang and Stanford geneticist William Greenleaf mapped DNA sequences that regulate the expression of specific genes in malignancies.
Ludwig MIT’s Angelika Amon is one of five scientists to receive a 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, given for transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life. Amon was honored for her work on determining the consequences of aneuploidy, an abnormal chromosome number that results from mis-segregation of chromosomes during cell division.
Ludwig Stanford’s Sam Gambhir leads a large study to better understand the transition from normal health to disease as part of Project Baseline, a joint effort between Stanford, Duke and Verily, that could result in the identification of new markers in the blood, stool or urine that help predict cancer and other diseases.
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.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein shares a video analysis of the results, published in Science, of a study on whether mutations that drive malignant growth are the same or vary between primary tumors and their metastases.
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.
This article features Chi Van Dang, scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, who is an advocate for chronotherapy. This approach involves timing the delivery of drugs with the body’s circadian clock, striking either when cancer cells are most vulnerable to assault and/or when healthy cells are least sensitive to toxicity.
“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.
A magnetic wire used to snag scarce and hard-to-capture tumor cells could prove to be a swift and effective tactic for early cancer detection, according to a Nature Biomedical Engineering study led by Ludwig Stanford’s Sam Gambhir. In pigs, the technique attracts 10-80 times more tumor cells than current blood-based cancer-detection methods.
General physicians and many oncologists think of metastatic cancer as being “widely disseminated and incurable” in most cases involving solid tumors in adults, said Ludwig Chicago Co-director Ralph Weichselbaum in a lecture he gave as the ASCO 2018 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award winner. But he notes that dissemination is limited for some metastatic cancers, and such cancers may be curable with local therapy.
Doctors have hypothesized that pancreatic tumors release a chemical signal or factor that travels throughout the body promoting the breakdown of muscle and fat. However, a new Nature study led by Matthew Vander Heiden of Ludwig MIT suggests otherwise.
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.
A Ludwig Cancer Research study, published in the journal Cell, has uncovered an entirely novel mechanism by which cells enter a state of dormancy as tissues starved of oxygen become increasingly acidic. The study, led by Chi Van Dang, scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, has potentially significant implications for cancer therapy
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.
According to the Wikimedia Foundation, the most-referenced paper across English Wikipedia is a 2002 collection of more than 15,000 sequences of human and mouse genes by Robert Strausberg, now deputy scientific director at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
Ralph Weichselbaum, who is today director of the Ludwig Center at Chicago, and Ludwig Board member Samuel Hellman suggested somewhat controversially in 1995 that metastatic cancer could occupy an intermediate state between curable, localized tumors and lethal, systemic disease. Twenty-three years later, Weichselbaum, Hellman and colleagues have confirmed their “oligometastasis” hypothesis with a molecular analysis of tumors from patients treated for colorectal cancer.
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.
As Ludwig MIT’s director Bob Weinberg once said: “If you live long enough, you will get cancer.” But why is cancer the beast that stalks us all? What is it about this disease that makes it inevitable? And why is it the price we must pay for many incredible evolutionary advances? To understand this issue, we need to go way back in our evolutionary history.
The Medicine Maker Power List recognizes the top 100 inspirational industry professionals in four categories: Masters of the Bench, Industry Influencers, Business Captains, and Champions of Change. Ludwig’s Scientific Director Chi Van Dang was included as #10 in the “Masters of the Bench” category for his contributions to the understanding of the Myc oncogene.
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 Johns Hopkins study published in Science Translational Medicine reports the analysis of an experimental, minimally invasive DNA test for the detection of ovarian and endometrial cancers, both of which are difficult to detect in their early stages, when they are most curable.
In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, Ludwig Harvard investigator Rakesh Jain and his colleague Dai Fukumura at Massachusetts General Hospital found that obesity, known to reduce survival in several types of cancer, may also explain the ineffectiveness of angiogenesis inhibitors, which block the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.
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.
In a Science study, Ludwig Johns Hopkins researchers show that their experimental liquid biopsy test found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in patients already known to have the disease.
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.
Ludwig San Diego’s Don Cleveland was awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in life sciences for his research on the genetics of inherited neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS and Huntington’s disease. A total of five $3 million awards were given in that field.
A team of scientists led by Ludwig Harvard’s Marcia Haigis may have hit upon a new therapeutic strategy against breast cancer with the finding that breast tumor cells recycle the ammonia that is generated as a byproduct of normal cell metabolism and use the toxic waste as a source of nitrogen to fuel their growth.
Richard Hynes of Ludwig MIT recently received the National Academy of Medicine’s David Rall Medal for his exceptional leadership as Chairman of the NAM/NAS Committee on Human Gene Editing. In this interview, he talks about his work and shares his perspective on how we can better engage with the public on important issues in science and medicine.
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.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein’s latest research unearthed a possible new method for detecting pancreatic cancer earlier using a liquid biopsy. This op-ed in Bloomberg gives an overview of Vogelstein’s research and other recent advances in early detection and prevention of cancer.
Ludwig Oxford’s Skirmantas Kriaucionis writes about the ways DNA base modifications add to the toolkit of critical gene-regulatory mechanisms. He outlines how researchers are just starting to explore how newly recognized epigenetic changes function in the genome.
The Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, a project of the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), aims to overcome slow progress in the development of treatments for the brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM). Cure gives an update on the achievements of this collaborative, of which Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel is one of the leading researchers.
“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.
Ludwig San Diego’s Kevin Corbett is featured as the latest “Cell scientist to watch.” In this interview, Corbett shares what inspired him to become a scientist, the big questions his lab is trying to answer, advice for scientists about to start their own labs and more.
Mads Gyrd-Hansen of Ludwig Oxford is a “cell scientist to watch” and Nordic cuisine aficionado. In this Journal of Cell Science feature, Gyrd-Hansen talks about his inspiration, what he’s working on now, the meaning of trust and more.
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.
If Ludwig MIT’s Bob Weinberg didn’t pursue science, he may have been a carpenter. Lucky for us, Weinberg has made landmark advances in cancer research and is a staunch advocate for basic science. Learn more about Weinberg’s fascinating life and career from MedPage Today.
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 Oxford scientist Colin Goding’s recent Genes & Development study was selected as the Editor’s Choice in Cancer Biology for The Scientist’s April issue. As previously reported, the study identified an ancient, cellular starvation response, conserved through eons of evolution, that underlies the spread of the aggressive skin cancer melanoma.
Ludwig Oxford scientist Colin Goding examines why cancer cells spread within the body and explains how understanding this process can help devise new treatment options.
A recent study led in part by Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-director Bert Vogelstein argues that random “mistakes” dividing cells make when copying their DNA account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. This article, which includes input from Vogelstein, explains the methodology of the study and the implications of its findings.
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.
Ludwig Harvard Co-director Joan Brugge was recently awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. The full video of the ceremony is available here. Starting at 7:35, you can watch the ACS’ introduction of Brugge, a deeply moving video tribute to her life and research, and her acceptance speech. We are very proud to be a part of her powerful story, and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor!
The San Diego Union-Tribune covers Paul Mischel’s latest research in this article, which includes a video of Mischel’s lab. In the video, Mischel describes how his team recently found that oncogenes “jump off” chromosomes onto extrachromosomal circles of DNA, driving tumor evolution and drug resistance. If we better understood the mechanisms behind this activity, Mischel says, we might be able to develop more effective cancer treatments.
In this podcast, Paul Mischel fields questions about the recent study he led that upends old assumptions about cancer genes. Mischel’s findings will shift how cancer diversity and resistance are understood and studied.
A recent study led by Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel is likely to change the way tumor evolution is understood by scientists and could ultimately lead to new ways to prevent and treat many malignancies. The Scientist reports on the findings and includes perspectives from several scientists not involved in the study.
Chi Van Dang will join Ludwig as Scientific Director on July 1, 2017. A hematological oncologist and renowned researcher, Dang joins Ludwig from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, which he has directed since 2011.
In its report on the big brain cancer research-related developments of 2016, the National Brain Tumor Society cites a Cancer Cell study led by Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel in partnership with a colleague at The Scripps Research Institute. That study demonstrated that GBM cells import vast amounts of cholesterol to survive and that the mechanisms they use to do so can be specifically and effectively undermined with drug-like molecules currently in clinical development.
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?
Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel spoke with Oncology Times about his recent Cancer Cell article, which identified a metabolic vulnerability in the brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM) that can be exploited by an experimental drug.
Roeland Nusse of Ludwig Stanford and Stephen Elledge of Ludwig Harvard on winning the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Nusse was noted for his discovery of the first Wnt gene and elucidation of its role in embryonic development, stem cells and the genesis of tumors. Elledge was honored for his influential discoveries on how cells sense DNA damage and then engage their mechanisms of DNA repair—and how these processes relate to the development of cancer.
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.
A study co-led by Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel has been featured in AACR’s Research Watch. The study demonstrates that GBM cells import vast amounts of cholesterol to survive and that the mechanisms they use to do so can be specifically and effectively undermined with drug-like molecules currently in clinical development.
Peter Kim of Ludwig Stanford has been tapped to lead the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub project. The goal of Biohub is to prevent, detect and treat infectious disease. Dr. Kim shares more in this interview.
A recent Science study co-led by Ludwig Stanford investigator Hiromitsu Nakauchi found that withholding an amino acid from diet depletes blood stem cells in nice. This article explains how the findings may make it possible to conduct bone marrow transplantations – and permit the treatment of some cancers – without chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
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.
Derek Leske—an avid cyclist and immunologist at Ludwig Oxford—shares his career goals, inspirations and hobbies. Leske is co-first author of a recent study that examines the role a protein named SPATA2 plays in an elaborate system of protein tagging that regulates inflammatory signaling.
The New York Times writes about the six researchers who received the prestigious Lasker Awards this year. Among them is Sir Peter Ratcliffe of Ludwig Oxford, who was recognized for his role in elucidating the mechanisms and distinct signaling pathways by which cells gauge and respond to the availability of oxygen.
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 MIT scientist Tyler Jacks discusses recent advancements, market potential and ethnical questions related to CRISPR, a revolutionary gene-editing technology that has changed the cancer research landscape. Jacks and his lab have pioneered the use of CRISPR to construct in vivo models of human cancers.
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 scientists speak about a blood-based screening test they’re developing to measure the a patient’s risk of colon cancer recurrence after surgery and determine whether subsequent chemotherapy is advisable. “This study shows that when we find tumor DNA circulating in the blood of cancer patients, recurrence is very likely,” says Nickolas Papadopoulos of Ludwig Johns Hopkins.
Ludwig scientists have shown that fragments of tumor DNA circulating in the blood can be used to better gauge the risk of colorectal cancer recurrence and the necessity of chemotherapy following surgery. Cancer Research UK reports that these findings could one day help doctors to better monitor and tailor treatments for their patients.
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 Director and stem cell research pioneer Irv Weissman discussed the history of using blood-forming stem cells to treat cancer and the “big leap” he is taking to move this field forward. Weissman and his colleagues have shown that such treatment could be effective for other diseases as well, including type one diabetes and lupus.
During his keynote speech at Stanford Medicine’s diploma ceremony, Ludwig Stanford scientist Peter Kim urged graduates to learn from failure and to remember that at its core, science is about “discovering the truth and following it wherever it leads.”
Ludwig Melbourne scientist Jeanne Tie spoke to GenomeWeb about data she recently presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting. Tie and her colleagues studied the efficacy of using ctDNA as a marker to identify colon cancer patients who are at high risk of recurrence following tumor removal.
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-Directors Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler share how they foster a sense of community among their team members. Costumes encouraged!
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.”
Ludwig Harvard Co-Director George Demetri offers his perspective on how the field of sarcoma research has offered a blueprint for that of other tumor types.
Ludwig MIT’s Tyler Jacks shares his expertise about cancer genome complexity in a podcast about cancer, “ninja of the disease world.”
Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-Directors Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler sit down with JCI for their ‘Conversations with Giants in Medicine’ series to discuss their backgrounds, what inspired them to be cancer researchers and their goals as scientists.
Ludwig MIT Director Bob Weinberg recently received the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. Weinberg spoke to MedPage Today about his acceptance speech, during which he spoke passionately about why basic cancer research must continue and why collaboration should happen organically.
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.
Ludwig MIT Director Bob Weinberg was honored for his seminal contributions to cancer research and cancer biology with the 13th annual American Association for Cancer Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research at the AACR Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
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.
Ludwig scientists Bert Vogelstein and Maximilian Diehn are quoted in an article about the increasing commercial interest in developing liquid biopsies to screen for cancer.
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.
The MIT Technology Review takes a look at the busy life of Ludwig scientist Sangeeta Bhatia: a bioengineer, entrepreneur and role model for young women in STEM.
In recognition of World Cancer Day, the Oxford Science Blog asks Ludwig’s Colin Goding about his research on melanoma and his thoughts on the future of cancer treatment.
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.
What if we could find cancerous tumors years before they can harm us — without expensive screening facilities or even steady electricity? Ludwig MIT’s Sangeeta Bhatia leads a multidisciplinary lab that searches for novel ways to understand, diagnose and treat human disease.
Ludwig’s aim is to support scientific research to ease the suffering caused by cancer. To that end, we fund basic research in the biological sciences, applied research for the design and development of candidate cancer therapies and diagnostics and early stage clinical trials to evaluate new treatments and therapeutic strategies.
Defeat GBM-funded research discovers a completely new process whereby EGFR alterations – which occur in the majority of GBMs – fuel tumor growth, and, importantly, identifies a potential way to exploit these changes in tumor cells to treat GBM using a class of anti-cancer drugs already in development.
Researchers discovered, in mice, the direct progenitors to coronary artery smooth muscle cells, the important component that encases the artery and gives it strength.
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.
The NIH has awarded three grants totaling $31.8 million toward the agency’s new 4D Nucleome Program—a collaborative research initiative aimed at better understanding how DNA is arranged within the cell’s nucleus in four dimensions—three-dimensional space plus time—and how changes in that nuclear organization affect human health and disease.
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?
The aim of a conference held earlier this month was to bring together the world’s leading oesophageal cancer experts for the first time. And by getting everyone in one room, our hope was to invigorate research ideas and stimulate progress in understanding and treating the disease.
Among the Conquer Cancer Foundation’s newest supporters, Ludwig Cancer Research is an international community of distinguished scientists dedicated to preventing and controlling cancer. Its emphasis on collaboration and long-term support has fostered its role as a leader in immunotherapy and other challenging aspects of cancer research since its founding in 1971.
Personalised drugs to treat individual people. Yeast-made cereal optimised for your gut flora. And a whole new range of goods made from nature’s materials. These are the promises of bioengineering.
One of the most practical applications of precision medicine lies within the field of pharmacogenomics, a portmanteau of pharmacology and genomics. It is a discipline designed for tailoring drug treatments to an individual’s genetic make-up.
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.
As sequencing costs reduce and computing power expands, opportunities abound for scientists to learn about the genetics of cancer.
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.
Researchers in the National Institutes of Health Roadmap Epigenomics Project have now identified most of the chemical tags on DNA and its associated proteins that influence gene function and help define more than 100 different kinds of human cells. The knowledge of these so-called epigenetic modifications has already led to new insights into Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and development.
A team led by Oxford University researchers was looking at how a protein, iASPP, might be involved in the growth of tumours. However, serendipitously they found that mice lacking this gene died prematurely of sudden cardiac death. More detailed investigations showed that these mice had an irregular conductance in the right side of the heart, a condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
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.
A recent paper does not show that two-thirds of cancer cases are due to bad luck.
The San Diego Branch focuses mainly on cancer genetics, cell signaling, gene regulation and the mechanisms of cell division. We have made important achievements investigating the processes that cells use to maintain the integrity of their genome, and how failure in these processes can lead to cancer.
Lab mice are tried-and-true stand-ins for human experimental subjects when it comes to medical studies, but sometimes what works for mice doesn’t work for men and women. Now a comparative survey of mouse and human genomes is taking a huge step toward figuring out why.
The National Cancer Institute and other agencies are funding prevention research. But efforts are nowhere near where they ought to be given the approaching tsunami of aging citizens. The bulk of cancer research funding from both public and private sources continues to focus on the treatment of cancer, not its prevention
Just like in life, there are no turn-by-turn directions when it comes to cancer research. Ludwig’s Tyler Jacks shares the lessons he’s learned, and what they mean for all of us.
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.
Philip A. Pizzo, MD, the David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has joined the Board of Directors of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
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.
University of Chicago cancer specialists make strides in curing metastatic cancers.
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.
A new study has revealed that brain cancer cells can actually evade many current cancer drugs—by temporarily scaling down a certain genetic mutation that the drugs target.
A genetic variation that protects skin against sun damage may also increase the risk of testicular cancer, at least in mice. Researcher Gareth Bond discusses why this relationship may have evolved and how the findings could help to create personalized cancer treatments for humans.
A genetic variant that increases the risk of testicular cancer may be favored by evolution because it helps protect those with fair skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, according to a new study.
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.
Scientists from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Karolinska Institutet report the development of an improved method for analyzing the genes expressed within a single cell. They say their finding will be relevant for everything from basic research to future cancer diagnostics.
Australian scientists say they have discovered a molecule which they believe is responsible for the growth of some cancerous tumours. It provides researchers with a new target for anti cancer therapies.
David Lane, PhD, has been named Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. In the new role, which commenced last month, Lane will coordinate Ludwig’s global research efforts and activities.
Research demonstrates a little-appreciated but inescapable fact about cancer: It is an evolutionary disease. And studies are provoking new thinking about ways to use drugs to kill cancerous cells.
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.
One protein that keeps healthy cells from behaving this way is a tumor suppressor named p53. This protein stops potentially precancerous cells from dividing and induces suicide in those that are damaged beyond repair. Not surprisingly, p53’s critical function is disrupted or silenced in many cancers.
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.
Researchers have identified a mechanism of action that explains why patients with glioblastoma have not had successful outcomes when treated with inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) despite the fact that mTOR is overexpressed in approximately 90% of cases of the disease.
Tumors that arise in the same organs in humans and fish look and behave alike, and the cancers often share common genetic underpinnings. As a result, most researchers believe that the basic mechanisms underlying tumor formation are conserved across species, allowing them to study the formation, expansion, and spread of tumors in animal models with the hope of eventually finding new insights into cancer in people.
The Pap test, which has prevented countless deaths from cervical cancer, may eventually help to detect cancers of the uterus and ovaries as well, a new study suggests.
Epigenetic mechanisms influence processes from stem cell differentiation to cancer, and researchers are keen to understand how these events differ at the genomic scale—the so-called epigenome.
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 a proof-of-principle study, the team evaluated the performance of their mRNA-seq protocol, called Smart-Seq, and used it to study single circulating tumor cells from melanoma.
Some junk is worth keeping. Non-coding, or junk, mouse DNA contains vast amounts of information vital to gene function—and those regulatory functions take up much more space on the genome than the all-important coding segments.
Treatment in animal subjects stopped the effects of Huntington’s and produced long-term improvement.
Few diseases have strong enough genetic components to make sequencing a solid way to assess individual risk.
In rare case, her immune system was spurred to eliminate tumors even in distant sites, researchers say.