Hopkins-Led Research Team Takes Gene Mutation Detection in Blood to the Next Level

Next-generation gene sequencing (NGS) technologies —in which millions of DNA molecules are simultaneously but individually analyzed— theoretically provides researchers and clinicians the ability to noninvasively identify mutations in the blood stream. Identifying such mutations enables earlier diagnosis of cancer and can inform treatment decisions. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a new technology to overcome the inefficiencies and high error rates common among next-generation sequencing techniques that have previously limited their clinical application.

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Cancer Immunotherapy Approach Targets Common Genetic Alteration

Researchers developed a prototype for a new cancer immunotherapy that uses engineered T cells to target a genetic alteration common among all cancers. The approach, which stimulates an immune response against cells that are missing one gene copy, called loss of heterozygosity (LOH), was developed by researchers at the Ludwig Center, Lustgarten Laboratory and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

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Mutant Gene-Targeted Immunotherapy Approach Developed

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center study co-author Bert Vogelstein, M.D., will present the related talk “Targeting genetic alterations in cancers with immunotherapeutic agents” at 11 a.m., March 1, at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference. More information can be found at: https://www.agbt.org/events/general-meeting/agenda/. NOTE: AGBT provides complimentary press registration to staff and working freelance journalists who wish to cover the meeting. https://www.agbt.org/media/guidelines/

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