New Approach for Cell Therapy Shows Potential Against Solid Tumors with KRAS Mutations

A new technology for cellular immunotherapy developed by Abramson Cancer Center researchers at Penn Medicine showed promising anti-tumor activity in the lab against hard-to-treat cancers driven by the once-considered “undruggable” KRAS mutation, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic.

Roswell Park Experts Highlight Opportunities to Improve Outcomes for People with Gastroesophageal Cancer

Two Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center experts were invited to present new insights on treatment of gastroesophageal cancers during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2021. In their talks, both presented July 1, the Roswell Park physician-researchers highlighted easily adoptable methods that may help other clinicians to provide care supporting improved patient outcomes.

Study Shows Immunotherapy Drug Combination Improves Response in HER2-Negative Breast Cancer Including a Subset of Estrogen Receptor Positive Cancers

In a new study by researchers at Yale Cancer Center, combining the immunotherapy drug durvalumab and PARP-inhibitor olaparib with chemotherapy improved response to treatment for women with high-risk, HER2-negative breast cancer, including a subset of estrogen receptor positive cancers.

Astronomy Meets Pathology to Identify Predictive Biomarkers for Cancer Immunotherapy

Pairing sky-mapping algorithms with advanced immunofluorescence imaging of cancer biopsies, researchers at The Mark Foundation Center for Advanced Genomics and Imaging at Johns Hopkins University and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy developed a robust platform to guide immunotherapy by predicting which cancers will respond to specific therapies targeting the immune system.

LUDWIG CANCER RESEARCH STUDY SHOWS HOW CERTAIN MACROPHAGES DAMPEN ANTI-TUMOR IMMUNITY

A Ludwig Cancer Research study adds to growing evidence that immune cells known as macrophages inhabiting the body cavities that house our vital organs can aid tumor growth by distracting the immune system’s cancer-killing CD8+ T cells.

Reported in the current issue of Cancer Cell and led by Ludwig investigators Taha Merghoub and Jedd Wolchok at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and Charles Rudin of MSK, the study shows that cavity-resident macrophages express high levels of Tim-4, a receptor for phosphatidylserine (PS), a molecule that they surprisingly found on the surface of highly activated, cytotoxic and proliferative CD8+ T-cells.

Cancer Research Institute Celebrates Ninth Annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month™

Cancer Research Institute celebrates progress in cancer immunotherapy research, announces new initiatives aimed at addressing racial and ethnic disparities in cancer treatment and academic research, during ninth annual Cancer Immunotherapy Month this June.

LUDWIG CANCER RESEARCH STUDY DISCOVERS HOW TO REVIVE POTENT BUT INERT ANTI-CANCER IMMUNE CELLS FOR THERAPY

A Ludwig Cancer Research study has discovered how to revive a powerful but functionally inert subset of anti-cancer immune cells that are often found within tumors for cancer therapy.

Led by Ludwig Lausanne’s Ping-Chih Ho and Li Tang of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the study describes how an immune factor known as interleukin-10 orchestrates the functional revival of “terminally exhausted” tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TILs), which have so far proved impervious to stimulation by immunotherapies. It also demonstrates that the factor, when applied in combination with cell therapies, can eliminate tumors in mouse models of melanoma and colon cancer. The findings are reported in the current issue of Nature Immunology.

Tip Sheet: Latest research on COVID-19, health disparities, antibodies to parainfluenza, and neuron function

SEATTLE — May 4, 2021 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news.If you are covering news at the upcoming American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, American Society of Clinical Oncology, or other conferences, feel free to reach out to our media team for help sourcing experts: [email protected]

Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to Host Symposium on the Future of Cell and Gene Therapies

Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will host a virtual event on May 6 and 7 that will bring together cell and gene therapy leaders from the two institutions and around the world to discuss the latest achievements in the field, novel strategies, and future developments and applications for chimeric antigen receptor, CAR, T cell therapy and more.

University of Chicago scientists design “Nanotraps” to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have designed a completely novel potential treatment for COVID-19: nanoparticles that capture SARS-CoV-2 viruses within the body and then use the body’s own immune system to destroy it.

Genetic Changes in Head and Neck Cancer, Immunotherapy Resistance Identified

A multi-institutional team of researchers, led by UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, has identified both the genetic abnormalities that drive pre-cancer cells into becoming an invasive type of head and neck cancer and patients who are least likely to respond to immunotherapy.

How the Pandemic Has Exacerbated Rates of Skin Cancer

With summer approaching and more and more people getting vaccinated for COVID-19, many San Diegans eagerly anticipate the season best known for outdoor activities. But with more time in the sun comes the need for sun-safe practices. During the pandemic,…

Study: New Approach May Boost Prostate Cancer Immunotherapies

Researchers have discovered a new way to transform the tissues surrounding prostate tumors to help the body’s immune cells fight the cancer. The discovery, made in human and mouse cells and in laboratory mice, could lead to improvements in immunotherapy treatments for prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men in the U.S.

Case Western Reserve awarded $3 million National Cancer Institute grant to apply AI to immunotherapy in lung cancer patients

Medical researchers from Case Western Reserve University, New York University (NYU), and University Hospitals have been awarded a five-year, $3 million National Cancer Institute grant to develop and apply artificial intelligence (AI) tools for predicting which lung cancer patients will respond to immunotherapy.

Software Package Enables Deeper Understanding of Cancer Immune Responses

Researchers at the Bloomberg Kimmel Institute for Caner Immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed DeepTCR, a software package that employs deep-learning algorithms to analyze T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing data. T-cell receptors are found on the surface of immune T cells. These receptors bind to certain antigens, or proteins, found on abnormal cells, such as cancer cells and cells infected with a virus or bacteria, to guide the T cells to attack and destroy the affected cells.

Liver Cancer Tumors Appear to Be Resistant to Immunotherapy in Patients With Underlying Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Immunotherapy is not only significantly less effective in liver cancer patients who previously had a liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but actually appears to fuel tumor growth, according to a Mount Sinai study published in Nature in March. NASH affects as many as 40 million people worldwide and is associated with obesity and diabetes.

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.

Study finds high tumor mutation burden predicts immunotherapy response in some, but not all, cancers

A high rate of genetic mutations within a tumor, known as high tumor mutation burden, was only useful for predicting immunotherapy responses in a subset of cancer types, suggesting that this may not reliably be used as a universal biomarker.

Roswell Park Researchers Identify New Biomarker of Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors

A team of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers has identified a new biomarker that could predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) shortly after patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) initiate therapy. This discovery, published today in the journal Nature Communications, is not only an important step forward in lung cancer treatment, but also has implications for other malignancies, according to lead author Fumito Ito, MD, PhD, FACS.

Moffitt Researchers Show Sequential Treatment with Immunotherapy and Checkpoint Inhibitors Prolongs Anti-Tumor Activity

In a new article published in Cancer Immunology Research, the Moffitt team shows that sequential administration of immunotherapy followed by targeted therapy prolongs anti-tumor responses in preclinical models and may be a potential treatment option for patients with advanced melanoma.

Neoadjuvant combination immunotherapy improves outcomes for early stage non-small cell lung cancer

The first randomized Phase II clinical trial to report on single and combined neoadjuvant immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in stage I-III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found combination therapy produced a significant clinical benefit, as assessed by major pathologic response (MPR) rate, as well as enhanced tumor immune cell infiltration and immunological memory.

Five Years Later: Penn-developed CAR T Therapy Shows Long-lasting Remissions in Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

A significant number of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients in a Penn Medicine-initiated clinical trial continue to be in remission five years after receiving the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah™, researchers in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Penn Medicine Cancer Cell Therapy Pioneer Carl June, MD, Named 2021 Dan David Prize Laureate

International cancer cell therapy pioneer Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, has been named a 2021 Dan David Prize Laureate.

STINGing Tumors With Nanoparticles

DALLAS – Feb. 8, 2021 – A new nanoparticle-based drug can boost the body’s innate immune system and make it more effective at fighting off tumors, researchers at UT Southwestern have shown. Their study, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, is the first to successfully target the immune molecule STING with nanoparticles about one millionth the size of a soccer ball that can switch on/off immune activity in response to their physiological environment.

Fred Hutch statement regarding the FDA approval of CD19 immunotherapy, lisocabtagene maraleucel

SEATTLE — Feb. 5, 2021 — Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the chimeric antigen receptor immunotherapy, Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel or liso-cel), for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma after at least two prior therapies.The approval was granted to Bristol Myers Squibb, and development of the therapy was supported by physician-scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

New Biomarker May Predict Which Pancreatic Cancer Patients Respond to CD40 Immunotherapy

Inflammation in the blood could serve as a new biomarker to help identify patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who won’t respond to the immune-stimulating drugs known as CD40 agonists, suggests a new study from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania published in JCI Insight.

MD Anderson and UroGen Pharma announce strategic research collaboration to advance investigational treatment for high-grade bladder cancer

MD Anderson and UroGen today announced a strategic three-year collaboration agreement to advance combination immunotherapy, delivered directly into the bladder, for the treatment of high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The collaboration will work through MD Anderson’s immunotherapy platform to design pre-clinical and clinical studies.