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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Aggressive brain tumor mapped in genetic, molecular detail

A new study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has revealed a detailed map of the genes, proteins, infiltrating cells and signaling pathways that play key roles in driving glioblastoma. The study, of 99 tumors from patients, is the largest and most detailed schematic of this deadly brain tumor.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Combined approach could boost breast cancer immunotherapy, study suggests

Activating an immune signaling pathway best known for fighting viral and bacterial infections can boost the ability of genetically engineered T cells to eradicate breast cancer in mice, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina. The study, to be published December 31 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that CAR T cells, which are already used to treat certain blood cancers in humans, may also be successful against solid tumors if combined with other immunotherapeutic approaches.

Read more

Errant DNA Boosts Immunotherapy Effectiveness

DALLAS – Dec. 17, 2020 – DNA that ends up where it doesn’t belong in cancer cells can unleash an immune response that makes tumors more susceptible to immunotherapy, the results of two UT Southwestern studies indicate. The findings, published online today in Cancer Cell, suggest that delivering radiation – which triggers DNA release from cells – before immunotherapy could be an effective way to fight cancers that are challenging to treat.

Read more

New combination therapy could help fight difficult-to-treat cancers with common mutations

UCLA scientists describe a new combination therapy that suppresses the MAPK pathway by holding cancer-driving proteins in a death grip. This combination of two small molecules has the potential to treat not only BRAF mutated melanoma but also additional aggressive subtypes of cancers, including melanoma, lung, pancreatic and colon cancers that harbor common mutations in cancer genes called RAS or NF1.

Read more

CAR T cell therapy effective as first-line treatment for high-risk large B-cell lymphoma

A study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that axi-cel, an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, is a safe and effective first-line therapy for patients with high-risk large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), a group with an urgent need for new and effective treatments.

Read more

MD Anderson and Obsidian Therapeutics announce strategic collaboration to accelerate advancement of novel engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocyte therapy (cytoTIL™) for solid tumors

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Obsidian Therapeutics, Inc. today announced a multi-year strategic collaboration designed to expedite the research and development of novel engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) for the treatment of solid tumors. The agreement pairs Obsidian and its novel cytoDRiVE™ technology platform with MD Anderson’s extensive experience and state-of-the-art capabilities in TIL cell therapy, led by the Biologics Development platform, within the Therapeutics Discovery division.

Read more

MD Anderson researchers present immunotherapy advances at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting

Promising clinical results with combination treatments for patients with melanoma and lung cancer highlight immunotherapy advances being presented by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2020) .

Read more

Roswell Park Sees Suggestion of Benefit in First Clinical Trial to Combine Beta-Blocker and Checkpoint Inhibitor

The same biochemical triggers that spur a “fight or flight” response when we encounter threats may help tumor cells to thrive. A team of researchers from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is looking at ways to disrupt that dynamic so that cancer treatments can be more effective. Their latest work, published today in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that a drug widely prescribed to control blood pressure may improve patients’ response to cancer immunotherapy.

Read more

Four MSK Researchers Receive 2020 Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute

Four MSK researchers out of 15 winners nationwide were named recipients of the prestigious award. They will each receive a grant of up to $600,000 per year for seven years to support their research in cancer.

Read more

Accelerating Access to Breakthrough Cancer Therapies Leads Morristown Medical Center to Expand Infusion Center

Atlantic Health System has announced the opening of Morristown Medical Center’s new state-of-the-art, patient-centered Infusion Center located in the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. The first of three phases of expansion of New Jersey’s pre-eminent cancer center, the new unit was funded in large part by donations made by community members in support of the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center’s Growing Forward Campaign.

Read more

Scientists Engineer New Cancer Immunotherapy to Train Immune System in Cancer Fight

A groundbreaking new type of cancer immunotherapy developed at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai trains the innate immune system to help it eliminate tumor cells through the use of nanobiologics, tiny materials bioengineered from natural molecules that are paired with a therapeutic component, according to a study published in Cell in October.

Read more

Memorial Sloan Kettering Awards and Appointments

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announces its most recent awards and appointments for the institution’s physicians, scientists, nurses, and staff.

Read more

Dual checkpoint blockade promising as pre-surgical approach for certain patients with localized bladder cancer

Phase I trial finds neoadjuvant combination checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4 plus anti-PD-1) was well tolerated and showed early signs of activity in certain patients with bladder cancer. These patients cannot be treated with chemotherapy and have no standard treatment options available.

Read more