In a breakthrough discovery that changes how we understand T cells and with implications of how we can better engineer custom immune responses to fight disease, Institute for Systems Biology researchers showed that the different disease-fighting functions of different T cells are determined by the genetically encoded T-cell receptor sequence that are unique to those cells.
Scientists for the first time have used CRISPR to substitute a gene to treat patients with cancer. The remarkable findings were published in the journal Nature and presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2022.
The NCI awarded ISB a 5-year, $13 million grant to lead a comprehensive cancer center and study sequential combinations of targeted inhibitors and immunotherapies. The program is designed to determine if the treatments yield greater patient benefit when administered in sequence rather than as monotherapies or as simultaneously administered combinations.
As part of a massive nationwide effort, ISB is leading a multi-site consortium for the NIH RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative. The Pacific Northwest consortium is made up of ISB, Providence, Swedish, and University of Washington School of Medicine.
Dr. Jim Heath was announced as a newly elected Fellow of the American Academy for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy Class of 2022. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized as part of this renowned group of researchers who have done so much to move our understanding of cancer forward,” Heath said.
Researchers have identified several factors that can be measured at the initial point of COVID-19 diagnosis that anticipate if a patient is likely to develop long COVID. They also found that mild cases of COVID-19, not just severe cases, are associated with long COVID. Their findings were published by the journal Cell.
Researchers from Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and other organizations have uncovered underlying metabolic changes that regulate how immune cells react to COVID-19. These findings are associated with COVID-19 severity and may predict patient survival. The work was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
To improve the efficacy of neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade against glioblastoma, researchers are looking for vulnerabilities in surgically removed tissues – a difficulty due to the vast differences within the tumor and between patients. To address this, ISB researchers and their collaborators developed a new way to study tumors.
ISB researchers and their collaborators looked at the electronic health records of nearly 630,000 patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and found stark disparities in COVID-19 outcomes — odds of infection, hospitalization, and in-hospital mortality — between White and non-White minority racial and ethnic groups.
Findings from the ISB-Swedish COVID-19 Immune Response Study suggest that treatments aimed at arresting the infection at the stage of moderate severity may be most effective. The team studied 139 patients and found that mild COVID-19 is very distinct from the moderate or severe forms of disease, which appear surprisingly similar.
In a multi-institutional study of a highly infectious disease like COVID-19, paperless consent for study participants is critical. One component of the COVID-19 Immune Response Study is a recruitment website with an IRB-approved and HIPAA-compliant electronic consent platform for enrolling patients.
In findings published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers show that cancer cells can take more than one path to reach a drug-resistant cell state. These findings could have promising implications for the future of cancer care.
ISB and Swedish Medical Center launched a study to follow hundreds of patients who contract COVID-19 to learn why those infected have drastically different outcomes. “Each of the COVID-19 patients has a unique lesson to teach us about how the medical and scientific community can respond most effectively to this pandemic,” said ISB President Dr. Jim Heath, who co-leads the study.
Members of ISB’s Heath Lab and their collaborators have developed a way to sensitively detect and analyze neoantigen-specific T-cell populations from tumors and blood. This promising development may have implications for creating targeted, individual-specific cancer vaccines.
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