News

Understanding, Preventing and Treating Long-Term Effects of COVID: RECOVER Study Enrolling Patients from Pacific Northwest

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.

Jim Heath AACR Academy Fellow

Dr. Jim Heath Named Fellow of AACR Academy Class of 2022

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.

Predicting ‘Long COVID’ At Initial Point of COVID-19 Diagnosis

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.

Drs. Jim Heath, Yapeng Su and Jihoon Lee

Metabolic Changes in Plasma and Immune Cells Associated with COVID-19 Severity, May Predict Patient Survival

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.

Glioblastoma tumor slice and corresponding density map

Looking at Tumors Through a New Lens

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.

COVID-19 Immune Response Study Could Lead to More Effective Treatments

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. 

View of the responsive recruitment website and electronic consent platform as seen on mobile phone and desktop devices.

ISB Builds Digital Platform for COVID-19 Research Study – and Beyond

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.

Co-corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and co-lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

For Cancer Cells, There Is More Than One Path to Drug Resistance

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.

Merck, ISB, Swedish Collaborate In Trial to Understand, Treat COVID-19

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.

New Method to Detect, Analyze Rare T Cells Another Step Toward Personalized Cancer Vaccines

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.