IFI Members in the News
October 8, 2015
FierceBiotech mentions a study about a potential treatment for a serious clotting condition by elucidating the structure of the protein complex at its root. The study was led by Mark Greene, MD, PhD the John W. Exkman Professor of Medical Science, and Douglas Cines, MD, director of the Coagulation Laboratory and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
October 6, 2015
In continuing coverage, Oncology Central research from the lab of David Roth, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on a DNA-cutting mechanism that sometimes malfunctions, leading normal immune cells to turn into blood cancers.
October 1, 2015
Scientific American spoke with Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Ambramson Cancer Center, for an article focusing on the latest advances — and remaining questions — in the field of immunotherapy. "There are 300 kinds of cancer at least and they're each goingt to have different issues." June said. "I think we have enough tools that we can plot a course."
Penn-developed, DNA-based Vaccine Clears Nearly Half of Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Clinical Trial
September 30, 2015
Using a novel synthetic platform for creating vaccines originally developed in the laboratory of David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, a team led by his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has successfully eradicated precancerous cervical lesions in nearly half of the women who received the investigational vaccine in a clinical trial.
September 23, 2015
A study led by Alexander Huang, an Abramson Cancer Center fellow, demonstrates how PD-1 drugs work in melanoma patients, putting a potential biomarker within reach.
September 22, 2015
Postdoctoral fellows are the engine of biomedical research. Hear what it's like to be a Cancer Research Institute (CRI) postdoctoral fellow from those who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of basic research in cancer immunology. Featuring Beth Stadmueller, PhD, Roy Maute, PhD, Matthew Gubin, PhD, Paola Betancur, PhD, Kristen Pauken, PhD, E. John Wherry, PhD, and Ellen Puré, PhD.
Established in 1971, the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is the oldest of CRI's grant initiatives. To date, CRI has supported more than 1,300 fellows and invested more than $115 million in their training at laboratories all over the world. CRI is the only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to funding research in the areas of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, with the goal of developing more effective immune-based treatments for all cancers.
September 21, 2015
Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, vice chief of research in the division of Hematology/Oncology at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in a Houston Chronicle article on the latest studies investigating cancer vaccines. His group recently launched an early-stage, DNA immunotherapy trial trying to prevent recurrence in cancers of the pancreas, lung and breast.
September 18, 2015
Sensitivity to odors depends on the length of the sensory cilia and their location in the nasal cavity, according to research by Med’s Rosemary Lewis and Minghong Ma.
September 17, 2015
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting sessions are based on educational tracks based on specialty or area of interest, ACR Daily News reports. In the business administration track, a senior member of Congress will provide perspective on the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act, which Sharon L. Kolasinski, MD, a professor of clinical medicine and director of rheumatology at the Penn Musculoskeletal Center, says “will help support change in the tiering of medications.”
September 17, 2015
The Allentown Morning Call spoke with Peter Abt, MD, an associate professor of Surgery in the division of Transplant Surgery, and the surgeon who operated on Penn patient Andrea Samson, about her case and some of reasons why people donate. Samson, a 20 year-old college student who had dealt with kidney failure her entire life, received a kidney from an anonymous donor in July. Abt, who performed both of Samson's transplant surgeries - the first was a kidney donation from her father at age 15, which her body ultimately rejected - noted that many individual donors have a history of volunteerism, and choose to donate their organs simply to help others -- even strangers.
September 15, 2015
A study by David Roth of Medicine shows that blood cancer can develop in animals when enzymes that cut and paste segments of DNA hit an “off-target” spot on a chromosome.
September 11, 2015
In this week's New England Journal of Medicine, researchers report results of a trial showing the efficacy of a new enzyme-replacement therapy for Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. In an accompanying editorial, Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics, noted the great potential of this therapy. Quoted in MedPage Today, Rader says there is still a need for a larger, longer-term study to confirm these results.
Blood Cancers Develop When Immune Cell DNA Editing Enzyme Hits Off-target Spots in the Genome, Penn Animal Study Finds
September 11, 2015
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine have shown that when the enzyme key to cutting and pasting segments of DNA hits so-called “off-target” spots on a chromosome, the development of immune cells can lead to cancer in animal models. David Roth, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, served as senior author of the study which was published online this week in Cell Reports.
September 10, 2015
A study by Med's David Porter and Carl June shows that personalized cellular therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia has resulted in long remissions for some patients.
September 9, 2015
Following the FDA approval of PCSK9 inhibitors for lowering LDL levels, MedPage Today quoted Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine, on the preexisting need for this type of medication. Rader noted there is "a big pent up demand for these drugs," particularly for those with coronary artery disease, familial hypercholesterolemia, and those who have trouble tolerating statins.
September 8, 2015
In continuing coverage, David Porter, MD, a professor of Hematology-Oncology and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story detailing his team's latest results using an investigational personalized cellular therapy to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Bill Ludwig, the first patient to receive the therapy, recently marked five years cancer-free, and is also featured in the article.
September 4, 2015
Research led by Vet’s Carolina López found a viral product that promotes a strong immune response against respiratory syncytial virus, a threat to infants and the elderly.
September 3, 2015
The Abramson Cancer Center team whose work led to the first successful and sustained demonstration in the use of genetically engineered T cells to fight cancer reports this week that two leukemia patients who were among the first to receive this investigational therapy remain in remission five years later. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine this week, is led by David Porter, MD, a professor of Hematology-Oncology and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Abramson Cancer Center, and Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center. "The patients in this trial have largely failed all other conventional therapies and really had really, very few treatment options," Porter told WHYY Radio. "Nothing was really working for them."
September 2, 2015
At the European Society of Cardiology meeting last week, MedPage Today conducted a video interview with Mariell Jessup, MD, a professor of Medicine, associate chief of Clinical Affairs in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center. Jessup commented on the SERVE-HF trial and the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing with adaptive servo-ventilation in patients with chronic heart failure.
August 31, 2015
As the F.D.A. approves the second drug designed to lower LDL levels for those whose high cholesterol and heart disease cannot be controlled with statins, the New York Times quoted Dan Rader, MD, associate director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and chief, division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, on the benefits of lower LDL levels in lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
August 25, 2015
Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, and Robert Lustig, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, are quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story on the recently announced cancer treatment plan for Jimmy Carter, who will receive radiation plus the immunotherapy pembrolizumab for his metastatic melanoma. “I definitely think it's a reasonable treatment to be pursuing and potentially could really help him,” Schuchter told the Inquirer.
August 25, 2015
Med’s David Weiner and Karuppiah Muthumani have found that a novel synthetic DNA vaccine can induce immunity against Middle East respiratory syndrome in animals.
August 24, 2015
According to a study by Medicine’s Garret Fitzgerald, Frederic Bushman and Xue Liang, circadian rhythms and gender influence the microbiome make-up of mammals.
August 19, 2015
In continuing coverage, WHYY Radio and other outlets ran stories about a synthetic DNA–based vaccine targeting the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Lead author David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine was quoted.
August 21, 2015
Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, and James Metz, MD, chair of Radiation Oncology, were featured on CBS3 for a story on Jimmy Carter’s cancer announcement. Carter revealed that he will receive both radiation and a newer immunotherapy drug call pembrolizumab to treat his melanoma, which has spread to his liver and brain. “The idea is that radiation will cause the death of tumor cells, cause an immune response, and with that drug, it will actually make the immune system work better,” Metz told CBS3. Schuchter also went live on CBS3 and FOX29 to discuss the diagnosis and treatments.
August 17, 2015
In continuing coverage, ABCNews.com reports on a Delaware woman who needed a kidney transplant for almost two years, and now has her father's kidney after he recently died in a car accident. Penn patient Stacey Knox traveled to HUP earlier this month to receive her father's kidney, her husband said, adding that the transplant was successful, and that she's recovering and being monitored. "It's certainly a bittersweet story, but I think this is one of those opportunities where a parent gets to make a lasting and final gift to their child," Knox's surgeon Peter Abt, MD, surgical director of Kidney Transplantation, said.
August 11, 2015
In continuing coverage, the Baltimore Sun covered a recent study investigating a new T cell receptor therapy in multiple melanoma patients from researchers in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. This time, the team, led by Carl June, MD, a professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Edward Stadtmauer, MD, a professor of Medicine and section chief of Hematologic Malignancies, modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1. The study was also covered by Oncology Nurse Advisor and the ASCO Post.
Agust 5, 2015
After infection with leishmania, T cells reside in the skin to prevent future attacks, Vet's Philip Scott found. The work could inform vaccine development.
August 5, 2015
In recognition of her influential contributions to the field of hematology, Medicine’s Nancy Speck was awarded the 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal for Basic Science.
July 27, 2015
In continuing coverage, ABC 30 in Fresno, Calif., reported on a clinical trial at the Abramson Cancer Center investigating the use of vitamin D in combination with chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer patients. This first in-human trial is being led by Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD, chair of Surgery, and Peter O’Dwyer, MD, a professor of Hematology/Oncology, and is funded by the Stand Up to Cancer initiative.
July 27, 2015
Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor therapy demonstrated a response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants, according to a new study from Abramson Cancer Center researchers published in Nature Medicine, reports WHYY Radio and Fiercebiotech. This time, the team, led by Carl June, MD, a professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Edward Stadtmauer, MD, a professor of Medicine and section chief of Hematologic Malignancies, modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1, an antigen found in nearly 60 percent of multiple myelomas. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Medical Daily, and BioScience also covered the study.
July 23, 2015
Penn Medicine heart transplant patient, Derek Fitzgerald, completed the final leg of his cross country bike tour to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, stopping through Penn yesterday for a ceremony featuring words from Mariell Jessup, MD, an associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center and Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. Derek and his team finished is his 44-day journey yesterday afternoon in Avalon, NJ. This was covered by CBS3, WIP Sports Radio and NBC10.
Investigational T-cell Receptor Therapy Achieves Encouraging Clinical Responses in Multiple Patients, Penn-led Study Finds
July 21, 2015
Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor (TCR) therapy that uses a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients with advanced disease after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). The results of the study were published this week in the journal Nature Medicine from researchers at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, including senior author Carl H. June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the ACC, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (Adaptimmune).
July 22, 2015
Research by Carl June and Edward Stadtmauer of Medicine has found that new T-cell receptor therapy is both safe and effective for patients with advanced multiple myeloma.
July 15, 2015
HealthDay (via Doctors Lounge) reports that certain electrocardiographic measures may improve prediction of cardiovascular death in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a study led by Rajat Deo, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine, and published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Medscape and Health Management also covered the study.
July 13, 2015
In continuing coverage, TCTMD reports on the FDA's recent approval of Entresto for the treatment of heart failure. Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center, says that among the reasons the approval is important is that "the success of this drug has seemingly opened the floodgates of research into other potential heart failure drug investigation, making it a very exciting next chapter in the heart failure arena."
July 9, 2015
Medpage Today reports that the recent FDA approval of heart failure drug Entresto and the pending approval of two PCSK9 inhibitors this summer has reinvigorated the search for further advances in cardiology. "Already there has been a renewed sense of interest and excitement from many pharmaceutical companies taking another look at heart failure therapy," said Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center.
July 8, 2015
The first drug to demonstrate a mortality benefit when compared with enalapril for heart failure -- Entresto, previously known as LCZ696 -- received FDA approval Tuesday, according to Medpage Today. Cardiologists, including Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center, are calling it a potential game changer because "it represents a new class of drug, which may have a meaningful impact on the trajectory of disease in many patients."
July 8, 2015
A Food and Drug Administration advisory group recommended in June that the agency approve a new drug, Praluent, from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. If approved, it will be the first in a new class of blockbuster medicines that sharply lower levels of cholesterol, the leading cause of heart disease. But groundbreaking specialty drugs often come with a huge price tag. "If these drugs are really given to the number of people who are candidates for them, the cost will be astronomical," Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics and director of the Preventive Cardiovascular Program, told U.S. News & World Report.
July 7, 2015
David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, comments in The Scientist about continuing research after retirement. Weiner hosted retired clinical dermatologist Henry Maguire as a full-time postdoc in his lab from 1997 to 2011. In retirement, Maguire's expertise was an invaluable asset to the gourp, Weiner says. "He always challenged us: What is the importance of this work? What is the point of doing this? He made things kind of slow down, took you out of the rat race, and gave you time to think about things in an elegant and important way."
July 7, 2015
HemOnc Today reports on a new study from Abramson Cancer Center researchers that found that older patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplants who received stem cells from younger, unrelated donors with higher numbers of so-called killer T cells (CD8 cells) had significantly reduced risk of disease relapse and improved survival. The study, co-authored by David Porter, MD, director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the ACC, was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
July 7, 2015
James Hoxie, MD, director of the Penn Center for AIDS Research, was featured in a Hellio.com video talking about the advances in HIV, including gene therapy technology that kept the virus at bay in some patients taken off medications. "Those of us in the field, especially those of us who have been in it since the beginning, when HIV was a new disease, feel empowered by what we've accoplished, " Hoxie said. "That can only make us hopeful for what is ahead."
July 2, 2015
On June 10, an FDA advisory panel voted 11-4 in favor of approving PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab (Repatha), with most panelists saying they saw no need to wait for the ongoing cardiovascular outcomes trial data. Daniel Rader, MD, director of preventive cardiology, predicted that rigorous documentation of statin intolerance would be required for insurance coverage in the clinic, he told MedPage Today.