The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) is an international non-profit research institute dedicated to improving the understanding and control of cancer. Below are highlights of the Institute’s news.
June 12, 2013
The Cancer Research Institute, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Immune Design Form New Collaboration to Accelerate Clinical Testing of Immunotherapies for Cancer
June 12, 2013, New York, NY, and Seattle, WA - The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Immune Design, a biotech company focused on immune-based therapies for cancer and other human diseases, today announced that they have signed a collaboration agreement to advance cancer immunotherapy research. Specifically, the partnership will focus on clinical trials to test novel combinations of immunotherapies, including two investigational drugs from Immune Design’s pipeline.
June 02, 2013
Concurrent treatment with two antibodies that boost the immune response to tumors in distinct ways appears to be highly effective against metastatic melanoma
June 2, 2013, New York, NY – A team of researchers led by Jedd Wolchok of the Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) presented data today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showing promising results from a Phase I clinical trial evaluating the concurrent use of two immunotherapies for the treatment of advanced melanoma. The study is published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Wolchok and his colleagues found that a regimen of two antibody therapies—ipilimumab (Yervoy) and the investigational drug nivolumab—led to strong and durable tumor regression in patients with inoperable, metastatic melanoma, which is highly resistant to treatment.
May 31, 2013
May 20, 2013, Palo Alto, Calif. - Scientists at the Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University have shown that their previously identified therapeutic approach to fight cancer via immune cells called macrophages also prompts the disease-fighting killer T cells to attack the cancer.
May 30, 2013, Palo Alto, Calif. - Building on previous research showing that cancer cells send signals to the immune system to avoid being attacked, Stanford University scientists, including several based at the Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research at the university, have engineered new molecules that are highly proficient at neutralizing those signals. The molecules dramatically increase the effectiveness of certain existing cancer therapies and may open up other avenues for treating cancer using patients’ own immune systems.
May 31, 2013, San Diego, Calif. - An international team of researchers – led by principal investigator Paul S. Mischel, MD, a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine – has found that a singular gene mutation helps brain cancer cells to not just survive, but grow tumors rapidly by altering the splicing of genes that control cellular metabolism.
May 30, 2013
May 30, 2013, New York, NY - Professor Sir David Lane, an internationally recognized and respected cancer researcher widely known for his discovery of the p53 tumor suppressor protein, joins the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research as its Scientific Director, commencing June 1, 2013. In this role, Professor Lane will lead Ludwig’s global cancer research effort, fostering collaboration, coordinating research activities and representing its international network of leading scientists.
May 09, 2013
Researchers elucidate how precise chemical modifications across the genome turn genes on and off during early human development—and how those mechanisms are disrupted in cancer
May 9, 2013, New York, NY and San Diego, CA - A large, multi-institutional research team involved in the NIH Epigenome Roadmap Project has published a sweeping analysis in the current issue of the journal Cellof how genes are turned on and off to direct early human development. Led by Bing Ren of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Joseph Ecker of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and James Thomson of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the scientists also describe novel genetic phenomena likely to play a pivotal role not only in the genesis of the embryo, but that of cancer as well. Their publicly available data, the result of more than four years of experimentation and analysis, will contribute significantly to virtually every subfield of the biomedical sciences.
April 25, 2013
New research reveals how the tumor suppressor p53 is shut down in metastatic melanoma - and how it can be revived
April 25, 2013, New York, NY and Oxford, UK - Cancer cells are a problem for the body because they multiply recklessly, refuse to die and blithely metastasize to set up shop in places where they don’t belong. One protein that keeps healthy cells from behaving this way is a tumor suppressor named p53. This protein stops potentially precancerous cells from dividing and induces suicide in those that are damaged beyond repair. Not surprisingly, p53’s critical function is disrupted in most cancers.
April 22, 2013
April 21, 2013, New York, NY and San Diego Calif. - Ludwig researchers Arshad Desai and Christopher Campbell, a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory, were conducting an experiment to parse the molecular details of cell division about three years ago, when they engineered a mutant yeast cell as a control that, in theory, had no chance of surviving. Apparently unaware of this, the mutant thrived.
April 11, 2013
April 11, 2013, Stockholm, Sweden - At their regular meeting on April 26, 2013, the Trustees of the Nobel Foundation will elect Carl-Henrik Heldin of Uppsala as a new member of the Nobel Foundation’s Board of Directors. Heldin was born in 1952 and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, professor of molecular cell biology at Uppsala University, branch director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala and Vice President of the European Research Council (ERC).
April 10, 2013
April 10, 2013, New York, NY – A dozen Ludwig scientists from around the world presented the latest advancements in basic and clinical cancer research at this week’s American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2013. Progress in immunotherapy and epigenetics led the program with important diagnostic and treatment implications for emerging cancer therapy.
April 08, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Researchers using a tool called BEAMing technology, which can detect cancer-driving gene mutations in patients’ blood samples, were able to identify oncogenic mutations associated with distinct responses to therapies used to treat patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), according to a researcher who presented the data at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington D.C., April 6-10.
April 8, 2013, New York, NY and San Diego Calif. - Proteins that control cell growth are often mutated in cancer, and their aberrant signaling drives the wild proliferation of cells that gives rise to tumors. One such protein, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), fuels a wide variety of cancers - including a highly malignant brain cancer known as glioblastoma. Yet drugs devised to block its signaling tend to work only for a short while, until the cancer cells adapt to evade the therapy. So far, much of the research examining such drug resistance has focused on how mutations of other proteins in cancer cells allow them to resist drugs.
March 26, 2013
March 26, 2013, New York, NY - Three Ludwig scientists were named as Fellows in the inaugural class of the AACR Academy, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the American Association for Cancer Research.
February 26, 2013
February 26, 2013, New York, N.Y. and San Diego, Calif. – Glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of brain tumor in adults, is challenging to treat because the tumors rapidly become resistant to therapy. As cancer researchers are learning more about the causes of tumor cell growth and drug resistance, they are discovering molecular pathways that might lead to new targeted therapies to potentially treat this deadly cancer.
February 22, 2013
Vogelstein is among 11 recipients of inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, world’s richest academic prize for medicine, biology school of medicine
February 21, 2013, Baltimore, US - Ludwig scientist Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins, a pioneer in the field of cancer genomics, is among 11 scientists named the first winners of the world’s richest academic prize for medicine and biology. News of the award was first reported today by The New York Times.
February 18, 2013
February 18, 2013 , New York, NY and Melbourne, Australia - A Melbourne-based research team has discovered a genetic defect that can halt cell growth and force cells into a death-evading survival state. The finding has revealed an important mechanism controlling the growth of rapidly-dividing cells that may ultimately lead to the development of new treatments for diseases including cancer.
February 05, 2013
Monday, Feb. 4, 2013- STANFORD, Calif. - The effect remains even when the cancer cells have become resistant to other treatments, and the findings may one day provide a glimmer of hope for people with the cancer, known as gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or GIST. The scientists hope to move into human clinical trials of the antibody within two years.
February 04, 2013
February 4, 2013, New York, NY and Oxford, UK - Nearly every cell in the human body carries a copy of the full human genome. So how is it that the cells that detect light in the human eye are so different from those of, say, the beating heart or the spleen?
January 29, 2013
January 29, 2013 - Basel, Switzerland and New York, NY: 4-Antibody AG and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (the Ludwig Institute) today announced the signing of a multi-target R&D collaboration with Recepta Biopharma SA, the leading Brazilian developer of therapeutic antibodies founded by the Ludwig Institute and Brazilian investors. This represents an expansion of a partnership the Ludwig Institute and 4-Antibody initiated over a year ago. Financial details were not disclosed.
January 16, 2013
January 17, 2013 - New York, NY and Melbourne, Australia - Researchers have identified a complex of proteins that promotes the growth of some types of colon and gastric cancers, and shown that medications that block the function of this complex have the potential to be developed into a new treatment for these diseases. The complex of proteins, known as mTorc1 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1), has previously been implicated in the development of some other cancers but this is the first time it has been shown to promote the growth of colon and gastric cancers that are associated with inflammation.
January 09, 2013
January 9, 2013 - Baltimore, MD - Using cervical fluid obtained during routine Pap tests, Ludwig scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers. In a pilot study, the “PapGene” test, which relies on genomic sequencing of cancer-specific mutations, accurately detected all 24 (100 percent) endometrial cancers and nine of 22 (41 percent) ovarian cancers. Results of the experiments are published in the Jan. 9 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
December 12, 2012
December 10, 2012, New York, NY – Tumor metastasis, the ability of cancer cells to migrate from their tissue of origin and colonize elsewhere in the body, accounts for over 90% of cancer deaths. When patients die from cancer, it is usually caused by distant metastases established by malignant cells that split off from the primary cancer and began growing in new settings.
November 29, 2012
November 28, 2012, BALTIMORE, MD - Scientists at the Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins have combined the ability to detect cancer DNA in the blood with genome sequencing technology in a test that could be used to screen for cancers, monitor cancer patients for recurrence and find residual cancer left after surgery.
November 22, 2012
November 22, 2012, BOSTON - A new targeted drug demonstrated its ability to control metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor, an uncommon and life-threatening form of sarcoma, after the disease had become resistant to all existing therapies, report investigators at the Ludwig Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who led the worldwide clinical trial
November 16, 2012
Please read the story here: Young_Investigators_12_Nov_2012.pdf
November 08, 2012
November 8, 2012, New York, NY - Peter J. Ratcliffe, MD, an internationally recognized physician scientist who heads the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University was appointed a Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
October 24, 2012
October 24, 2012, New York, NY - Cancers arise in the body all the time. Most are nipped in the bud by the immune response, not least by its T cells, which detect telltale molecular markers—or antigens—on cancer cells and destroy them before they grow into tumors. Cancer cells, for their part, evolve constantly to evade such assassination. Those that succeed become full-blown malignancies. Yet, given the right sort of help, the immune system can destroy even these entrenched tumors.
October 15, 2012
October 15, 2012 - New York, NY - Don W. Cleveland, PhD, Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and chair of the UC San Diego Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election to the IOM is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
October 09, 2012
October 9, 2012, New York, NY and Gaithersburg, MD -The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, today announced that they have signed a collaboration agreement to advance the research of immunotherapy in cancer. Specifically, the research will focus on clinical trials to test novel combinations of immunotherapies, including three investigational monoclonal antibodies from MedImmune’s pipeline.
September 25, 2012
September 24, 2012 - New York, NY - Dizzying amounts of data have been produced by the ENCODE project which has been extremely successful in mapping out the functional sequences of the human genome
September 24, 2012
September 24, 2012 - New York, NY and Uppsala, Sweden - Death plays a big role in keeping things alive. Consider the tightly orchestrated suicide of cells—a phenomenon essential to everything from shaping an embryo to keeping it free of cancer later in life. When cells refuse to die, and instead multiply uncontrollably, they become what we call tumors. An intricate circuitry of biochemical reactions inside cells coordinates their self-sacrifice. Tracing that circuitry is, naturally, an important part of cancer research.
August 14, 2012
August 13, 2012 - New York, NY and San Diego, CA - Despite years of research, glioblastoma, the most common and deadly brain cancer in adults, continues to outsmart treatments targeted to inhibit tumor growth.
Biologists and oncologists have long understood that a protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR is altered in at least 50 percent of patients with glioblastoma. Yet patients with glioblastoma either have upfront resistance or quickly develop resistance to inhibitors aimed at stopping the protein’s function, suggesting that there is another signalling pathway at play.
August 01, 2012
August 1, 2012 - New York, NY and Oxford, UK - The body has a built-in system known as autophagy, or ‘self-eating,’ that controls how cells live or die. Deregulation of autophagy is linked to the development of human diseases, including neural degeneration and cancer.
July 31, 2012
July 31, 2012 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - In many types of cancer, activated immune cells infiltrate the tumor and influence clinical outcome. It is not always clear where these cells are activated, but results reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, indicate that in a subset of patients with metastatic melanoma, they can be activated in the tumor microenvironment.
July 26, 2012
$14.8 Million in Financing from BNDES and Orphan Drug Designation for Lead Cancer Therapeutic
July 25, 2012 - New York, NY - The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd (LICR) commends Recepta Biopharma S.A. on recent milestones that will help to advance the development of new cancer therapeutics for patients.
July 22, 2012
Applications include studying single cells that form malignant tumors
July 22, 2012, New York, NY and Stockholm, Sweden – Only by viewing a Seurat painting at close range can you appreciate the hidden complexities of pointillism – small, distinct dots of pure color applied in patterns to form an image from a distance. Similarly, biologists and geneticists have long sought to analyze profiles of genes at the single cell level but technology limitations have only allowed a view from afar until now.
July 03, 2012
July 3, 2012 - On June 22, the first stage of a new Comprehensive Cancer Centre known as the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC), opened in Melbourne, Australia, providing the Melbourne-Austin Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and expanded research capacity in the country. The new center will provide cancer care, prevention and wellness programs, along with the Ludwig research laboratories.
Renowned Oncologist to Head Ludwig Center at the University of Lausanne and Lausanne University Hospital
July 3, 2012 - New York, NY – A prominent oncologist in ovarian cancer research and treatment, George Coukos, M.D., Ph.D., joins the Ludwig Center in Lausanne, Switzerland as the new Director. Coukos is a pioneer in using cutting-edge advances in immunotherapy to help patients living with cancer.
July 01, 2012
Regulatory Sequences of Mouse Genome Sequenced for First Time
July 1, 2012 - New York, NY and San Diego, Calif. - Popularly dubbed “the book of life,” the human genome is extraordinarily difficult to read. But without full knowledge of its grammar and syntax, the genome’s 2.9 billion base-pairs of adenine and thymine, cytosine and guanine provide limited insights into humanity’s underlying genetics.
June 22, 2012
Single treatment produces long-term improvement in animal models
June 20, 2012 - San Diego - With a single drug treatment, researchers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine can silence the mutated gene responsible for Huntington’s disease, slowing and partially reversing progression of the fatal neurodegenerative disorder in animal models.
June 01, 2012
June 1, 2012 - New York, NY – Scientists from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) will share research findings from more than a dozen studies both as posters and as part of the published proceedings during the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) taking place June 1-5 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.
May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012 - New York, NY, Chicago, IL and Atlanta, GA - Imagine reading an entire book, but then realizing that your glasses did not allow you to distinguish “g” from “q.” What details did you miss?
Geneticists faced a similar problem with the recent discovery of a “sixth nucleotide” in the DNA alphabet. Two modifications of cytosine, one of the four bases that make up DNA, look almost the same but mean different things. But scientists lacked a way of reading DNA, letter by letter, and detecting precisely where these modifications are found in particular tissues or cell types.
May 03, 2012
New Company to Focus on Developing Novel Immunotherapy Compounds for Cancer Treatment
May 3, 2012 - NEW YORK, NY – The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) announced today the launch of a private biotechnology enterprise, iTeos Therapeutics SA, to develop a novel pre-clinical pipeline of immunomodulators to stimulate the immune system’s ability to attack cancer. Founded by LICR with the de Duve Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), iTeos is led by a team experienced in tumor immunology, immunotherapy, drug discovery, business development and entrepreneurship. iTeos is the ninth new company formed based on innovative cancer research discoveries licensed from LICR.
April 16, 2012
Few diseases have strong enough genetic components to make sequencing a solid way to assess individual risk
By Katherine Harmon | Monday, April 2, 2012
A $1,000 genome sequence is close to being available. What will your sequence tell you about your actual risk for certain diseases?
Many companies advertise a laundry list of disease risks associated with your genes. But your genome is unlikely to reveal whether or not you will actually get one of these conditions, according to a study published online April 2 in Science Translational Medicine.
April 13, 2012
On April 13 and 14, 2012, the Hospital Sírio-Libanês (HSL) will host Intersections - 1st International Cooperative Cancer Symposium in Sao Paulo to celebrate a new strategic partnership among with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and HSL. The two-day event will bring together leading oncologists from Brazil and around the world.
April 11, 2012
Findings provide tools for better understanding of the human genome
April 11, 2012 - New York, NY - Chromosomes are strands of DNA that contain the blueprint of all living organisms. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes that instruct how genes are regulated during development of the human body. While scientists have developed an understanding of the one-dimensional structure of DNA, until today, little was known about how different parts of DNA are folded next to each other inside the nucleus.
Blog posting from UCSD based on a Ludwig study published in Nature
April 8, 2012 - San Diego - Centromeres are regions of DNA and proteins on each chromosome that both link together sister chromatids and ensure accurate chromosome segregation and distribution during cell division or mitosis. When centromeres don’t work right, the result can be catastrophic. Indeed, aberrant division and chromosomal instability are hallmarks of cancer cells, especially the most aggressive types.
April 03, 2012
Underpinned by technological advances, cancer research has undergone some exiting developments in recent years. While Dr. Simpson is enthusiastic about such progress, he is keen to point out that much more needs to be done.
Click on the link below
April 02, 2012
April 2, 2012 - Chicago - With sharp declines in the cost of whole genome sequencing, the day of accurately deciphering disease risk based on an individual’s genome may seem at hand. But a study involving data of thousands of identical twins by Johns Hopkins investigators finds that genomic fortune-telling fails to provide informative guidance to most people about their risk for most common diseases, and warns against complacency born of negative genome test results.