A First Look at New Gene and Cell Therapies Targeting Glioblastoma

cancer cells
CRISPR-engineered therapeutic cancer cells tracking primary cancer cells in the brain
Red: Brain resident cancer cells
Green: Transplanted CRISPR-engineered cancer cells

Three members from the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were among the featured presenters at the 2021 World Medical Innovation Forum. Their “First Look” talks showcased promising new gene and cell therapies targeting glioblastoma and other tumors with unmet need.

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Image Intelligence Promotes Understanding and Treatment of Lung Disease


Lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be remarkably diverse in their pathologies and the ways in which patients respond to treatment. To better understand diseases such as COPD, pulmonary vascular disease and interstitial lung disease, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital created the Applied Chest Imaging Laboratory (ACIL). The lab leverages the power of imaging and hypothesis-driven modeling to create algorithms that empower clinical and genetic research.

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Brigham Launches Two Specialized Gynecologic Care Centers for Endometriosis and Fibroids

Pelvic endometriosis lesions
Pelvic endometriosis lesions

For patients with endometriosis, fibroids and uterine anomalies, finding the right care can be difficult. In some cases, physicians discount or misdiagnose their concerns and symptoms. In other cases, patients have a hard time finding the right provider — someone who will look beyond an individual symptom and also take their wishes and goals into account when designing a treatment plan.

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Promoting Support for Anti-Amyloid Alzheimer’s Therapies

Amyloid Plaques (Ab) and Neurofibrillary Tangles (tau)
Amyloid plaques (Ab) and Neurofibrillary tangles (tau)

For over three decades, Dennis Selkoe, MD, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has studied protein abnormalities that occur in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the mid-1980s, he and his colleagues at the Brigham were among the first scientists to discover that neurofibrillary tangles associated with AD were made of the tau protein. In the early 1990s, he was instrumental in developing the amyloid hypothesis, which links excess amyloid β (Aβ) in the brain to the initiation of AD, and his lab made several discoveries supporting the concept.

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Robotic Thoracic Surgery Extends Minimally Invasive Options to More Patients

Doctor operating robotic console
Dr. Jon Wee is shown here operating in the robot console, directing the robot arms.

Developments in robotic surgery are enabling procedures in minimally invasive thoracic surgery that previously were not feasible. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a team that includes thoracic surgeons and pulmonologists along with experts in vascular surgery, anesthesiology and intensive care has facilitated the increased use of these procedures for many different medical conditions. Read More

Study Reveals New Insights Into Source of Certain Long-Haul COVID Symptoms

doctor speaking with patient

Results of an invasive cardiopulmonary exercise test (iCPET) explain why patients with post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS), also known as long-haul COVID, suffer from fatigue, shortness of breath and lightheadedness when exerting themselves. A recent study published in the journal CHEST found that PACS patients without cardiopulmonary disease demonstrate a marked reduction in aerobic activity and impaired systemic oxygen extraction, along with an exaggerated hyperventilatory response during exercise.

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New Tool for Reporting Incidents of Discrimination Reflects System-Wide Effort to Promote Health Equity

Discrimination based on factors like race, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status are widely pervasive throughout society. The medical field is no exception.

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Beryl Benacerraf, MD, Awarded ‘Giant in Obstetrics and Gynecology’ by AJOG

Beryl Benacerraf, MDFrom her revolutionary work using ultrasound for prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies and gynecologic disorders to her discovery that linked nuchal thickening to an increased risk for fetal Down syndrome, Beryl Benacerraf, MD, has changed the way medicine is practiced.

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Advancing Care for Traumatic Spine Injuries

Spine X-Ray
This 27-year-old patient experienced a severe L2-L3 fracture/dislocation after hitting a tree in a high-speed downhill skiing accident. They were treated with L2-3 lateral interbody fusion and returned to full functional activity with no pain.

Treating patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries has significant challenges, in large part because of the potentially severe and life-altering effects these injuries can have. Despite recent progress in finding the best way to treat spinal cord damage, many patients are left with profound disabilities. Additional research, both in the lab and the clinic, is vital.

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Are Previous Notions of Atherosclerosis Outdated?

Peter Libby, MD with research lab colleagues
Peter Libby, MD, (left) with research laboratory colleagues

Once a problem primarily in developed, Western nations, atherosclerosis is on the rise in developing countries and has become a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As the burden of atherosclerosis has shifted geographically and socioeconomically, the way in which the disease is approached and treated has shifted as well. Peter Libby, MD, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has helped drive the latter of these changes.

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