“Off-the-Shelf” Engineered Stem Cell Therapy for Glioblastoma Prolongs Survival in Animal Model

Glioblastoma brain cancer cells under microscope

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed a biologic agent, dubbed EnMSCBif, to bind to death receptor 5 (DR5) on the surface of glioblastoma cells and trigger extrinsic programmed cell death. They report on the high potential of EnMSCBif to be translated into clinical use.

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Making Headway in Targeting Glioblastoma Multiforme

Brain MRI showing a needle inserted into a glioblastoma multiforme tumor highlighted in purple

Break Through Cancer is a foundation that brings together elite cancer research centers to collaborate on and accelerate research, clinical trials and cures for deadly cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme. The Brigham’s Nathalie Y. R. Agar, PhD, and E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, discuss this ambitious undertaking.

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Researchers Probe Links Between Colorectal Cancer, Bariatric Surgery and the Microbiota

Brigham investigators are examining the link between the microbiota and colorectal cancer, including exploring how bariatric surgery changes the microbiome and the impact this connection may have on the development of colorectal cancer. James Yoo, MD, and Eric G. Sheu, MD, PhD, co-lead this new research initiative.

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Role of DNA Damage Response Genes in Prostate Cancer Similar for African Americans, European Americans

Representation of the <em>BRCA2</em> gene

Adam S. Kibel, MD, and Anna Plym, PhD, of the Division of Urology, and colleagues conducted the most comprehensive study to date on the role of inherited DNA damage response (DDR) genes in aggressive prostate cancer. They report high carrier frequency of DDR gene alterations in lethal cases irrespective of ancestry.

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Endoscopic Ultrasound–guided Gastroenterostomy Is a Viable Option for Palliation of Gastric Outlet Obstruction

Medical professional holding instrument for endoscopy with purple gloves

Ali Abbas, MD, MPH, Christopher C. Thompson, MD, MSc, and colleagues report similar technical success rates for endoscopic ultrasound–guided gastroenterostomy (EUS-GE) and surgical gastrojejunostomy, despite more advanced cancer stage and worse performance status in the EUS-GE cohort.

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Esophagectomy Complication Rate Higher with Low-volume Surgeons Even at the Same High-volume Center

Close up of two surgeons beginning thoracic surgery

A study conducted by Daniel Dolan, MD, MPH, Scott J. Swanson, MD, of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, and colleagues determined that even at the Brigham’s high-volume center, low individual esophagectomy volume was associated with a higher perioperative complication rate.

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Survival Similar Whether Patients With Spinal Metastases Have Surgery or Not

X-ray highlighting spine metastasis

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined the two-year natural history of spinal metastases in cancer patients treated operatively or non-operatively and found that both types of treatment yielded improvements in health-related quality of life, but there was no survival advantage with surgery.

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Exploring the Role of Neurons in the Tumor Microenvironment that Drive Cancer Growth

Humsa Venkatesh, PhD, a cancer biologist, is studying the neural regulation of cancer and how nervous system cells found within the tumor microenvironment drive tumor growth. Her research has implications for primary brain tumors such as gliomas and for tumors that metastasize to the brain from other parts of the body.

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Metabolic Syndrome and Its Treatment Affects Response to Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

3D rendering of prostate cancer cells from top-down view

Adam S. Kibel, MD, and Jiun-Hung Geng, of the Brigham’s Division of Urology, and colleagues recently conducted the first study of how the combination of metabolic syndrome and its treatment affect response to androgen deprivation therapy in castration-sensitive prostate cancer.

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