As cancer cells progress, they accumulate hundreds and even thousands of genetic and epigenetic changes, resulting in protein expression profiles that are radically different from that of healthy cells. But despite their heavily mutated proteome, cancer cells can evade recognition and attack by the immune system. Immunotherapies, particularly checkpoint inhibitors that reinvigorate exhausted T cells, have revolutionized the treatment of…
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BOSTON – Higher levels of daily physical activity may protect against the cognitive decline and neurodegeneration (brain tissue loss) from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that alters the lives of many older people, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found. In a paper in JAMA Neurology, the team also reported that lowering vascular risk factors may offer additional protection against Alzheimer’s and…
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A new study published in Cell Reports found that a transcription factor called Slug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell health, regulating both stem cell activity and repair of DNA damage. The research team also discovered that Slug likely functions as a safeguard against age-related decline of breast stem cell function. Transcription factors are proteins that bind…
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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Neon Therapeutics announced top-line results in its Phase Ib clinical trial of NEO-PV-01, its personal neoantigen vaccine candidate. NEO-PV-01 was being evaluated in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) in advanced or metastatic melanoma, smoking-associated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and bladder cancer. In all three cancer types, data showed prolonged and consistent improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) that is similar…
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New York-based real-estate development firm Tishman Speyer has partnered with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Bellco Capital LLC to launch a life sciences real estate arm named Breakthrough Properties. The partnership’s first project will be in South Boston, and Breakthrough plans a global expansion. The Business Journal was first to report last week that Tishman Speyer had acquired 105 W. First St.,…
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Harvard biochemistry professor Jack Strominger has published over 1,000 scientific papers. He discovered how penicillin kills bacteria. He helped solve the riddle of how our immune system can tell friend from foe. Get the latest health, medicine and science news sent to your inbox each week with CommonHealth’s newsletter. Subscribe here. He’s such a star that when his son, the renowned physicist Andrew Strominger, won…
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For decades, research has shown that our perception of the world is influenced by our expectations. These expectations, also called “prior beliefs,” help us make sense of what we are perceiving in the present, based on similar past experiences. Consider, for instance, how a shadow on a patient’s X-ray image, easily missed by a less experienced intern, jumps out at…
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When it comes to killing cancer cells, two drugs are often better than one. Some drug combinations offer a one-two punch that kills cells more effectively, requires lower doses of each drug, and can help to prevent drug resistance. MIT biologists have now found that by combining two existing classes of drugs, both of which target cancer cells’ ability to…
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For the first time researchers have deciphered the near-atomic structure of filaments, called ‘pili’, that extend from the surface of bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea. Without pili, these bacteria do not cause disease. Knowing this structural information may lead to the development of new preventive therapies for the disease. Traveler’s diarrhea is an inconvenience to many in the U.S., but worldwide it…
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HIV patients could one day replace a daily pill for one that would last a week or more, should a new drug development deal struck this week prove successful. California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) is enlisting Watertown startup Lyndra Therapeutics to develop one or more HIV drugs that could last a week, allowing patients to take fewer pills. Gilead…
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