Jonathan L. Wright, MD, MS, FACS, medical director, Urology Clinic, University of Washington Medical Center, affiliate investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with bladder cancer. Over the past few years, immunotherapy has made a significant impact in the treatment of upper tract urothelial and bladder cancers.…
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The US state of Washington, in the Pacific Northwest, was once the epicentre of the information-technology world, thanks to Microsoft and its founder, Seattle-born Bill Gates — until the dotcom boom sent investors down the coast to Silicon Valley. Now, Gates and other high-profile Microsoft alumni, along with other wealthy donors, are elevating the state as a major player in…
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A research team led by Jessica A. Hamerman, PhD, at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), has discovered a unique type of cell and its association with a life-threatening complication of viral and autoimmune diseases. The team’s discovery, published in the journal Science, could lead to new treatments for a deadly form of inflammation in children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis…
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Scientists at UW Medicine’s Institute for Protein Design  have created a new protein that mimics the action of a key immune regulatory protein, interleukin 2 (IL-2).  IL-2 is a potent anticancer drug and an effective treatment for autoimmune disease, but its toxic side effects have limited its clinical usefulness. In a paper in the Jan. 10 issue of the journal Nature, the researchers report using…
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Microsoft is seeking new research partners to join its T-cell Antigen Map project — an ongoing effort to map the human immune system. The project launched one year ago, when Microsoft partnered with Adaptive Biotechnologies, a Seattle-based biotech company. Under the partnership, researchers at Microsoft are using artificial intelligence to help analyze Adaptive Biotechnologies’ high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics data on T-cell and B-cell receptors,…
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For 30 years, scientists have been trying to unleash the promise of Interleukin-2 (IL-2), a powerful protein that fights cancer but is highly toxic. Researchers at the University of Washington may finally have done it, and they’re launching a startup to make a commercial version. The breakthrough is described in a paper published in the journal Nature by researchers at the Institute for…
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Former Juno Therapeutics executives Hans Bishop and Steve Harr have launched Sana Biotechnology, a startup focused on cell therapy, gene therapy and gene editing. Backed by ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Pioneering and F-Prime Capital Partners, the new company is notable not just for its experienced leadership team, but also the amount of funding it is looking to raise out of the…
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Angie Karalis Johnson has a dream that a cure for the progressive eye disease known as age-related macular degeneration will one day happen because of research advances at UW Medicine. To help realize this dream, Karalis Johnson has made a significant donation to the UW Medicine Eye Institute to establish the new Karalis Johnson Retina Center. The Karalis Johnson Retina…
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Things are a little on edge in Seattle’s biotech scene after the Jan. 3 announcement that pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) intends to buy Celgene, the parent company of Juno Therapeutics, in one of the industry’s largest acquisitions ever. The $74 billion cash-and-stock buyout has the potential to accelerate the development of new treatments in areas such as cancer immunotherapy, Juno’s…
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Many researchers realize that mice and rats are social and chatty. They spend all day talking to each other, but  what  are they really saying? Not only are many  rodent vocalizations unable to be heard by humans, but also existing computer programs to detect these vocalizations are flawed.  They pick up other noises, are slow to analyze data, and rely…
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