In this study we identified a growth factor, epigen, that is highly upregulated in tumor cell clusters. When this growth factor is knocked down in tumor cell clusters, metastatic outgrowth in lungs was reduced by over 94%. These data show that epigen is a signal for metastatic outgrowth of tumor cell clusters, and suggest that it could be used as a therapeutic target against cluster-based metastasis.
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Seattle Genetics Adopts New Name

Seattle Genetics announced last week it is changing its name to Seagen Inc. to reflect its place as a global company. The name reflects the company’s growth over 23 years from a Seattle-based biotech to a Bothell-based organization with three cancer fighting drugs on the market. The company will continue to trade on the public market under the “SGEN” ticker symbol. “We…
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Targeting the Genetic Roots of Autoimmunity

Every human has almost exactly the same DNA. But about 0.1 percent of human DNA is variable. This tiny percentage drives a surprising number of unique qualities in humans, from hair and eye color to our metabolism and immune responses. “Genetic variation contributes to the wonderful diversity among people,” explains John Ray, PhD. “But it can also lead to disease.” To…
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. Ruth Etzioni was just named the inaugural recipient of the Rosalie & Harold Rea Brown Endowed Chair. The new endowed chair will help advance Etzioni’s population science research, which focuses on cancer screening and early detection, particularly in breast and prostate cancers. Etzioni, who’s been at the Hutch for nearly 30 years, said she was…
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Electron microscopy (EM) is widely used for studying cellular structure and network connectivity in the brain. We have built a parallel imaging pipeline using transmission electron microscopes that scales this technology, implements 24/7 continuous autonomous imaging, and enables the acquisition of petascale datasets. The suitability of this architecture for large-scale imaging was demonstrated by acquiring a volume of more than 1 mm3 of…
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Researchers at UW Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are jointly testing monoclonal antibodies created by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to prevent COVID-19, and are starting to recruit patients. The scientists are testing a double antibody cocktail called REGN-COV2 (REGN10933+REGN10987), which had favorable results in mouse models and a positive review of the Phase I safety evaluation in an initial cohort…
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Modeling Living Systems with 4D Complexity

Cole DeForest is the Dan Evans Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering and a faculty member in the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. He is the leader of a research group that, over seven years, has grown to include nearly 20 postdoctoral students, graduate students, and undergraduates. As an emerging leader in the future-edge field of biomaterials, he…
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has awarded six new clinical trial research grants to principal investigators from academia and industry totaling over $16 million over the next four years. These trial research grants, awarded through the Congressionally-funded Orphan Products Grants Program, enhance the development of medical products for patients with rare diseases. “Now, more than ever, we see the important…
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Scientists analyzed about 1,200 proteins from the longitudinal blood samples of 79 participants of a commercial wellness program, including samples collected pre-diagnosis from 10 cancer patients. For three patients who went on to be diagnosed with three distinct types of metastatic cancer, the research team found specific proteins that were significant outliers when compared to other program participants. One protein —…
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