Research Shows Seattle Children’s Pioneering Immunotherapy Trial May Be Feasible to Combat Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
An innovative clinical trial led by Dr. Nicholas Vitanza, a neuro-oncologist at Seattle Children’s, shows promise that delivering cancer-fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells directly to the brain for children and young adults with recurrent or refractory brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors may be feasible and tolerable.
The results, published today in Nature Medicine, are the initial findings from Seattle Children’s Therapeutics’ BrainChild-01 immunotherapy clinical trial. BrainChild-01 is the first of three such trials seeking to comprehensively target all types of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors.
Seattle Children’s Therapeutics is a unit in the research division at Seattle Children’s and is taking promising CAR T cell immunotherapies forward to the first clinical trials of their kind for children. As a novel non-profit therapeutic development enterprise, it is devoted to envisioning and testing next-generation cell and gene therapies for pediatric diseases, so children have the medicines they deserve.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first led to a pivot to online instruction in the spring of 2020, the Science Education Department at Seattle Children’s Research Institute was forced to hit pause on in-person programming.
However, thanks to an investment in high-quality equipment and the creativity and adaptability of the Science Education team, the programs have been able to thrive in a virtual format.
Transition to virtual
To pivot to a virtual format, the team purchased a video camera and lighting equipment to make the lessons feel professional, says Dr. Amanda Jones, senior director of education initiatives at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Read full post »
Seattle Children’s Researchers Discover That Functional COVID-19 Antibodies Are Lost Quickly After Mild Cases
Seattle Children’s researchers have published a study that has uncovered a deeper understanding of why people who have had mild cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) lose functional antibodies within a few months.
Last year, while seeing the bulk of research analysis focused on severe cases of COVID-19, a team of researchers led by Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, the largest pediatric infectious disease research center in the country, sought to evaluate the immune responses that occur after people recover from more mild cases of COVID-19. Mild cases, researchers say, are the most common type of cases. Published in Cell Reports Medicine, a team of researchers found that while antibodies did persist over time, they were not the functional antibodies needed to protect someone from reinfection.
The study evaluated a cohort of 34 adults, ranging in age from 24-74 for up to six months. It characterizes antibody responses to infection and does not investigate T cell or vaccine responses. Antibody responses to vaccination are likely to behave very differently and have different longevity.
At first, researchers found a sustained and maturing presence of an antibody called Immunoglobulin G (IgG) among participants, which should normally mean protection from infection of a virus would improve, says Dr. Noah Sather, a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and associate professor at the University of Washington.