A novel cuproptosis-related immune checkpoint gene signature identification and experimental validation in hepatocellular carcinoma

As current staging systems for cancer are typically found through anatomical evaluations of the disease, stratification of patients for treatment and further therapy strategies prove difficult. Much potential remains in cancer biomarker research for the identification of prognostic gene expression signatures capable of classifying tumor subgroups via their biological counterparts. With the advancements in genomic and transcriptomic technologies, researchers are making great discoveries in cancer biomarkers for detection, prediction of therapeutic response and prognoses of cancer. Recent research highlights a new cuproptosis (copper-induced death) related immune checkpoint gene signature recently investigated as a potential biomarker for anticancer therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma. 

Cancer-seeking molecular delivery system could boost immunotherapy drug, research finds

For past decades, the treatment of cancer has generally meant surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the above. Through recent work from a collaboration of researchers from the University of Rhode Island and Yale University comes the promising new approach of delivering immunotherapy agents, STING agonists, via a cancer-seeking molecular delivery system. The delivery relies on the acid-seeking molecule- pHLIP. These molecules deliver cargo directly to the tumor environment via targeting of the high acidity of cancerous tumors. Through this novel drug delivery technique, cancer immunotherapy may become even more effective.

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Putin weaponizing refugees: NATO must draw red lines and enforce them

Op-Ed in the Hill written by Drs’ Poznansky, Callahan and Hart on the presumption that Putin’s past actions will serve as his current playbook and the consequential NATO response. “As a medic in the British Army during the late 1980s, I was taught that a war in Western Europe, started by the Soviet Union, would immediately result in hundreds of thousands of refugees, with that number escalating to millions in a matter of days. Because the region is one of the top three most densely populated subcontinents, battlefield casualties and medical management of refugees were expected to place enormous strain on military and civilian medical care in every area of…”

WMD in Ukraine: a planetary near-death experience

Op-Ed in the Hill written by Drs’ Helfand, Callahan, Hodgkin and Poznansky on the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction and the unacceptable threat to the Ukraine, global security and public health.

“The war in Ukraine is now in its fifth month and, while the brutal toll of military and civilian casualties continues to climb, the territorial lines have become increasingly static, with mostly incremental gains by Russian forces in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. We continue to learn of human rights violations, from intentional targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure to deportation of Ukrainian civilians into Russia. Despite the devastation…”

The Harvard Gazette – Viewing Ukraine’s war-torn health care through a personal lens

Physicians Polina Teslyar, Nelya Melnitchouk, Mark Poznansky, Serguei Melnitchouk, Dana Ronak and Rolin Kostya, and Gennadiy Fuzaylov speak with Harvard-affiliated doctors from Brigham and Women’s and MGH via Zoom to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

“Both Serguei Melnitchouk and his wife, Nelya, are surgeons, he at Massachusetts General Hospital and she at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Both are Harvard Medical School assistant professors, and both have families who are safe for now in small towns in Ukraine.

“We are constantly checking the news and trying to find ways to help,” said Nelya, who directs the Brigham’s colorectal surgery fellowship and is working with her husband on a series of medical aid projects for Ukraine. “Obviously, this whole war is very close to my heart.”

Dr. Gennadiy Fuzaylov from HUG and through his organization, DCHC, has successfully assisted transporting afflicted children from the Ukraine to hospitals in the US.

“A Boston hospital specializing in pediatric burn victims says its treating two children recently flown from Ukraine with severe burns. Shriners Children’s Boston said Thursday that two children were transported by air ambulance, and arrived in Boston late Wednesday, each one accompanied by one of their parents. The hospital said it’s not able to share additional information regarding the children or their medical conditions at this time but will be holding a media briefing…”

Boston burn doctors help save suffering Ukrainian children

“Two young children with severe burns, accompanied by a single parent each, fled by car from different regions of war-ravaged Ukraine toward the Polish border. From Poland, away from Russian bombs, they boarded a flight that is at least 10 hours long no matter if they flew from border cities like Lublin or Rzeszow or from the capital Warsaw, and landed sometime around midnight — late Wednesday or early Thursday — to be treated by burn specialists at Boston’s…”

COVID Vaccines, Therapeutics, Variants, Long COVID, Ability To Tackle the Next Pandemic

Director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Mark Poznansky, joins Dr. Marc Siegel on Sirius XM Doctor Radio and discusses the latest information on vaccine development, current therapeutics, Long COVID, individual responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID, and the United States’ ability to tackle the next pandemic.

Dual-drug treatment offers promise for advanced melanoma patients

An immunotherapy study suggests hopeful results for advanced melanoma patients. The study indicated that relatlimab and nivolumab elicited beneficial responses in patients with late-stage melanoma. Specifically, the phase 2-3 trial indicated that combination therapy extended progression free-survival despite an individual’s prognostic indicators. Through using both antibodies to inhibit two immune checkpoint pathways, greater immune response was stimulated against cancer cells. Continued research is centered on the effects of combination therapy for patients in different stages of melanoma progression.

Two-pronged immunotherapy treatment tested for effectiveness against glioblastomas

Recent clinical trials at the University of Cincinnati are examining the effectiveness of a two-pronged immunotherapy procedure to treat glioblastomas, aggressive brain tumors. Current treatment involves the combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, as to ensure microscopic particles of cancerous tissue do not survive. But despite continued advancements over the past decade, patients with glioblastomas remain uncured. Current clinical trials utilize a two-pronged approach, administering a combination of two immunotherapy drugs in tandem, that target different immune checkpoint proteins to activate immune cells. Previous single immunotherapy treatment observed failure led to the two-pronged approach in current trials.