New research findings at IGP during 2021
Fish embryos and AI can replace some mouse experiments in cancer research
Researchers at IGP have used AI to develop a new method to study brain cancer. The method is based on transplanting tumour cells from patients to fish embryos, followed by observation with AI. The method, which is described in the scientific journal Neuro-Oncology, can partly replace current mouse models for studying tumour growth and treatment.
Protein biomarkers protect against disease development
A comprehensive study from IGP shows that several disease-associated protein biomarkers protect healthy individuals from developing inflammatory diseases. The protective effects are attributed to the proteins’ function in preventing tissue damage, a function that might be very different from the effect in a tissue subjected to chronic or acute inflammation.
Genes associated with hearing loss visualised in new study
Researchers at IGP and the Department of Surgical Sciences have shown in a new study that differences in the risk of age-related hearing loss is partly due to genetic factors that affect structures and functions in the human inner ear. The study was recently published in BMC Medicine.
Cardia cancer in Chinese patients could be due to local dietary habits
In an area in northern China, cancer in the cardia occurs at high rates and the cancer type has distinct features compared to Western countries. Together with Chinese colleagues, Xingqi Chen’s research group at IGP have found that the presence of many copies of the ERBB2 gene can be correlated with better prognosis for patients with cardia cancer. The genetic alterations could be due to local dietary habits in the area.
New knowledge from small amounts of archived tissue samples
Researchers at IGP have developed a novel method to study histone modifications in very small amounts of archived tissue samples. The method can be used to increase the knowledge about epigenetic alterations in cancer and other diseases and has been recently described in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.
Brain tumour organisation modelled by new method
Researchers at IGP have developed a new method to uncover how individual cancer cells change over time. The method offers a way to understand how the heterogeneity of brain tumours arises and could lead to an increased understanding of therapy resistance and to the development of new drug combinations. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.
Combination of technologies could be used in drug development
A new combination of technologies can be used to examine how drugs interact with their targets. This is shown by IGP researchers in a paper published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. The method can be used to analyse a large number of samples, in particular for small sample sizes, and could be applied during drug development and in the clinic.
New prediction model for colon cancer recurrence
Researchers at IGP have together with Norwegian colleagues developed a model for predicting the risk for recurrence after colon cancer surgery that is more accurate than previous models. The aim is that doctors could use the model when they discuss treatment options with their patients.
Gene tests better than blood samples for cardiovascular disease
To determine a person’s blood group based on genetic tests instead of only a classical blood sample can give a better picture of the risk for cardiovascular disease. If a patient has two genetic copies for A, B or AB, the risk of being affected is doubled compared to if one of the copies is 0. This is shown in a new study from IGP, based on data from UK Biobank.
A single cell type map of human tissues
In the HPA project, which is partly conducted at IGP, the researchers have created a map that shows the presence of the proteins of the human body in different cell types and tissues. This Single Cell Type map has now been made publicly available and is presented in an article in the journal Science Advances. The aim is that it will acts as a basis for research in human biology and disease.
Important role of genetics for age at first sex and birth
An international research team, where Marcel den Hoed has participated, has identified hundreds of genetic variants that are linked with age at first sex and birth of the first child. The study shows that a combination of genetics, social predictors and the environment drives early or late reproductive onset and that it can be related to later life diseases.
Structures discovered in brain cancer patients can help fight tumours
Researchers at IGP have discovered lymph node-like structures close to the tumour in brain cancer patients, where immune cells can be activated to attack the tumour. They also found that immunotherapy enhanced the formation of these structures in a mouse model. This discovery suggests new opportunities to regulate the anti-tumour response of the immune system.
Immune cells in the tumour associated with worse prognosis for mantle cell lymphoma
Tumour cells can affect immune cells in the body so that the tumour is not attacked by the immune defence. In a new research paper from IGP, the researchers show that some types of immune cells are more common in more aggressive tumours of the cancer form mantle cell lymphoma. The findings suggest a possibility to develop drugs that can improve the prognosis for mantle cell lymphoma patients.
Different therapeutic effects of modified oncolytic viruses
Using oncolytic viruses is a new strategy for cancer immunotherapy. To enhance the therapeutic effect the viruses can be modified with immunostimulatory factors. A study from IGP shows that the effect of such factors depends on the kind of oncolytic virus that is modified. To achieve the desired therapeutic benefits, careful consideration is therefore needed when choosing the virus. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Therapy Oncolytics.
Improved blood vessels in retinopathy with targeted approach
Treatment of the eye disease, retinopathy, aims to reduce the formation of blood vessels in the retina of the eye. To reduce unwanted side effects of such treatments, researchers in Lena Claesson-Welsh’s research group have tested to inhibit the enzyme eNOS and found a reduced formation of dysfunctional vessels in mice with retinopathy while the healthy vasculature in the retina was preserved. The study highlights the importance of targeted approaches in medicine.
New mechanism found for specialisation of lymphatic vessels
The body’s lymphatic vessel system consists of specialised vessels whose function are critical for absorbing and transporting fluid. Taija Mäkinen’s group at IGP have identified a mechanism for how collecting lymphatic vessels are formed in mice, which could help to develop treatments for lymphatic diseases.
Heritable factors for higher education more important in socially deprived areas
To some extent, genetic factors influence whether an individual attends college or university after finishing secondary school. In a recently published study, researchers at IGP have found that genetic factors have a larger effect on the probability to attain an higher education in more socioeconomically deprived areas. The study was published in American Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Unmarried and less educated patients receive less extensive therapy
Mantle cell lymphoma is a malignant tumour disease where intensive therapy can prolong survival. A new study from IGP and others shows that people with mantle cell lymphoma who were unmarried and had a lower education level were more seldom treated by stem cell transplantation, which can result in reduced survival. The results have been published in the journal Blood Advances.
Beta blockers can repair malformed blood vessels in the brain
Propranolol, a drug that is efficacious against infantile haemangiomas (“strawberry naevi”, resembling birthmarks), can also be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations, a condition characterised by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere. This has been shown by IGP researchers in a new study published in the scientific journal Stroke.
Innate immune system aggravates severe COVID-19
In critically ill COVID-19 patients, the innate immune system is strongly activated which can cause thrombosis and reduced oxygenation in the patients. This is shown in a study from IGP, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Metabolic response behind reduced cancer cell growth
Researchers from IGP show in a new study that inhibition of the protein EZH2 can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the blood cancer multiple myeloma. The reduction is caused by changes in the cancer cells’ metabolism. These changes can be used as markers to discriminate whether a patient would respond to treatment by EZH2 inhibition. The study has been published in the journal Cell Death & Disease.
Increased cancer risk in children of mothers with thyroid disorders
Thyroid disorders in mothers-to-be increases the risk for future thyroid cancer in the children. This is shown in a new study in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology where IGP researcher Ingrid Glimelius has participated.
Disrupted immune cell navigation in lymph nodes of breast cancer patients
Different types of breast cancer tumours differ in how they affect the function of the lymph nodes. In patients with invasive breast cancer, the vessels and supporting tissue of the lymph nodes are altered, which cannot be seen in patients with a non-invasive cancer called (ductal cancer in situ). This is shown in a new study from Maria Ulvmar’s group at IGP, published online in the scientific journal Cancers.