Also, a state of the research report on cancer immunotherapy, and creating 3D-printed, transparent skulls for mice

Contending with Resistance in Cancer Immunotherapy

(Marissa Fessenden, The Scientist, 4/1/19)

Cancer immunotherapy is a hot topic in the oncology world, with some promising successes. However, most patients do not see a benefit from the handful of approved immunotherapy drugs, and those that do can sometimes have their cancer return when it adapts to the drug. Four researchers are interviewed on their cancer research approaches, covering mouse models, tumor cultures, protein profiling, and data pooling in this report from The Scientist.

Cortex-wide neural interfacing via transparent polymer skulls

(Leila Ghanbari et. al., Nature Communications, 4/2/19)

University of Minnesota researchers have created and implanted a 3D-printed, transparent skull for mice. The implant is intended to allow researchers to see the inner workings of a mouse brain in real time, which could aid research into human brain diseases. Researchers tested various imaging techniques on the implanted device, including mesoscopic imaging, cellular and subcellular resolution two-photon imaging, and calcium imaging.

Heart and Lung Transplants from HCV-Infected Donors to Uninfected Recipients

(Ann E. Woolley et. al., New England Journal of Medicine, 4/3/19)

Volunteer patients from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital who were on the wait list for heart or lung transplants were given the option of accepting organs from patients with hepatitis C. Doctors theorized that an anti-viral regimen immediately after transplant surgery could stop the organ recipients from contracting hepatitis C from their new organs. In the course of the study, 36 lung recipients and eight heart recipients were given organs from hepatitis C patients, and none had detectable viral levels after two weeks of treatment. Many otherwise healthy organs are discarded due to hepatitis infection, so the possibility of using the organs after all could be life-saving for many patients on the wait list.

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker