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What's new in HSCI research

Introducing the HSCI Musculoskeletal Program

Watch our new video introducing the HSCI Musculoskeletal Program, featuring two of the co-leaders, April Craft and Jenna Galloway. From growing knee cartilage to regenerating tendon tissue, HSCI is bringing together experts across multi-disciplinary fields to transform therapies for musculoskeletal injury and disease.

Why therapy resistance occurs in metastatic prostate cancer

MRI image of metastasis in the spine.In a recent study, HSCI researchers investigated why metastatic prostate cancer responds poorly to immune therapy, which boosts the body’s own immune system to target cancer cells. The researchers were led by HSCI Co-Director David Scadden, Principal Faculty member David Sykes, and Affiliate Faculty member Peter Kharchenko.
  • What they did: The researchers used patient samples of prostate cancer that had metastasized to the bone marrow, asking why the cancer had evaded the immune system.
  • What they found: Inside the bone marrow, the tumor caused the development of abnormal immune cells that suppressed the normal immune defenses. The researchers showed in a mouse model that blocking the suppressive signal could restore an immune response against cancer and improve the animals’ survival.
  • Why it matters: Targeting the suppressive signal is a promising approach to treat metastatic prostate cancer, especially since it would repurpose compounds that have already been tested in humans in other settings.

Preventing and rescuing hearing loss

Microscopy image of hair cells in the inner ear.
Researchers led by HSCI Principal Faculty member Albert Edge have identified the mechanism that can lead to deafness in Norrie disease, a rare condition caused by mutations in the NDP gene.
  • What they did: The researchers studied a mouse model of Norrie disease that lacked the NDP gene.
  • What they found: Without NDP, the hair cells of the inner ear died over time, leading to progressive deafness. The researchers were able to restore hearing loss using two methods: 1) by stimulating a biological pathway previously found to be important for hair cell regeneration, and 2) by expressing NDP in cells located next to the hair cells.
  • Why it matters: The researchers identified potential treatment approaches to rescue hearing, both in Norrie disease and in other forms of hearing loss that are caused by hair cell death.
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