[Press release] Advancing the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) announce the launch of “SCOL” (Study of Continuous Oral Levodopa), a unique international clinical trial aiming to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the new DopaFuse System for the continuous oral delivery of levodopa to better treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The clinical trial, which is being conducted concomitantly in Italy, Spain and Luxembourg, has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of this common neurodegenerative disease by facilitating drug delivery and reducing side effects.
Enabling precision cardiometabolic disease prevention through artificial intelligence
Researchers from the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH) and from the LIH Quantitative biology Unit (QBU) leveraged advanced artificial intelligence and machine-learning approaches to classify a sample of individuals representative of the Luxembourgish population into distinct risk groups, paving the way towards more targeted strategies for the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases at a population level. The findings were published on August 6th 2021 in the Nature Portfolio journal “Scientific Reports”.
Making large-scale health data analysis a reality
The Luxembourgish National Cancer Registry (RNC) at LIH joined the consortium of the European Health Data & Evidence Network (EHDEN). The LIH team, which involves the RNC, the IT eXpertise in Health Data (IT-X-HD) and the Deep Digital Phenotyping Research Unit of the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH), as well as the IT company Information Technology for Translational Medicine (ITTM), secured a cross-disciplinary grant for a duration of 12 months to accelerate the standardisation of clinical data.
[Press release] 2020 in review: looking back on a momentous year
“The year 2020 can undoubtedly be defined as the most momentous period in the history of science and mankind and, consequently, for LIH and for the national biomedical research ecosystem in which it operates. The present annual report provides an unparalleled opportunity to reflect on the scientific excellence of our institute and celebrate the many collective achievements of its dedicated staff” – Prof Ulf Nehrbass, LIH CEO.
From beer to bread: innovative up-cycling venture generates political interest
Claude Turmes, the Minister of Energy and Spatial Planning in Luxembourg, visited the Luxembourg Institute of Health on June 25 2021. As part of the guided tour, Dr Torsten Bohn of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) gave a short presentation on the BIOVAL project, a collaboration that aims to up-cycle the organic waste produced from the brewing of beer to create other food and chemical products.
[Press release] ‘Unlocking’ the potential of viruses to fight cancer
Researchers from the Laboratory of Oncolytic-Virus-Immuno-Therapeutics (LOVIT) at the LIH Department of Oncology (DONC) are working on the development of novel anticancer strategies based on oncolytic viruses, “good” viruses that can specifically infect, replicate in and kill cancer cells. In particular, the LOVIT team elucidated the mechanism through which the H-1PV cancer-destroying virus can attach to and enter cancer cells, thereby causing their lysis and death. At the heart of this process lie laminins, and specifically laminin γ1, a family of proteins on the surface of a cancer cell to which this virus binds, and which therefore act as the ‘door’ through which the virus enters the cells. The findings, which were published in the prestigious international journal Nature Communications, carry significant implications for the advancement of virus-based anticancer strategies and for the prediction of a patient’s response to this innovative therapeutic approach.
[Press release] ‘Vocal biomarkers’ to monitor health
The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) announces the launch of CoLive Voice, a first-of-its kind digital health study that aims to advance the diagnosis, risk prediction and remote monitoring of various chronic conditions and symptoms by evaluating voice features. Leveraging breakthrough artificial intelligence approaches, the study will collect and analyse voice recordings in several languages from both the general population and people living with chronic or infectious diseases, to identify so-called ‘vocal biomarkers’. CoLive Voice is led by the Deep Digital Phenotyping research unit of the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH) and is set to run for up to 10 years.
LIH scientist in the royal spotlight
On June 21st, Dr Bohn received the highly esteemed title of ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg’ from the Grand Duke of Luxembourg for his contributions to the culture of Luxembourg.
[Press release] ‘Suffocating’ cancer: a new headway in melanoma immunotherapy
Hypoxia, or the inadequate oxygenation of a tissue, is a condition occurring frequently in all solid tumours such as melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma cells are not only able to survive oxygen deprivation, but also to use it to their own advantage by hijacking the anti-tumour immune response and developing resistance mechanisms to conventional anti-cancer therapies. A key gene responsible for cancer cell adaptation to hypoxia is HIF-1α (Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 alpha). Led by Dr Bassam Janji, head of the Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME) research group at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and in collaboration with Gustave Roussy Cancer Center in France and the Thumbay Research Institute of Precision Medicine at Gulf Medical University in the United Arab Emirates, the team used gene editing technologies to show how targeting HIF-1α could not only inhibit tumour growth, but also drive cytotoxic (toxic to cells) immune cells to the cancer tissue. This discovery provided a valuable new target to make resistant melanomas more vulnerable to available anti-cancer treatments. Their findings were recently published in the reputable ‘Oncogene Journal’.