Research and discoveries at Seattle Children’s shed light on brain development and new immunotherapy approaches for pediatric cancers.

Brain Research: New Clues to the Cause of Seizures. Doctors at Seattle Children’s were able to examine live brain tissue immediately after a child’s surgery. They hoped to find clues as to what activity caused by the HCN1 gene mutation might be contributing to a young boy’s life-threatening seizures. Read more in Scientists Find Clues to Rare Mutation Hours After Toddler’s Brain Surgery.

Research: New Immunotherapy Approaches for Pediatric Cancers. At Seattle Children’s, Dr. Katie Albert leads a team studying CAR T-cell therapy for solid non-CNS tumors in the STRIvE-01 trial. “Immunotherapy is moving at an accelerated pace, but just getting started for solid tumors,” said Albert. A main goal for pediatric cancer is the ability to treat it with immunotherapy only. “This is critically important for children with cancer because the long-term toxicities of chemotherapy and radiation are profound,” said Dr. Michael Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Read more in Oncology Times.

Brain Development and the Importance of Microglia. A Seattle Children’s doctor made an unexpected discovery about the importance of microglia cells to brain development, which make up just 10% of brain cells but appear to be critical to guiding brain development. Read the story in the Atlantic Monthly.