A Surprising Discovery in a Herpes Lab Points to New Treatments for Nerve Damage

Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have discovered that a herpes virus causes skin cells to churn out a protein with an unusual and rare effect: It promotes nerve growth. Although the human body can produce up to one million different kinds of proteins, only a handful have been shown to be nerve growth factors, or neurotrophins. The researchers hope this one, interleukin-17c, might someday be harnessed to repair nerve damage found in patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy, one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy.

Media Contact: Claire Hudson, 206-667-7365 or email [email protected]


Six Things to Know About Glioblastoma, the Treatments and New  Avenues of Research

Two Fred Hutch glioblastoma experts, Drs. Eric Holland and Hans-Peter Kiem, offer the “long view” on brain cancer research, particularly as it relates to glioblastoma. Holland is an internationally renowned brain cancer surgeon and researcher specializing in GBM and metastatic brain tumors. Kiem is a medical oncologist specializing in stem cell and bone marrow transplantation. He is principal investigator on an NCI study aimed at very high-risk GBM patients.

VIDEO: Holland explains how Fred Hutch researchers are mining vast amounts of data to discover meaningful information that’s being used against cancer.

VIDEO: The first patient enrolled in Dr. Kiem’s NCI clinical trial (in 2009) survived longer than six years. Clinical Trial: NCT00669669.

Media Contact: Sandy Van, 808-526-1708 or email [email protected]


Night Shifts Associated With Cellular Mechanism That  Can Lead to Cancer

A Fred Hutch study found that night shift work is associated with reduced ability to repair DNA lesions. Over time, DNA damage that is not repaired will cause mutations that can lead to cancer.

Media Contact: Claire Hudson, 206-667-7365 or email [email protected]


CAR T-Cell Therapy for Leukemia Leads to Remissions in Clinical Trial

In an early-phase clinical trial of an experimental immunotherapy, researchers achieved durable molecular remissions in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who had failed other treatments. About 70 percent of patients with the most common adult leukemia had their tumors shrink or disappear following the experimental chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy.

Media Contact: Molly McElroy, 206-667-6651 or email  [email protected] 


How Cancer Fools The Body Not to Attack: Recent Research on Tumor Microenvironments

As scientists work to translate cellular immunotherapy’s early successes in blood cancers to solid tumors, the microenvironments surrounding tumors are proving adept at deflecting the attacks.   Fred Hutch scientists are working to discover the different tricks the microenvironments use and have had some notable successes. Research on ovarian cancer, for instance, has identified six ways these tumors foil the attempts of engineered T cells to kill them.

Media Contact:  Jonathan Rabinovitz, 206-667-6906, or email [email protected]

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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.