Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Tip Sheet: COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 and cancer patients, smoking cessation apps, structural racism in medicine – and more

Newswise — SEATTLE – August 4, 2020 – Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news with links for additional background and media contacts.



Fred Hutch joins international COVID-19 vaccine effort
Fred Hutch has been named the coordinating center for vaccine clinical trials of the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The network will evaluate vaccines and antibodies to prevent COVID-19. People interested in volunteering for a trial can learn more on the CoVPN website.

The latest on how COVID-19 affects cancer patients
New data just released by the CCC19 Consortium, a nationally crowdsourced cohort of cancer patients with COVID-19, showed an overall increase in the mortality rate for these patients. It also highlighted racial disparities with regard to access to clinical trial drugs like Remdesivir. The Hutch's Dr. Gary Lyman, who helped launch the effort, weighs in.


Clinical oncology and cancer prevention

Improving apps to help cancer patients quit smoking
Smoking cessation expert Dr. Jonathan Bricker will run a randomized trial of two smartphone apps to see which is better at helping cancer patients to stop smoking.

Trio of studies to evaluate metastatic breast cancer care  Dr. Poorni Manohar, a health services researcher with the Hutch's HICOR institute was recently awarded three grants to fund research designed to ensure patients with metastatic, or stage 4 breast cancer, are consistently getting the current standard of care.


Cell biology

New study shows cancer-causing ‘Frankengene’ mutation could be target for new drugs
Fred Hutch scientists show that a gene fused to others in many different kinds of tumors causes cancer. By comparing different fusions, they were able to narrow down the common cancer-causing functions of the fusions that should be targeted with drugs.


Diversity, equity and inclusion

'It is time to call out structural racism in medicine and work fervently to dismantle it'
Dr. Rachel Issaka shares personal experiences with racism and calls on the medical field to take antiracist action to dismantle the structural racism that harms Black medical professionals, patients and the U.S. overall in an essay in JAMA.

Fred Hutch's Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Fred Hutch stands with the victims and families of police brutality and systemic racism inherent in the United States. We believe that Black Lives Matter. While our efforts to address these realities are ongoing, based on what we heard, we are taking action now to promote change at our organization and in the community — and end racial injustice.


Precision medicine

 $3.4 million grant to find safer, more effective leukemia treatments
Acute myeloid leukemia is one of the most common — and aggressive — types of blood cancer that strike adults. Dr. Johnnie Orozco will use a new research grant to develop safer, more targeted therapies in bone marrow transplantation to treat people with AML.

A path opens for precise analyses of breast cancer proteins
For more than 16 years, Fred Hutch oncologist Dr. Amanda Paulovich has been refining a technology to match proteins on the surfaces of tumors with drugs that can precisely target cells carrying those telltale signatures. Now her lab is poised for human trials matching new precision drugs to a protein called HER2 in breast tumors.


Other notable news

After 20 years, Wakefield retires from HIV Vaccine Trials Network

Riding out the pandemic with Obliteride

Dr. Rob Bradley named new McIlwain Family Endowed Chair in Data Science

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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 National Cancer Institute-funded 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.


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Released: 18-Sep-2020 10:55 AM EDT
Potential new drug to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection consequences
University of Malaga

Scientists from the Department of Cell Biology of the University of Malaga (UMA) and the Andalusian Centre for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) have made progress in finding new rapid implementation therapies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying a new drug that could prevent or mitigate the consequences derived from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Released: 18-Sep-2020 10:40 AM EDT
Most homemade masks are doing a great job, even when we sneeze, study finds
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing.

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Embargo will expire: 23-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 18-Sep-2020 10:00 AM EDT

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Released: 18-Sep-2020 8:30 AM EDT
Immunotherapy Drug Development Pipeline Continues Significant Growth in 2020 Despite Global Pandemic Impact
Cancer Research Institute

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, there has been a resurgence of interest in immuno-oncology (I-O) preclinical and clinical development, bringing hope to cancer patients and physicians who treat them.

Released: 17-Sep-2020 5:50 PM EDT
AERA and OECD to Co-Host Webinar on Education Research Worldwide in a Covid and Post-Covid World
American Educational Research Association (AERA)

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will co-host a webinar on “Education Research Worldwide in a Covid and Post-Covid World” at 9:30-11:00 am EDT Wednesday, September 23.

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Released: 17-Sep-2020 4:20 PM EDT
Study shows first proof that a safer UV light effectively kills virus causing COVID-19
Hiroshima University

A study conducted by Hiroshima University researchers found that using Ultraviolet C light with a wavelength of 222 nanometers which is safer to use around humans effectively kills SARS-CoV-2 -- the first research in the world to prove its efficacy against the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Released: 17-Sep-2020 4:00 PM EDT
American Academy of Dermatology honors Detroit physician Iltefat H. Hamzavi with national “Patient Care Hero” award
American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology has named board-certified dermatologist Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD, FAAD, a Patient Care Hero for his innovative use of light therapy to sanitize masks needed by frontline health care workers.

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Embargo will expire: 22-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 17-Sep-2020 3:20 PM EDT

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Released: 17-Sep-2020 3:05 PM EDT
New York State Department of Health Grants Emergency Use Authorization to Mount Sinai for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Test
Mount Sinai Health System

The Clinical Laboratories of The Mount Sinai Hospital has received emergency use authorization from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for quantitative use of Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 antibody test, making Mount Sinai’s lab the first in the country to run an authorized, fully quantitative antibody test that can deliver a precise numeric measurement of the level of antibodies in a patient’s blood

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