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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Newswise: How to Keep Children Safe from COVID-19 this Fall
Released: 18-Sep-2020 4:15 PM EDT
How to Keep Children Safe from COVID-19 this Fall
Rush University Medical Center

With the new school year started and autumn approaching, Colleen Nash, MD, MPH, Rush University Medical Center, pediatric infectious disease specialist, answers questions parents may have about keeping children safe from COVID, social distancing in the classroom and celebrating Halloween.

Released: 18-Sep-2020 4:05 PM EDT
Claims circulating on social media stating that the common cold or flu can be mistaken for COVID-19 are misleading

The claims rely on the faulty assumption that there is no method to distinguish COVID-19 from the common cold and the flu.

Released: 18-Sep-2020 3:35 PM EDT
After developing CRISPR test, UConn researchers validate clinical feasibility for COVID-19 testing
University of Connecticut

In March, researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering-- a shared department in the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, and Engineering--began to develop a new, low-cost, CRISPR-based diagnostic platform to detect infectious diseases, including HIV virus, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Newswise:Video Embedded blowin-in-the-wind
Released: 18-Sep-2020 3:10 PM EDT
Blowin' in the wind
University of Utah

University of Utah chemical engineers have conducted an air flow study of the venue that the Utah Symphony performs in to determine the best ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the emissions of wind instrument players.

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Released: 18-Sep-2020 2:50 PM EDT
Study links rising stress, depression in U.S. to pandemic-related losses, media consumption
University of California, Irvine

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 18, 2020 – Experiencing multiple stressors triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic – such as unemployment – and COVID-19-related media consumption are directly linked to rising acute stress and depressive symptoms across the U.S., according to a groundbreaking University of California, Irvine study. The report appears in Science Advances, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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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

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 23-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

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.

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