Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Tip Sheet: Cancer health disparities, app to stop smoking, diversity in COVID-19 vaccine trials — and more

Summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news, plus resources for October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Newswise — SEATTLE – Oct. 1, 2020 – Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news with links for additional background and media contacts.

And if you’re looking for sources for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please see our breast cancer page for a list of projects, experts and the latest breast cancer news.

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Health disparities

How to achieve equity in cancer care, research and beyond Two national reports by the American Association for Cancer Research illustrate both the progress — and the lack thereof — in easing the burden of cancer on the American population. Co-author Dr. Christopher Li discussed the 10th annual Cancer Progress Report in an AACR Congressional briefing. The report includes new drug approvals, genomic advances and progress in liquid biopsies. In addition, the AACR published its inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report, a baseline document on the inequities in cancer in the U.S.

We still have so much work to do’ Longtime health disparities researcher Kathy Briant discussed the inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report from AACR. She put it into context with Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium research in areas where cancer health disparities exist — including preventable risk factors and cancer screening/early detection.

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COVID-19 vaccines

CoVPN team leads campaign to ensure diversity in COVID-19 vaccine trials Fred Hutch-based experts have engaged in extensive media efforts to drive conversations and awareness about the importance of inclusive participation in COVID-19 vaccine trials. The effort is through the COVID-19 Prevention Network, or CoVPN, which is coordinating Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials, with its operations center headquartered at Fred Hutch.

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Clinical oncology

Immunotherapy trial in advanced bladder and other urinary tract cancers shows ‘exciting’ results In a recently published large randomized clinical trial, researchers found that patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma survived longer when given the immunotherapy drug avelumab following chemotherapy. They reported preliminary trial findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in early summer.

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Prevention

Fred Hutch-led clinical trial shows new smartphone app helps smokers quit Scientists at Fred Hutch believe they’ve found a better of use of mobile technology to help adult cigarette smokers quit. In a large clinical trial published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a team led by Dr. Jonathan Bricker found that the new smartphone app iCanQuit was one-and-a-half times more effective than the National Cancer Institute’s QuitGuide.

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Basic sciences

Fruit flies add more weight to theory that individual bodies have set points Researchers discovered that a neural circuit responsible for sensing energy stores is designed to reset itself. The idea that we may have weight set points — a weight that an individual’s body tries to maintain even as food intake and energy expenditure fluctuate — has been floated by obesity researchers to help explain why weight loss can be such a challenge.

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COVID-19’s impact on science

We profiled how Fred Hutch researchers have shifted their science during the pandemic.

·         How COVID-19 has opened science: An urgent search for answers promotes a faster, freer exchange of ideas.

·         Public health's pandemic pivot: With disease modeling, virtual events and a renewed focus on anti-racism, Fred Hutch population scientists adapt their work to COVID-19.

·         Stalled science, missed mates and virtual everything: Torn between science and safety concerns, young scientists navigate a new normal as they try to launch their careers.

·         Everything we've been training for is happening now’: How early career virologists dropped everything to seize the opportunity, and face the challenges, of studying COVID-19.

Watch: How COVID-19 changed science Dr. Tom Lynch, Fred Hutch president and director, talks with Drs. Ruth Etzioni (a biostatistician focused on cancer screening and early detection), Jesse Bloom (an evolutionary biologist and expert in viruses) and Neel Dey (a physician-scientist and expert in colorectal cancer and the microbiome) about how their work has shifted, including new projects with COVID-19.

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Other notable news

Fred Hutch Evergreen Fund awards six grants for projects with commercial potential

New award to develop targeted treatments for pancreatic cancer

New Brave Fellowship powers Dr. Alyssa Webster’s race for new leukemia cures

 

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Newswise: Pediatric ER Saw Steep Drop in Asthma Visits During Spring COVID-19 Lockdown
1-Dec-2020 8:00 AM EST
Pediatric ER Saw Steep Drop in Asthma Visits During Spring COVID-19 Lockdown
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

A new study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society discusses a steep drop off from prior years in asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits at Boston Children’s Hospital during the spring 2020 COVID-19 surge and lockdown.

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Released: 3-Dec-2020 3:05 PM EST
Study finds COVID-19 hindering US academic productivity of faculty with young children
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The academic productivity of higher education faculty In the United States in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields with very young children suffered as a result of the stay-at-home orders during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:50 PM EST
Kidney disease leading risk factor for COVID-related hospitalization
Geisinger Health System

An analysis of Geisinger's electronic health records has revealed chronic kidney disease to be the leading risk factor for hospitalization from COVID-19.

Newswise: Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:25 PM EST
Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

S&T's Biometric Technology Rally focused on the ability of acquisition systems and matching algorithms to recognize travelers without asking them to remove their masks, thereby reducing risk for frontline workers.

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Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:00 PM EST
Testosterone May Contribute to More Severe COVID-19 Disease
American Physiological Society (APS)

New research suggests that levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone could contribute to infection risk and severity of COVID-19.


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