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: Models show how COVID-19 cuts a neighborhood path
Released: 29-Oct-2020 3:45 PM EDT
Models show how COVID-19 cuts a neighborhood path
University of Washington

A research team led by UC Irvine and the University of Washington has created a new model of how the coronavirus can spread through a community. The model factors in network exposure — whom one interacts with — and demographics to simulate at a more detailed level both where and how quickly the coronavirus could spread through Seattle and 18 other major cities.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 2:55 PM EDT
Lung scans for stroke patients could provide earlier COVID-19 detection
American Heart Association (AHA)

Computed tomography angiogram (CTA) scans may offer fast and early detection of COVID-19 in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients, according to new research published today in Stroke, a journal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Contrary to the viral rumors on social media, Dr. Fauci did not write a paper on how masks caused mass deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic
Newswise

Posts are being shared on social media attempting to negate the use of masks as protective devices during the pandemic. These claims are false. Fauci did not blame mask use for any deaths that occurred during the 1918 Spanish flu.

Newswise: How Does the Environment Impact COVID-19?
Released: 29-Oct-2020 2:10 PM EDT
How Does the Environment Impact COVID-19?
Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

S&T NBACC research finds that sunlight is the strongest environmental factor that inactivates COVID-19.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 1:25 PM EDT
The Lancet Healthy Longevity: Residential context important factor in risk of COVID-19 mortality among older adults, Stockholm study suggests
Lancet

New study of older adults (aged 70 or over) in Stockholm, Sweden, suggests older people living in care homes had higher COVID-19 mortality risk than those living in single houses or apartment buildings.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Study measures effectiveness of different face mask materials when coughing
University of Cambridge

A team of researchers have tested everything from t-shirts and socks to jeans and vacuum bags to determine what type of mask material is most effective at trapping the ultrafine particles which may contain viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

Newswise: Hide and seek: Understanding how COVID-19 evades detection in a human cell
Released: 29-Oct-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Hide and seek: Understanding how COVID-19 evades detection in a human cell
Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists using the Advanced Photon Source have discovered new insights into the ways the SARS-CoV-2 virus camouflages itself inside the human body.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 12:20 PM EDT
Two million lost health coverage, thousands died prematurely in Trump's first 3 years
Physicians For A National Health Program

A new analysis of federal surveys on health insurance coverage concludes that the number of uninsured Americans increased by about 2.3 million between 2016 and 2019.

Released: 29-Oct-2020 12:05 PM EDT
How people would choose who gets scarce COVID-19 treatment
Ohio State University

As COVID-19 cases begin climbing again in the United States, the possibility arises of a grim moral dilemma: Which patients should be prioritized if medical resources are scarce?

Newswise: 247273_web.jpg
Released: 29-Oct-2020 12:00 PM EDT
Escaping the 'Era of Pandemics': experts warn worse crises to come; offer options to reduce risk
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than COVID-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases, warns a major new report on biodiversity and pandemics by 22 leading experts from around the world.


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