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:Video Embedded lung-damage-not-the-culprit-for-post-covid-exercise-limitations
VIDEO
Released: 13-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT
Lung Damage Not the Culprit for Post-COVID Exercise Limitations
American Physiological Society (APS)

A new study suggests the lungs may not be the main factor that reduce exercise ability in people recovering from severe COVID-19. Anemia and muscle dysfunction also play a role. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for May.

Released: 12-May-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Understanding SARS-COV-2 proteins is key to improve therapeutic options for COVID-19
Bentham Science Publishers

COVID-19 has had a significant impact since the pandemic was declared by WHO in 2020, with over 3 million deaths and counting, Researchers and medical teams have been hard at work at developing strategies to control the spread of the infection, caused by SARS-COV-2 virus and treat affected patients.

Newswise: 264700_web.jpg
Released: 12-May-2021 4:55 PM EDT
COVID-19 vaccine does not damage the placenta in pregnancy
Northwestern University

A new Northwestern Medicine study of placentas from patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy found no evidence of injury, adding to the growing literature that COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy.

Newswise: For the first time, Argonne researchers reveal how COVID-19 has transformed communities
Released: 12-May-2021 4:05 PM EDT
For the first time, Argonne researchers reveal how COVID-19 has transformed communities
Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne researchers have launched new map-based tools that show how communities held up as COVID-19 spread.

Released: 12-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Parks not only safe, but essential during the pandemic
Drexel University

Parks played an important role for people seeking respite from the toll of social isolation during the pandemic, and according to new research from Drexel University, they did so without increasing the spread of COVID-19.

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Embargo will expire: 18-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 12-May-2021 3:35 PM EDT

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Newswise: Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Released: 12-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School

In a new study for the journal Surgical Innovation, Associate Professor Toby Gordon of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School addresses the ways in which COVID-19 has slowed medical innovation.

Released: 12-May-2021 2:55 PM EDT
Mental health helplines need human-centered solutions
Cornell University

In India today, dozens of phone numbers are available for people who are having a severe mental health emergency. Oftentimes, however, callers experience difficulty in getting connected with someone who will listen to them; sometimes the phone will just ring and ring.

Newswise: Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Released: 12-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT
Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Weizmann Institute of Science

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Institute for Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences took a novel tack to investigating SARS-CoV-2’s powerful ability to infect, finding that the virus deploys an apparently unique three-pronged strategy to take over the cell’s protein-synthesis abilities. The work could help develop effective Covid-19 treatments.

Newswise: Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Released: 12-May-2021 2:20 PM EDT
Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Rush University Medical Center

Rush staff members collaborated with Malcom X College to provide content including video scenarios and conversation advice, for a new Vaccine Ambassador Course offered to the public.


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