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: COVID’s Collateral Damage: Germicidal Lamps May Damage Corneas
Released: 24-Nov-2020 5:15 PM EST
COVID’s Collateral Damage: Germicidal Lamps May Damage Corneas
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

In a paper published in the journalOcular Immunology and Inflammation, physicians from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reported that several patients using germicidal lamps in an attempt to sanitize against the coronavirus, developed painful inflammation of the cornea, a condition called photokeratitis.

Released: 24-Nov-2020 4:35 PM EST
Cleveland Clinic Research Shows Bariatric Surgery May Reduce Severity of COVID-19 in Patients with Obesity
Cleveland Clinic

CLEVELAND: A Cleveland Clinic study shows that among patients who have obesity and who tested positive for COVID-19, a past history of bariatric surgery was significantly associated with a lower risk of hospital and intensive care unit admission. The results were published in the journal of Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

Newswise: 249693_web.jpg
Released: 24-Nov-2020 3:40 PM EST
New therapy for flu may help in fight against COVID-19
Purdue University

A new therapy for influenza virus infections that may also prove effective against many other pathogenic virus infections, including HIV and COVID-19, has been developed by Purdue University scientists.

Released: 24-Nov-2020 3:30 PM EST
‘Crisis decision making at the speed of COVID-19’ – Bay Area public health officials share their experience with shelter-in-place order
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott

In mid-March, public health officials across the San Francisco area issued the first U.S. regional shelter-in-place order in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. A “field report” on the crisis decision-making approach followed in that effective early response is featured in a special COVID-19 supplement to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Newswise: Research Helps Identify High-Risk Populations to aid
Health Officials Combating the Pandemic
Released: 24-Nov-2020 3:25 PM EST
Research Helps Identify High-Risk Populations to aid Health Officials Combating the Pandemic
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

A team of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researchers has developed a method to better guide public policy related to the control and prevention of COVID-19, based on identifying those most at risk in the pandemic

Released: 24-Nov-2020 3:15 PM EST
Workplace Expert: COVID-Safe Company Holiday Party Ideas and Why Celebrating is Significant
University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Maryland Smith workplace expert Vijaya Venkataramani says Zoom fatigue notwithstanding, a COVID-safe staff or company holiday celebration is ideal for leaders and managers to give thanks to team members for their resilience in 2020.

Newswise: Schooling Disrupted by the Pandemic in the United States Likely to Have Life-Long Impact, Study Says
Released: 24-Nov-2020 3:10 PM EST
Schooling Disrupted by the Pandemic in the United States Likely to Have Life-Long Impact, Study Says
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

A team that includes UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researchers has found American children whose educations have been disrupted by the pandemic, even as little as 2-4 months, may face shortened life spans.

Newswise:Video Embedded hd-b-roll-of-cedars-sinai-vaccine-storage-freezers-now-available-for-download
VIDEO
Released: 24-Nov-2020 2:55 PM EST
HD B-roll of Cedars-Sinai Vaccine Storage Freezers Now Available for Download
Cedars-Sinai

B-roll available: Video shot today showing the freezers where Cedars-Sinai will store COVID-19 vaccines. Please note: There are NO vaccines in the video. The vaccines will not arrive until next month.


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