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: Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
Released: 12-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
University of California San Diego Health

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have begun a pilot clinical trial to test the efficacy of using ultrasound to stimulate the spleen and reduce COVID-19-related inflammation, decreasing the length of hospital stays.

Released: 12-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Delivers Results Within 4 Minutes With 90 Percent Accuracy
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides COVID-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0. Compared to existing methods for COVID-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and highly scalable, allowing the production of millions of units per week.

Released: 12-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET
Newswise

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 12-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
AANA Recognizes and Honors Contributions of CRNAs on International Nurses Day
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)

For all the patient care they deliver, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) recognizes and honors the contributions and perseverance of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and other nursing professionals during International Nurses Day today. 

Newswise: University of Kentucky Study Suggests School Reopenings ‘Substantially’ Increased COVID-19 Spread in Texas
Released: 12-May-2021 8:05 AM EDT
University of Kentucky Study Suggests School Reopenings ‘Substantially’ Increased COVID-19 Spread in Texas
University of Kentucky

A new study by University of Kentucky researchers estimates the return to in-person learning in Texas last fall led to at least 43,000 additional COVID-19 cases and 800 deaths within the first two months.

Released: 12-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT
Pandemic screen time tops 6 hours a day for some kindergartners
Ohio State University

Kindergartners from low-income families spent more than six hours a day in front of screens during two early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a small Ohio study suggests.

Released: 11-May-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Pregnant Women Hospitalized for Covid-19 Infection Do Not Face Increased Risk of Death
University of Maryland Medical Center

Pregnant women who develop severe COVID-19 infections that require hospitalization for pneumonia and other complications may not be more likely to die from these infections than non-pregnant women. In fact, they may have significantly lower death rates than their non-pregnant counterparts.

Released: 11-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
This stinks: New research finds sense of smell and pneumonia linked
Michigan State University

An acute loss of smell is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, but for two decades it has been linked to other maladies among them Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Now, a poor sense of smell may signify a higher risk of pneumonia in older adults, says a team of Michigan State University researchers.

Released: 11-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
How to predict severe influenza in hospitalised patients
University of Melbourne

Published today in Nature Communications, the team from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), Alfred Health and Monash University sought to understand which patients would recover quickly from influenza and which would become severely ill.


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