Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Tip Sheet: HIV and COVID-19, antibody interactions, immune responses to colorectal cancer and how Fred Hutch is getting back to work

SEATTLE – June 2, 2020 – Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news with links for additional background and media contacts.

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COVID-19

Vaccinating the world: Two global experts explain what it will take to succeed
Dr. Larry Corey and Dr. John Mascola join Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Tom Lynch to discuss the challenges and opportunities in accelerating development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for our integrated world in this webinar on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 11 am PST/ 2 pm EST.

What happens when cancer patients get COVID-19?
A large new study of cancer patients with COVID-19 clearly shows patients with active cancer — or who suffer from additional comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease — have worse outcomes.

When COVID-19 crosses paths with HIV
Researchers at Fred Hutch are trying to assess whether HIV puts people at higher risk COVID-19 through a new epidemiological study of over 35,000 people living with HIV across the US. The study aims to identify risk factors for those with HIV who also had COVID-19 and understand if they are at risk of more severe infection.  

How Fred Hutch is using science to get back to doing science
Fred Hutch is tapping its decades of scientific expertise to move forward in finding ways to safely dial back up its employees on campus while supporting others working remotely. See steps being taken, plus a video of Fred Hutch’s facilities director on how his team is managing during the pandemic.

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HIV

Injectable HIV drug prevents infections
In a “real win for HIV prevention,” an international trial of an injectable drug designed to prevent HIV showed those who received it had fewer new HIV infections than those who received the once-a-day HIV prevention pill Truvada.

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Healthcare economics

NIH grant to fund new financial-toxicity intervention
A new collaboration between Fred Hutch and the SWOG Cancer Research Network will road-test a program designed to curb financial toxicity related to cancer treatment. The intervention will give cancer patients access to proactive financial counseling and financial navigators as part of their treatment plan.

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Precision medicine

Immune response in colorectal cancer: What helps, what hurts?
A new $3.66 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will help Fred Hutch researchers, part of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, better understand the body’s natural immune response to colorectal cancer and what, exactly, drives it.

$3.5M grant to develop safer treatment for inherited blood disorders
Drs. Hans-Peter Kiem and Roland Walter will explore ways to precisely deliver powerful radioactive particles to blood and marrow cells while sparing other nonblood cells and tissues.

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Pediatric Oncology

Cancer’s toll on the heart decades down the road
Dr. Eric Chow and colleagues explore two key questions related to child cancer survivorship: Is there anything doctors can do during a child’s treatment to protect their heart? And for adult survivors, what can we do to monitor and reduce the risk of heart disease?

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Basic sciences

Studying the complex interactions between antibodies and viral targets
Dr. Tal Einav was named a Damon Runyon Quantitative Biology Fellow, which supports cancer-related computation research. He will create maps that model how complex mixes of antibodies interact.

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Other notable news

Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem elected vice president of American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

Health equity trailblazers recognized

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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.




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Released: 7-Aug-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Alcoholism treatment is potentially effective against COVID-19
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)

A team of chemists from HSE University and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry used molecular modelling to find out that two medications that have been known for a long time can be used to fight SARS-CoV-2.

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Released: 7-Aug-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Study: Most Americans don't have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income
Oregon State University

A new study from Oregon State University found that 77% of low- to moderate-income American households fall below the asset poverty threshold, meaning that if their income were cut off they would not have the financial assets to maintain at least poverty-level status for three months.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 11:55 AM EDT
COVID recovery choices shape future climate
University of Leeds

A post-lockdown economic recovery plan that incorporates and emphasises climate-friendly choices could help significantly in the battle against global warming, according to a new study.

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Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:45 AM EDT
Potentially predictive humoral immune response markers in COVID-19 patients
Massachusetts General Hospital

Galit Alter, PhD, Group Leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Helen Chu, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington School of Medicine, and UW Medicine physician, have recently published a paper which identifies five immune response markers which, collectively, were able to correctly classify both convalescent COVID-19 patients and those who did not survive the disease

Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
ACSM Publishes Call to Action Addressing COVID-19 and Return to Sports and Physical Activity
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM published a call to action statement addressing COVID-19 and safely returning to sports and exercise. Authored by ACSM subject matter experts, the statement highlights the current science around COVID-19 and provides 12 action steps to consider. “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity” is ACSM’s first call to action statement and published in the August issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Newswise: University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

To address and overcome the challenges so Americans can return to or sustain physical activity safely, Thomas M. Best, M.D., Ph.D., FACSM, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and research director of the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, and sports medicine colleagues from around the U.S. wrote “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity,” published August 7 in Current Sports Medicine Reports, an American College of Sports Medicine journal.


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