Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Tip Sheet: Massive unmet needs in COVID-19 treatment, osteoporosis drugs for breast cancer, new bladder cancer target — and AIDS at 40

Summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news

Newswise — SEATTLE — June 2, 2021 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news.

If you are covering news at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (June 4-8), check out our ASCO page highlighting Fred Hutch presentations and feel free to reach out to our media team for help sourcing experts: [email protected].

Our next monthly public science event, “Science Says,” will focus on equity and medical research. Join us for the virtual discussion, Curing cancer for all: Increasing equity, access, and diversity, 9-10 am PT Tuesday, June 15. Please RSVP HERE by Monday, June 14.

Addressing a 'massive unmet need' in COVID-19 treatment Even as COVID-19 vaccine distribution expands, it is still important as ever to find medications to treat those who become infected. Doctors want new treatments that are highly effective, easily delivered to large numbers of patients and can stop the disease before symptoms become severe. In addition to preventing the worst possible outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection, new treatments are needed to address the burgeoning problem of people who are experiencing extended periods of effects from SARS-CoV-2.

Latest Fred Hutch research on COVID-19 In this latest recap of recent COVID-19 news, read about how: - Our scientists have identified a commonality that could lead to the design of a future universal coronavirus vaccine.   Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected] - A group of scientists, including Fred Hutch’s Dr. Jesse Bloom, wrote a letter publad an ished in Science calling for an investigation for the origins of SARS-CoV-2 to better prevent future pandemics.

[email protected]: Stories of hope and heroes

Saturday, June 5, 2021 marks 40 years since publication of the first medical report of HIV/ AIDS. To commemorate the milestone, Fred Hutch has gathered 40 stories written by Hutch writers in recent years about the science of stopping HIV and the people who have devoted their lives to achieving this goal.

Risk vs. benefit: Bisphosphonates in breast cancer Bisphosphonates are popular bone-targeting drugs often used to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Breast cancer patients, particularly those with metastatic disease, take them to prevent and treat bone lesions or “mets.” A new analysis by scientists at Fred Hutch suggests the drugs might keep people diagnosed with DCIS — the very earliest form of breast cancer — from developing invasive disease.

Researchers ID potential new drug target in bladder cancer Reining in protein production could have therapeutic effects on bladder tumors, according to new work by Fred Hutch researchers Dr. Andrew Hsieh and Dr. Sujata Jana. They showed that an experimental drug that blocks protein synthesis — one which is already being evaluated in people with other cancers — slows bladder tumor progression and extends survival in mouse models of the disease.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Changes Colorectal Cancer Screenings should begin at 45 according to a new recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. Fred Hutch researchers are seeking better ways to prevent and detect colon polyps and colon cancer, and better ways to treat colorectal cancer. Much of our research is focused on developing more precise ways to prevent colon cancer through early detection and prompt, personalized treatment. Learn more about Fred Hutch colorectal cancer research.

What can worms teach us about ourselves? Humans face similar challenges as other animals on Earth, how to survive, reproduce and find food. Meeting these challenges requires animals to act on their perceptions of the world around them. To understand the essential processes that shape how all animals do this, and the possible implications for human disorders, Dr. Jihong Bai studies the nervous systems of minuscule worms called nematodes. This research is leading to links in expected places in the study of human health.

Bringing science and better health outcomes to all Fred Hutch’s yearly symposium was presented virtually on Friday, May 21, by the Consortium’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement. It brought together investigators, advocates, health care providers and more to hash out the harsh truths, progress and ideas and hail the dedicated heroes in the trenches, who this year helped communities across the Puget Sound and beyond navigate cancer and an equally cruel pandemic.

Fred Hutch announces 12 recipients of Dr. Eddie Méndez award Dr. Eddie Méndez is remembered for his commitment to supporting early career scientists who are historically under-represented in science were underrepresented, including racial minorities, ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities. This year’s awardees represent a breadth of scientific research including the microbiome, biobehavioral reasons for health disparities, and SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Larry Corey receives public service award from American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Renowned virologist Dr. Larry Corey is one of two winners of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy’s Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award. The award, named after a gene therapy advocate, recognizes a person or group that has consistently fostered and enhanced the field of gene and cell therapy through governmental agencies, public policy groups, public education or nongovernmental charitable organizations. Corey was asked to co-lead the COVID-19 Prevention Network vaccine program, which is responsible for implementing multiple COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials in the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Yingye Zheng named fellow of American Statistical Association Dr. Yingye Zheng, a professor of biostatistics in the Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division, has been elected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Zheng works primarily in the realm of cancer screening and surveillance research. She is one of the principal investigators of the data coordinating center for the National Cancer Institute’s Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR) network, which focuses on colorectal, cervical and lung cancer screening.

Climb to Fight Cancer

Essential workers illustrate the Heart of the Hutch

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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 and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

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Released: 24-Jun-2021 4:55 PM EDT
Virus that causes COVID-19 can find alternate route to infect cells
Washington University in St. Louis

The virus that causes COVID-19 normally gets inside cells by attaching to a protein called ACE2. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a single mutation confers the ability to enter cells through another route, which may threaten the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics designed to block the standard route of entry.

Newswise: Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for COVID-19 and More
Released: 24-Jun-2021 3:05 PM EDT
Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for COVID-19 and More
Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

S&T is preparing for future outbreaks/pandemics by investing in a new tech that can quickly discriminate between bacterial and viral infections so that the U.S. can triage patients and plan a response without delay.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 12:30 PM EDT
A tecnologia de IA e ECG pode descartar rapidamente a infecção por COVID-19, concluiu o estudo da Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic

A inteligência artificial (IA) pode oferecer uma maneira de determinar com precisão se uma pessoa não está infectada com a COVID-19. Um estudo retrospectivo internacional descobriu que a infecção pelo SARS-CoV-2, o vírus que causa a COVID-19, cria mudanças elétricas sutis no coração. Um eletrocardiograma (ECG) habilitado com IA pode detectar essas alterações e, potencialmente, ser usado como um teste de triagem rápido e confiável para descartar a infecção por COVID-19.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
妙佑医疗国际(Mayo Clinic)的研究发现,AI赋能的心电图技术有可能迅速排除COVID-19感染
Mayo Clinic

AI (人工智能)有可能提供准确判断一个人未感染COVID-19(2019冠状病毒病)的方法。一项国际回顾性研究发现,如果感染了导致COVID-19的SARS-CoV-2病毒,患者的心脏会产生微妙的电学变化。AI赋能的心电图(EKG)可以检测到这些变化,并有望被用于进行快速、可靠的COVID-19筛查检测,以排除COVID-19感染。

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Released: 24-Jun-2021 11:50 AM EDT
UCI Professor Wins Spain’s Prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific Research
University of California, Irvine

Irvine, Calif., June 24, 2021 — Philip Felgner, Ph.D., professor in residence of physiology & biophysics at the University of California, Irvine, is one of seven scholars worldwide to win Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research in recognition of their contributions to designing COVID-19 vaccines.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
New protein engineering method could accelerate the discovery of COVID-19 therapeutics
University of Michigan

Discovering and engineering nanobodies with properties suitable for treating human diseases ranging from cancer to COVID-19 is a time-consuming, laborious process.

Newswise: Decoding humans’ survival from coronaviruses
Released: 24-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Decoding humans’ survival from coronaviruses
University of Adelaide

An international team of researchers co-led by the University of Adelaide and the University of Arizona has analysed the genomes of more than 2,500 modern humans from 26 worldwide populations, to better understand how humans have adapted to historical coronavirus outbreaks.

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Embargo will expire: 29-Jun-2021 4:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 24-Jun-2021 10:35 AM EDT

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Released: 24-Jun-2021 10:00 AM EDT
Pandemic Air Quality Affected By Weather, Not Just Lockdowns
Washington University in St. Louis

Using a diverse set of tools, the lab of Randall Martin shows how the pandemic did – or didn’t – affect levels of particulate matter during COVID lockdowns.

Released: 24-Jun-2021 6:05 AM EDT
Longest known SARS-CoV-2 infection of nearly 300 days successfully treated with new therapy
University of Bristol

An immunocompromised individual with the longest known PCR confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, lasting more than 290 days, has been successfully treated with two investigational monoclonal antibodies (laboratory engineered antibodies). Clinicians and researchers from the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) worked closely to assess and treat the infection and want to highlight the urgent need for improved access to treatments for such people with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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