Make clinical trials more inclusive, measure vaccine protection against COVID and the results of new HIV vaccines


SEATTLE – September 1, 2021 – Below are summaries of Fred Hutch’s recent discoveries and other news.

Health disparities

Cancer clinical trials exclude too many patients: that’s changing
Enrollment in new cancer treatment clinical trials has returned to normal, at least within the SWOG Cancer Research Network. But far too many cancer patients can’t participate due to overly restrictive testing criteria, according to cancer organizations and leading scientists like Fred Hutch’s Dr Joseph Unger, whose new study in JAMA Network Open has shown that there is little evidence of reduced enrollment in treatment trials. throughout the first year of the pandemic. You can follow Dr Unger on Twitter to keep up to date with his latest studies.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Cancer Health Equity Now: Policies for Health Equity
A new podcast episode from Fred Hutch’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement features discussions on health equity policies in Washington state. The episode is hosted by Danté Morehead, community health educator Fred Hutch, with guest Dillon van Rensburg, community health educator for rural populations, and Senator Emily Randall of Washington’s 26th District.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

Research against cancer

Measure 170 times, cut once: high throughput drug screening for multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a very heterogeneous disease with 63 known common mutations. Despite the availability of many approved drugs, varying responses to these drugs mean that the disease remains incurable. Researchers at Fred Hutch recently published their findings on creating a multiple myeloma screening system to better help patients and physicians make treatment decisions.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

A new calculation method opens a window on the behavior of immune cells
Immune cells have many jobs to do, including providing an essential building block for cancer treatment. Specialized receptors of a type of immune cell called a T cell help regulate the activity and immune roles of T cells. New computational method published in Nature Biotechnology could help reveal hidden biological patterns that link the receptor T cell, or TCR, gene sequences and T cell function. Researchers plan to use the tool to better understand complex groups of T cells and their response to a tumor.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

Could genetic twins team up against cancer?
In a new study from Cell Reports, scientists at Fred Hutch describe an approach that uncovers gene duplications. About two-thirds of human genes have a duplicate copy that shares overlapping functions. Cancer cells take advantage of this by relying on a gene twin to continue if the first one is lost. The new approach could help uncover targets for cancer drugs by revealing which pairs of genes play a role in cancer.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]


Researchers identify ‘correlates of protection’ for Moderna vaccine
In the race to develop new and better vaccines and boosters to block COVID-19, scientists are eagerly looking for lab tests that can measure immune responses to quickly show how well these injections are working, instead of waiting months. the results of clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people. Now, a group of top scientists, including Dr Peter Gilbert, biostatistician at Fred Hutch, report that they have defined such measures – or correlates of protection – for the widely used Moderna mRNA vaccine.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

New concerns about the course of the coronavirus in immunocompromised patients
Following findings that variants of the COVID-19 virus are more likely to originate from patients with weakened immune systems, leading medical experts call for increased precautions in treating such people and development of better therapies and more intensive to help them fully. recover from their illness.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Science Says: Navigating between work, school and wellness in a world transformed by COVID-19
In early August, scientists on the front lines of COVID-19 discussed the latest news on the pandemic. Moderated by Dr. Tom Lynch, President and Director of Fred Hutch, topics covered included the impact the Delta Variant will have on back to school, cancer research and the future of the pandemic.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]


Investigational HIV vaccine provides insufficient protection in HIV prevention
A phase 2b clinical trial of the HIV vaccine, known as the Imbokodo study, will stop enrollment because no statistically significant difference between the vaccine and placebo arms of the study was observed. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network, which is based at Fred Hutch and helped run the trial, will continue to track vaccine study participants and analyze data for immunologic correlates. Dr Larry Corey, HVTN co-leader, pointed out that the data could help researchers understand the immune response required by future HIV vaccines.
Media contact: Anna Altavas, [email protected]

A New Way Forward: A Potential Path to Effective HIV Vaccines
Finding vaccines to provide protection against the variety of HIV strains found around the world has been elusive, with many strains representing immense genetic diversity. HIV as a virus is also highly mutable and able to escape therapies designed to eradicate it. New research from Fred Hutch suggests that widely developed neutralizing antibodies in rare cases may hold the key to creating an effective HIV vaccine.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Awards and other notable news

Two Fred Hutch post-docs named 2021 Damon Runyon Fellows
Two postdoctoral fellows at Fred Hutch, Drs. Edie Crosse and Chiang-Ho Chang are among 17 early-career scientists announced as Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellows. With his funding, Crosse aims to uncover the early mechanisms of blood cancers known as myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, that new drugs could target to prevent disease progression to leukemia. Chang studies fast-evolving proteins called protamins that condense DNA in sperm. Protamins control how genes are turned on and off in semen and are also found in many cancer cells.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

Seek to expand targeted therapy for lung cancer
Targeted therapies have transformed outcomes for lung cancer patients. After the reduction in smoking rates, drugs that aim to alter the signature of tumor cells are the main reason that the death rate has dropped in people diagnosed with lung cancer. Recently, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center lung cancer researcher Dr. Alice Berger received a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health which will support her efforts to extend these advances to more cancer patients.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

Obliteride 2021 brings together a record number of participants worldwide
On Saturday August 14, more than 5,000 people around the world rode, cook, kayak and more for the annual Fred Hutch Obliteride. From Seattle to Singapore, community fundraising has brought people together to honor loved ones, have fun, and raise funds for vital research. Participants of all ages and skill levels from 42 countries, 50 U.S. states, and six continents have chosen their own fundraising and activity goals and have raised over $ 3 million to date.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

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At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel Laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists are researching new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV / AIDS and other deadly 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. Seattle-based, independent, nonprofit research institute, Fred Hutch is home to the first cancer prevention research program funded by the National Cancer Institute, as well as the Women’s Health Initiative’s Clinical Coordinating Center and the HIV International Headquarters. Vaccine Trials Network and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

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