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Stephen Piscotty of the Oakland A's wins 54th annual Hutch Award

Right fielder honored for overcoming personal tragedy, demonstrating a commitment to scientific research and exemplifying the spirit of Fred Hutchinson

May 22, 2019 | By Tom Kim / Fred Hutch News Service

Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty

Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty is the 54th annual Hutch Award winner.

Photo courtesy of Oakland A's

Oakland Athletics' right fielder Stephen Piscotty is being recognized as the 54thannual Hutch Award® winner. Presented by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Hutch Award honors a Major League Baseball player who best represents the courage and dedication of the late Fred Hutchinson.

The A’s nominated Piscotty in part for the courage and commitment he displayed when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Playing for St. Louis at the time, the Pleasanton, California, native was eventually traded to Oakland to be closer to his family. Piscotty and his family supported Gretchen through her illness and subsequent death last year. They continue to honor her memory by raising funds and awareness for ALS, and they launched the ALS CURE Project to fund research focused on curing the disease.

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Landmark scientific paper turns 40

First unequivocal proof in humans of immune cells’ cancer-curing power laid the groundwork for cancer immunotherapy, modern bone marrow transplantation

May 21, 2019 | By Susan Keown / Fred Hutch News Service

Photo of a patient in a bed in an isolation room with a medical provider preparing medications on the outside of the isolation curtain.

Fred Hutch's development of bone marrow transplantation — to help patients like the one shown here — offered the first definitive and reproducible proof that the human immune system can cure cancer. This photo was taken in the Fred Hutch transplantation clinic in the 1980s. The patient is isolated to protect him from infection until his immune system recovers after transplant.

Fred Hutch file photo

Forty years ago this month, a team of scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center published the first unequivocal report in humans that immune cells called T cells have the power to cure cancer.

The finding, published in 1979 in the New England Journal of Medicine, emerged from patients who’d received a bone marrow transplant from the Hutch’s pioneering transplant team. They found that the donated bone marrow cells did not simply rescue patients from the high doses of radiation and chemotherapy they’d received to kill their cancer. Instead it was, in fact, those donor immune cells that were key to the potential cure.  

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New data on cancer disparities in Washington

Health equity, patient voices and patient-engaged research hot topics at Value in Cancer Care Summit

May 20, 2019 | By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service

Cancer patient advocate Margie Willis, sitting on a patient panel at the VCC

Margie Willis, right, speaks about the shock and fear she experienced when she was told she had cancer. Willis, now a patient partner with the Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans, or ECANA, was part of a panel discussion on patient communities at Fred Hutch's 2019 Value in Cancer Care Summit held last week in Seattle.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Heads up, Washington — your neighborhood may be killing you.

Where a person lives has a big impact on whether they will live following a cancer diagnosis in our state, according to new data released May 13 by researchers at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR). Your zip code, your race and your proximity to an oncology clinic all can influence the stage of a cancer diagnosis, which in turn influences survival.

“Social determinants like race, socioeconomic status and neighborhood have a big impact on what stage you are when you’re diagnosed,” said HICOR director Dr. Scott Ramsey of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the sixth annual Value in Cancer Care Summit held May 13 in Seattle.

“From our own data in our own state, our findings show that these social determinants have an impact on the likelihood of someone being diagnosed at a more advanced stage,” he said.

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