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Supper, sleep, circadian rhythms and cancer risk

Q&A: How going against our internal clock can trigger disease

July 19, 2018 | By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service

Epidemiologist Dr. Manolis Kogevinas

Epidemiologist Dr. Manolis Kogevinas of Barcelona’s Institute for Global Health is a visiting professor at Fred Hutch. His study on "mistimed eating patterns" and cancer risk was published this week.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

When you eat may be as critical as what you eat for your risk of breast and prostate cancers, a research team reported this week.

The findings came from a Spanish study published in the International Journal of Cancer, which was led by environmental, occupational and molecular epidemiologist Dr. Manolis Kogevinas of Barcelona’s Institute for Global Health. Kogevinas is currently a visiting professor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

In a nutshell, participants in the study who ate dinner before 9 p.m. or waited at least two hours after eating before going to bed had a 26 percent lower risk of prostate cancer and a 16 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who either ate after 10 p.m. or ate and then promptly hit the hay.

Kogevinas studies circadian rhythms and how these intertwined systems maintain our body’s metabolic, immune, renal, liver and other physiological functions as we go about our 24-hour day. This inner clock regulates our sleep, our energy levels, our hormones and our body temperatures. Mess with the timing — as we do when we stay up late staring at our TV, laptop and smartphone screens — and you can bump your risk for disease, including cancer.

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Endometriosis linked to childhood abuse

New Fred Hutch collaboration highlights yet another poor health outcome associated with adverse childhood experiences

July 17, 2018 | By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service

Childhood abuse and endometriosis

Illustration by Kimberly Carney / Fred Hutch News Service

Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction. 

Epidemiologist Dr. Holly Harris of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, lead author of the study, called the association between abuse and endometriosis “particularly strong,” since women reporting severe to chronic abuse had a 79 percent higher risk of developing the condition.

“Both physical and sexual abuse were associated with endometriosis risk,” she said. “And it’s a strong association. There’s also a dose response, meaning the risk increases with increasing severity and type of abuse.”

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Donate to Fred Hutch for a chance to meet Seattle Mariners’ Mitch Haniger

Mariners will match gifts through Aug. 7

July 16, 2018 | By Fred Hutch News Service staff

Seattle Mariners outfielder and Fred Hutch ambassador Mitch Haniger takes a turn at bat.

Seattle Mariners outfielder and Fred Hutch ambassador Mitch Haniger takes a turn at bat.

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Mariners

Starting today, you can double your impact in the fight against cancer and, just maybe, meet a rising star in Major League Baseball.

As part of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s partnership with the Seattle Mariners, the team will match donations to the Hutch through Aug. 7. Those who give online during this promotion will be entered automatically for a chance to win four Mariners tickets and an on-field photo opportunity with outfielder and Fred Hutch ambassador Mitch Haniger.

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Computational biologist Dr. Raphael Gottardo receives 2018 Mortimer Spiegelman Award

American Public Health Association recognizes Fred Hutch researcher for his contributions to health statistics biology

July 13, 2018 | By Tom Kim / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Raphael Gottardo speaks at an all-faculty retreat last month in Seattle.

Dr. Raphael Gottardo speaks about data science at a Fred Hutch all-faculty retreat last month at The Westin Seattle.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

The American Public Health Association has named Dr. Raphael Gottardo, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the winner of its 2018 Mortimer Spiegelman Award.

The Spiegelman Award honors statisticians under the age of 40 who have made outstanding contributions to health statistics, especially public health statistics.

“It is a privilege to be recognized by my peers and win such a well-respected award,” Gottardo said. “Researching ways to harness the immune system to prevent infections and cure cancer is a massive undertaking that involves analyzing and integrating a large amount of data, and I’m proud that my work is helping other scientists turn that trove of information into actionable insights.”

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Dr. Emily Hatch named 2018 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar

She is recognized for her research on the rupture and repair of nuclear membranes that may cause cancer and other diseases

July 11, 2018 | By Colin Petersdorf / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Emily Hatch

Dr. Emily Hatch

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Emily Hatch of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on Monday was selected as a 2018 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar.

The Rita Allen Foundation, an organization in Princeton, New Jersey, that sponsors promising early-career scientists, awarded the scholarship to seven biomedical researchers across the United States who show creativity and resilience in their investigations into confounding scientific and medical problems. The award includes a grant of up to $110,000 annually for up to five years to help foster breakthrough solutions to these issues.

Hatch was selected for her exploration of the nuclear envelope, a structure that separates the chromatin found in the nucleus from the cytoplasm of the cell, as well as her research regarding the causes and consequences associated with the rupture and repair of this organelle.

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The legacy of a pioneering transplant immunologist

‘So much to be learned’: Dr. John Hansen reflects on the lives he’s saved and the answers still to come

July 11, 2018 | by Susan Keown / Fred Hutch News Service

current headshot of Dr. John Hansen in his office with books in the background

Dr. John Hansen has made major contributions to the development of bone marrow transplantation, which has now offered the chance for a cure to over a million people worldwide.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

A man in Japan rubs the inside of his cheek with a swab to collect some of his cells. He’s sending them off to enter a database of people willing to donate their blood stem cells to strangers in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

At the same time, a doctor in Germany logs in to a web portal. She carefully enters information about one of her patients, a man with advanced leukemia. Then, she hits search. A few seconds later, the system lets her know about a thousand people around the world who could be suitable matches for her patient. Will one of them be the bone marrow donor who saves his life?

On the other side of the planet, a cloud of liquid nitrogen vapor spills from a silver tank in Seattle. A rubber-gauntleted technician draws out a frost-encrusted metal rack, full of vials of decades-old blood cells suspended at 192 degrees below zero. A scientist will be applying new genomic technologies to analyze these old samples and crack open clues to better cancer therapies.

And 200 feet away from her — across a road, through some doors and up a set of stairs into a quiet office overlooking a tree-filled courtyard — sits a man who played an outsized role in making all these things possible. 

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