Research Highlights - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Research Highlights

Every year, researchers in the Hutch's various divisions and programs report a host of breakthroughs related to our core mission: eliminating cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death.

2013 Key Findings

Long-term use of some high blood pressure drugs associated with increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women
Older women who take certain types of medication to combat high blood pressure may be putting themselves at greater risk for developing breast cancer, according to a new study by a team of Fred Hutch scientists led by Christopher Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Study confirms link between high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer
A second large, prospective study by scientists at Fred Hutch has confirmed the link between high blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

How young genes gain a toehold on becoming indispensable
Fred Hutch scientists have, for the first time, mapped a young gene’s short, dramatic evolutionary journey to becoming essential, or indispensable.

Cancer diagnosis puts people at greater risk for bankruptcy
People diagnosed with cancer are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to declare bankruptcy than those without cancer, according to a new study from Fred Hutch.

Immune cells that suppress genital herpes infections identified
Fred Hutch and University of Washington scientists have identified a class of immune cells that reside long-term in the genital skin and mucosa and are believed to be responsible for suppressing recurring outbreaks of genital herpes.

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs may also reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer, study finds
Men with prostate cancer who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are significantly less likely to die from their cancer than men who don’t take such medication, according to study led by researchers at Fred Hutch.

Fred Hutchinson transplant program pioneers treatment options for minority patients struggling to find a donor match
Patients from ethnic minority and mixed-racial backgrounds are less likely to receive a lifesaving bone marrow transplant than Caucasian patients with the same disease due to lack of matching donors, according to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

Few breast cancer survivors maintain adequate physical activity despite benefits
Breast cancer survivors are among the women who could most benefit from regular physical activity, yet few meet national exercise recommendations during the 10 years after being diagnosed, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutch.

Alcohol consumption has no impact on breast cancer survival, according to new research
Although previous research has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has found that drinking before and after diagnosis does not impact survival from the disease.

Esophageal cancer risk may be reduced through a variety of lifestyle factors – from taking aspirin to losing belly fat
An estimated 20 million Americans have chronic heartburn. About 2 million of these people have Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition that affects the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Cancer in young adults is focus of new nationwide study to be led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program
The Fred Hutch Survivorship Program and its directors, K. Scott Baker, M.D. and Karen Syrjala, Ph.D., have been selected to lead a nationwide study that aims to improve long-term health outcomes for cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 39.

‘Where you’re treated matters’ in terms of cancer survival
A study of older patients with advanced head and neck cancers has found that where they were treated significantly influenced their survival.

Twice given, twice used: Infusion of stem cells and specially generated T-cells from same donor improves leukemia survival
In a significant advance for harnessing the immune system to treat leukemias, researchers at Fred Hutch for the first time have successfully infused large numbers of donor T-cells specific for a key anti-leukemic antigen to prolong survival in high-risk and relapsed leukemia patients after stem cell transplantation.

Researchers identify variations in four genes that are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer
An international research team co-led by cancer prevention researcher Ulrike “Riki” Peters, Ph.D., M.P.H., and biostatistician Li Hsu, Ph.D., at Fred Hutch has identified variations in four genes that are linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

High-dose Vorinostat effective at treating relapsed lymphomas
Patients whose aggressive lymphomas have relapsed or failed to respond to the current front-line chemotherapy regimen now have an effective second line of attack against their disease.

Study finds eating deep-fried food is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer
Regular consumption of deep-fried foods such as French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, and the effect appears to be slightly stronger with regard to more aggressive forms of the disease, according to a study by investigators at Fred Hutch.

HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than perviously thought
Viruses similar to those that cause AIDS in humans were present in non-human primates in Africa at least 5 million years ago and perhaps up to 12 million years ago, according to study published Jan. 24 in PLoS Pathogens by scientists at Fred Hutch.