Fred Hutch, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and UW Medicine Complete Restructure of Partnership

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Tip Sheet: Fred Hutch and partners complete restructure, zinc and the immune system – and using cord blood transplants to treat leukemia and HIV

SEATTLE — April 6, 2022 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center research findings and other news.

If you’re covering the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual meeting, April 8-13, see our list of Fred Hutch highlights for AACR and contact media@fredhutch.org for help setting up interviews with experts.

Fred Hutch and partners restructure

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine Complete Restructure of Partnership
Fred Hutch and its partners Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine have completed the restructure of their longtime relationship. The result is the formation of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, a unified adult cancer research and care center. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center brings together Fred Hutch and SCCA into a single, independent, nonprofit organization that is also a clinically integrated part of UW Medicine and UW Medicine’s cancer program. We will continue to be known as “Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center” until the new visual brand is rolled out later this year.
Media contact: Shelby Barnes, mrbarnes@fredhutch.org

Cancer research

Testing cord blood transplants as a cure for leukemia — and HIV
A new multi-site clinical trial led by Fred Hutch’s Drs. Filippo Milano and Hans-Peter Kiem aims to enroll 10 patients with advanced leukemia and who also are living with HIV. As treatment for their cancer, the patients will receive transplanted stem cells from cord blood. Because the cord blood in this trial will come from donors with rare genes that confer resistance to HIV, the hope is that the procedure will also give them immunity against HIV as well.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Science Says: Comedian, researchers tackle tough topics
At the virtual Science Says community event, Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Thomas J. Lynch and panelists, Dr. Rachel Issaka, Dr. Michele Andrasik and comedian Trevor Noah, talked about improving equity in healthcare as well as increasing awareness of colorectal cancer screening and partnering with diverse communities around COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Immunology

How zinc boosts the immune system
In a new study published in late March in the scientific journal Blood, Fred Hutch scientists, led by immunologist Dr. Jarrod Dudakov, revealed two different ways the mineral zinc supports immunity. Using mice, the team discovered that zinc is required for development of a specialized type of immune cell and prompts a critical immune organ to regenerate after damage. Dudakov’s Tweetorial gives a background on how he came to study zinc and the immune system.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

COVID-19

Latest Fred Hutch research on COVID-19 If you’re interested in learning more about this research, please contact: media@fredhutch.org

  • Dr. Julie McElrath and Dr. Jesse Bloom co-authored a Nature study on March 31 that explains a collaborative effort by U.S. government and academic scientists to define the risk of SARS-CoV-2 variants on immune escape.
  • Dr. Adrienne Shapiro is a senior author of a study published on March 15 in JAMA reporting results of a trial of the monoclonal antibody drug sotrovimab.
  • In a non-peer-reviewed preprint manuscript posted March 14 on bioRxiv, researchers from the Bloom Lab at Fred Hutch showed that immune responses to a prior variant of SARS-CoV-2 change the antibody response to the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Awards and other notable stories

Dr. Denise Galloway elected Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy
Dr. Denise Galloway joined 255 other scientists as newly-elected fellows of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research. Galloway’s pioneering work on virus-like particles and the link between HPV and cervical cancer paved the way for the cancer-preventive human papillomavirus vaccine. Her investigations into the ways that certain viruses promote cancer allowed her to develop a diagnostic test to predict recurrence of the deadly skin cancer Merkel cell carcinoma.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Dr. Michael Linenberger honored for contributions to apheresis medicine
Dr. Michael Linenberger has been awarded one of the highest honors in the field of apheresis, the medical subspecialty that uses automated methods to separate blood components for therapeutic manipulation or for use in transfusion, transplantation and cell-based treatments. The Presidential Award from the American Society for Apheresis, or ASFA, recognizes Linenberger’s career-long contributions to this field, which is a supportive cornerstone for donors and patients involved in blood stem cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy for cancer.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Science spotlight
Science Spotlight is a monthly installment of articles written by postdoctoral fellows at Fred Hutch that summarize new research papers from Hutch scientists. If you’re interested in learning more or covering these topics, contact: media@fredhutch.org

 

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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.