Tip Sheet: Racial disparities in ovarian cancer risk, a CAR-T for prostate cancer, an antibody that blocks dengue and Zika viruses — and Fred Hutch presentations at ASGCT

SEATTLE — May 4, 2023 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center research findings and other news.

If you’re covering the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), to be held May 16-20 in Los Angeles, California, Fred Hutch experts will be presenting on gene editing techniques, cancer immunotherapy, HIV cure research and more. Fred Hutch’s Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem is the current ASGCT president, and Dr. Stan Riddell will give a keynote address. Please reach out to our media team to set up interviews with experts: media@fredhutch.org.

And, if you’re looking for resources for May’s awareness months, please take a look at our program pages for summaries of our offerings and lists of providers and experts: Bladder Cancer, Brain Cancer and Skin Cancer

Cancer research

Fred Hutch study highlights racial disparities in ovarian cancer risk for women
Led by Fred Hutch epidemiologist Dr. Holly Harris, a study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology investigated how endometriosis and uterine leiomyomas and a common intervention for these conditions—hysterectomy—changed ovarian cancer risk in Black and white women. Researchers found that while Black and white women with endometriosis had a higher risk of ovarian cancer overall, hysterectomy only modified this risk of cancer for white women.  
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Improving immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer
A new study in Nature Communications reports on a CAR-T targeting a protein STEAP1 on prostate cancer cells combined with an immune-boosting molecule within tumors was effective in preclinical models of prostate cancer. The work, led by Fred Hutch researcher Dr. John Lee, will form the basis of a preliminary clinical trial in people whose late-stage prostate cancer has resisted other treatments.       
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Researchers discover molecular fail-safe that keeps bladder tissues from turning cancerous
Understanding natural anti-tumor processes helps researchers develop better approaches to treating and preventing cancer. Fred Hutch researchers led by Dr. Andrew Hsieh have discovered a new “emergency brake” that bladder cells use to stave off tumors even when cancer-promoting genes are turned on. In a study published in Cancer Cell, the team manipulated the brake to halt the growth of human bladder tumors in mice, suggesting that the newly discovered molecular fail-safe could be a target for future bladder cancer therapies.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Untangling how body location promotes cancer
A new three-year fellowship to Dr. Rachel Lex, a postdoctoral fellow in the Fred Hutch Beronja Lab, will support research to better understand how body location influences cancer. The fellowship is from the American Cancer Society and is part of the newly created Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, a joint effort between ACS and the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation.    
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Melding data creates wider landscape of brain cancer
Sonali Arora, a computational biologist and member of the Holland Lab, has developed a new, panoramic visualization tool to help navigate the complex disease of brain cancer. Built from several publicly available datasets of gene expression and DNA sequences, the new brain cancer landscape acts like a map of the disease, carefully assembled from maps of different brain tumor subtypes.  
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Infectious disease

Early research may show new way to block dengue and Zika virus
Fred Hutch researchers led by Dr. Leslie Goo have discovered a potent antibody that appears to block all four strains of the mosquito-borne virus that causes dengue fever, a disease that sickens 100 million people every year. The team used an advanced laboratory technique, called single-cell RNA sequencing, to study blood drawn from patients in Colombia who had experienced multiple exposures to both dengue and Zika.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Going long: Viruses linger with lasting impact
Some associations between viruses and long-term chronic conditions have been known for years, while others are just becoming understood. More recently, many people are dealing with post-acute sequelae from SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as long COVID. The long-term consequences of infectious diseases is an area of research many at Fred Hutch are focusing on, including the COVID-19 Clinical Research Center which is testing therapies for long COVID.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Community news

Fred Hutch expands nurse navigation, ACE clinic
Fred Hutch has opened a new Acute Clinical Evaluation, or ACE, clinic at UW Medical Center Montlake, which along with the current Fred Hutch South Lake Union clinic, effectively doubles the capacity for acute patient care. Fred Hutch has also expanded two other programs to better help patients navigate cancer treatment. One is designed to work directly with newly diagnosed patients, the other will help those who are experiencing symptoms and side effects of their cancer or their cancer treatment in order to keep them from having to go to the emergency room.     
Media contact: Heather Platisha, hplatisha@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 Fred Hutch scientists. If you’re interested in learning more or covering these topics, contact: media@fredhutch.org

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center unites individualized care and advanced research to provide the latest cancer treatment options and accelerate discoveries that prevent, treat and cure cancer and infectious diseases worldwide.

Based in Seattle, Fred Hutch is an independent, nonprofit organization and the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Washington. We have earned a global reputation for our track record of discoveries in cancer, infectious disease and basic research, including important advances in bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy, HIV/AIDS prevention, and COVID-19 vaccines. Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation, proton therapy and related services and has network affiliations with hospitals in four states. Fred Hutch also serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.