Tip Sheet: First-in-human HIV vaccine results, progress in pediatric AML — and Fred Hutch at ASCO

SEATTLE — June 1, 2023 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center research findings and other news.

If you’re covering the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, June 2-6 in Chicago, Illinois, see our list of Fred Hutch research highlights at ASCO and contact media@fredhutch.org to set up interviews with experts.

And, if you’re looking for resources for June’s National Cancer Survivor Month, please see Fred Hutch’s Survivorship Program for a list of our offerings. 

Cancer research

Project Stella enables novel pediatric AML immunotherapies, potential cure
Dr. Soheil Meshinchi, a Fred Hutch pediatric hematologist/oncologist, studies a rare subtype of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. His work is supported by Project Stella, a philanthropic initiative to raise funding for development of a new immunotherapy to treat this cancer. Meshinchi’s work has resulted in several potential drugs against this cancer, as well as developing immunotherapy treatment.    
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

National study recommends starting SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination three months after bone marrow transplant
Patients with cancer whose immune systems are being supported or rebuilt by bone marrow transplantation should be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 three months post-transplant, according to new research from Fred Hutch. The study, with Fred Hutch’s Dr. Josh Hill as lead author, involved 22 cancer centers and research institutions in the United States and focused on SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines. The current guidelines, based on limited evidence, in the U.S. call for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination to start three to six months post-transplant.   
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Infectious disease

Researchers identify strong T-cell response in first-in-human nanoparticle HIV vaccine
Researchers from Fred Hutch have characterized robust T-cell responses in volunteers participating in the IAVI G001 Phase 1 clinical trial to test the safety and immune response of a self-assembling nanoparticle HIV vaccine. The work, published in Science Translational Medicine, signals a major step toward development of a vaccine approach to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide.    
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Infectious disease scientists look beyond the pandemic
Researchers specializing in protecting immune-compromised people from infectious disease gathered at the 4th Symposium on Infectious Diseases in the Compromised Host, an event organized by Fred Hutch. Speakers stressed the need to include people with weakened immunity in clinical trials of new vaccines and treatments so they — comprising about 6% of the U.S. adult population — can benefit from scientific evidence to support their care.    
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Community news

Fred Hutch pioneer Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb dies
Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb, a stem cell biologist who worked at Fred Hutch for 45 years, died Friday, May 5, at her home in Seattle. She was 75. A professor in Fred Hutch’s Translational Science and Therapeutics Division, Torok-Storb’s contributions to science and to education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, were substantial and far-reaching.    
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Dr. Philip Greenberg elected to National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Philip Greenberg, head of the Fred Hutch Program in Immunology, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Greenberg was involved in some of the first clinical trials to administer genetically modified T cells to people to target and eradicate disease. One of 120 new members elected by their peers, Greenberg is the 13th Fred Hutch faculty member elected to the academy.    
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Brain cancer expert Dr. Eric Holland receives Endowed Chair in Cancer Biology
Brain cancer expert Dr. Eric Holland was named the endowed chair in cancer biology. Holland directs Fred Hutch’s Human Biology Division and Seattle Translational Tumor Research, an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional program developed to enhance collaboration and accelerate progress among solid tumor researchers. He also leads a laboratory team dedicated to advancing treatments for brain cancers by untangling the molecular underpinnings of this spectrum of diseases.    
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 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.