Tip Sheet: Health disparities in colorectal cancer, stories from caregivers, a new way to study old tumor samples — and Lung Cancer Awareness Month

SEATTLE — November 2, 2023 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center research findings and other news.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. If you’re looking for resources, see our media tip sheet and contact hplatisha@fredhutch.org to set up interviews.

Will you be covering the ASH (American Society of Hematology) Annual Meeting? Sign up for our ASH tip sheet for Fred Hutch research and experts: media@fredhutch.org.

Cancer & caregiving series
November is National Family Caregivers Month, which expands the spotlight to encompass the army of caregivers who do everything from taking notes during medical visits and keeping loved ones company during long hours of chemotherapy to caring for them at home as they cope with side effects from grueling treatments. The series includes:

Media contact: media@fredhutch.org

Cancer research and care

3 new grants power colorectal cancer studies

Jeroen Huyghe, PhD; Ulrike Peters, PhD, MPH; Li Hsu, PhD; and Carolyn Rutter, PhD, received grants from the National Cancer Institute to study three different aspects of colorectal cancer. Huyghe will look at the molecular and cellular profiles of colorectal cancer tumors and immune microenvironments in Alaska Native people. Peters and Hsu will further investigate colorectal cancer risk, and Rutter will investigate the health and financial costs of unequal care in colorectal cancer.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

2 women with breast cancer share their perspectives on living with the disease

Patients Leah Marcoe and Maria Pearson talk about their experiences with breast cancer. They share what life was like following their diagnosis, provide advice on how to navigate a breast cancer diagnosis and changes to treatment plans, as well as how living with breast cancer has impacted their own lives.  
Media contact: Heather Platisha, hplatisha@fredhutch.org

Smoking cessation trial for American Indian and Alaska Native people funded

Behavioral psychologist Jonathan Bricker, PhD, received a grant from the NCI to conduct a randomized controlled clinical trial of a smoking cessation app designed specifically for Indigenous people. The grant will test the efficacy of the Fred Hutch-tested smartphone app ICanQuit versus that of QuitGuide, a digital smoking prevention app offered by the NCI.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Extending efficacy for CAR T-cell therapies

Immunotherapy researcher Shivani Srivastava, PhD, received an NCI MERIT Award to investigate whether genetically engineered CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T cells have the ability to form self-renewing reservoirs of anti-cancer cells, and how to encourage their formation to improve CAR T-cell therapy for solid tumors.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

New technique could help make precision medicine more widely available

When studying the molecular characteristics of tumors, it’s easiest to study them in fresh or frozen cells. But many times researchers are using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, or FFPE, tissue samples. A new method paper led by biologist Steve Henikoff, PhD, and recently published in Nature Communications could make it easier to study older tumor samples and compare them with patient outcomes.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Community news

Fred Hutch announces eight recipients of 2023 Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award

Fred Hutch announced the recipients of the 2023 Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award, which recognizes early-career scientists from groups underrepresented in science and scientists with disabilities. The eight postdoctoral awardees represent a range of research institutions across the U.S. and are experts in a variety of subjects including tumor interactions with the immune system, cell signaling in obesity and links between parasites and cancer.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Dr. Lawrence Fong to lead Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center

Fred Hutch announced the hiring of Lawrence Fong, MD, as the scientific director of the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center. He has been involved with both the pre-clinical and clinical development of multiple immunotherapies including immune checkpoint inhibitors that are now FDA approved. In 2021, he received a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, which provides $4.2 million over seven years for his project, Determinants of Response to Cancer Immunotherapy. He will begin his new role July 1, 2024.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

BRCA-mutation researcher Dr. Rosevalentine Bosire named Brave Fellow

Research by Rosevalentine Bosire, PhD, in the lab of Richard Adeyemi, DVM, PhD,  examines drug resistance in cancers carrying mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Bosire is the fourth recipient of the Brave Fellowship, which supports early-career researchers from underrepresented backgrounds who are studying rare cancers.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Newstips via social media
A roundup of what our experts are saying. If you’re interested in learning more, contact media@fredhutch.org

Science spotlight
Science Spotlight is a monthly installment of articles written by postdoctoral fellows 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 while accelerating 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. Fred Hutch also serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.


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