$710.5 million donated to support cancer and infectious disease research, skin-on-chip technology and a new approach to bone marrow transplantation

SEATTLE – November 2, 2022 – Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center research results and other news.

If you are looking for sources for November Lung and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, please see our lung cancer, həliʔil program and pancreatic cancer pages for a list of projects, experts and the latest news.

Research against cancer

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Receives $710.5 Million Gift to Accelerate Cancer and Infectious Disease Research
The Bezos family has committed $710.5 million over the next decade to accelerate Fred Hutch’s multifaceted approach to scientific discovery. The gift supports the organization’s efforts to dramatically accelerate the pace and scale of medical breakthroughs in cancer and infectious disease by harnessing the full potential of today’s science. The donation will support recruitment, research facilities, clinical research infrastructure and the expansion of immunotherapy research.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

New approach could make bone marrow transplantation safer and stronger
Bone marrow transplants have transformed care for patients with blood cancers, but one of the downsides of treatment is graft-versus-host disease – a common side effect that occurs when transplanted cells see tissue receiver’s healthy as strangers and attack them. In a study published in Science Immunology, a team at Fred Hutch showed a new approach that prevented relapses in laboratory models of bone marrow transplantation to treat leukemia and multiple myeloma.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

The award will fund research into new therapies for metastatic prostate cancer
A three-year, $750,000 grant from the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation will allow Fred Hutch researchers to study therapies for metastatic prostate cancer. Dr. John Lee and Fred Hutch collaborating Drs. Pete Nelson and Roland Strong to explore new treatments, including through the use of immunotherapy.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

Side effects of cancer chemotherapy and how to limit them
Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Gary Lyman, a longtime American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) thought leader, along with three colleagues, recently published an analysis in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology offering a broad overview of common acute adverse events associated with chemotherapy and how to manage or prevent them.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]hutch.org

Dr. Ruth Etzioni Receives $7.4 Million NCI Grant to Evaluate New Cancer Diagnostics
Fred Hutch’s researcher, Dr. Ruth Etzioni, received a seven-year Outstanding Researcher Award from the National Cancer Institute to continue her work on new cancer diagnostics. The award, which comes with approximately $7.4 million in funding, will enable Etzioni and his team to create frameworks and tools to evaluate new cancer diagnostics such as new imaging modalities. nuclear and early detection tests for several cancers, commonly called liquid biopsies.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Infectious disease

Searching for herpes treatments with skin-on-chip technology
Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Jia Zhu leads a group of researchers studying herpes simplex viruses, which are responsible for periodic outbreaks of cold sores in the mouth (HSV-1) or recurrent ulcers in genitalia (HSV-2). With their new device, which she calls a “skin-on-chip” platform, Zhu and her team have built and tested a prototype tool that could help researchers accelerate the development of treatments for human herpes.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Health Equity

Spokane Regional Health District: Gaps in Cancer Care in Spokane
For their “Cancer Health Equity Now” podcast, members of Fred Hutch’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement hosted a roundtable with staff from Sunnyside, Spokane and Seattle. They discussed the future of health equity work and reflected on the work of the past year.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

Understanding tribal communities and cancer through storytelling, art
Fred Hutch’s Public Art and Community Dialogue Program has selected artist, storyteller and Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe member Roger Fernandes to create a new mural. He believes that storytelling and art can contribute to this by tapping into the unconscious and the spiritual side of people and giving them strength and hope.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

Awards and other news

Dr. Larry Corey receives the Alexander Fleming Prize
At a conference in Washington, DC on the science of infectious diseases, Dr. Larry Corey, virologist and former president and director of Fred Hutch, received a lifetime achievement award. The award, given by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, was established in 1964 in honor of the late Dr. Alexander Fleming.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, [email protected]

Dr. Anat Zimmer Receives AAUW Fellowship
Computational biologist Dr. Anat Zimmer, postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Gavin Ha’s lab at Fred Hutch, was awarded a 2022-23 fellowship by the American Association of University Women. Zimmer, who moved with his family from Israel, joined Fred Hutch in the summer of 2021. His interests include systems biology and the application of computational tools to study, predict and prevent human disease.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

Merkel cell carcinoma researcher Dr. Nick Salisbury named Brave Fellow
Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nick Salisbury has just been named the third recipient to receive the Brave Fellowship from Fred Hutch. Funded by Brooks Running on behalf of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, the fellowship’s goal is to develop scientific leaders who will advocate for a diverse and inclusive biomedical research workforce focused on rare cancer research. The scholarship will fund Salisbury’s research into Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer caused by Merkel cell polyomavirus.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, [email protected]

Fred Hutch Hosts Inaugural Dr. E. Donnall Thomas Symposium
Leading researchers from around the world traveled to Seattle to discuss the future of transplantation, gene and cell therapies at Dr. E. Donnall Thomas’ inaugural symposium. Among the attendees celebrating his legacy were Dr. Rainer Storb, one of Fred Hutch’s early scientists who worked with Thomas and still leads the transplant biology program; and graduate student David Granadier, whose poster on thymus regeneration received first prize from the conference organizers.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

Spotlight on Science
Science Spotlight is a monthly installment of articles written by Fred Hutch postdoctoral fellows that summarize new research papers by Hutch scientists. If you would like to know more or discuss these topics, contact: [email protected]

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The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center brings together comprehensive care and advanced research to provide the latest cancer treatment options and accelerate discoveries that prevent, treat and defeat 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 worldwide reputation for our track record of discoveries in cancer, infectious diseases and basic research, including significant advances in bone marrow transplantation, HIV/AIDS prevention, immunotherapy and vaccines against COVID-19. Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation therapy, proton therapy and related services and has network affiliations with hospitals in four states. Fred Hutch also serves as the cancer program at UW Medicine.

Please note that our organization was renamed Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in April 2022, following the merger of longtime partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.