Understanding breast cancer metastasis, genetic indicators of esophageal cancer – and announcing new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Newswise – SEATTLE – May 4, 2022 – Below are summaries of recent research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and other news.

Covering the May 16-19 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, you’ll find highlights from Fred Hutch researchers, among others:

  • In a plenary presentation for ASGCT’s Outstanding New Investigator Awards, Dr. Chris Peterson will discuss research to develop cell and gene therapies for HIV.
  • dr Jennifer Adair will describe the global effort to make gene therapy more accessible.
  • dr Hans-Peter Kiem is recognized as the new President of the ASGCT.

Contact [email protected] for help setting up interviews with experts.

cancer research

New study identifies genetic changes in patients who develop esophageal cancer Researchers at Fred Hutch studying a precancerous condition of the esophagus (referred to as Barrett’s esophagus, or BE) are working to answer questions about how mutant cells can become cancerous and ways to predict it. In a paper published in Nature Communications, researchers unveiled DNA changes in BE cells that suggest esophageal cancer can be detected years before cancer develops.

Understand the mechanics of breast cancer metastasis Not all patients develop metastatic breast cancer, or MBC. However, research at Fred Hutch found that 20% of early-stage breast cancer patients develop metastases, also known as stage 4 or secondary cancer, within 20 years of their original diagnosis. Two new studies from the lab of Dr. Cyrus Ghajar, published in Nature Cell Biology and Nature Cancer, have provided possible answers to important questions about metastatic breast cancer.

Large study links breast cancer treatment to increased risk of cardiovascular disease A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that women who receive certain common therapies for breast cancer may be at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, other cardiovascular events, and death. dr Heather Greenlee, lead author of the study, hopes to raise awareness that women who survive breast cancer need comprehensive and ongoing follow-up for cardiovascular risk.

cancer prevention

Do multivitamins and supplements like cocoa flavanols keep cancer and heart disease away? dr Garnet Anderson, senior vice president and director of the Public Health Sciences Division, and the team at Fred Hutch’s Women’s Health Initiative use data to provide definitive answers on whether supplements improve health. New findings, published in two GHI studies as part of the related COSMOS study, aimed to determine the health benefits of a conventional multivitamin and a cocoa flavanols supplement.


Latest research from Fred Hutch on COVID-19

Awards and Other Notable Stories

dr Harmit Malik and Steve Henikoff elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Two of Fred Hutch’s investigators were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The evolutionary biologist Dr. Harmit Malik and molecular biologist Dr. Steven Henikoff were honored for their innovative contributions to understanding fundamental biological processes. Malik studies how conflicts between genes with opposing functions affect gene development, while Henikoff focuses on the structure, function, and evolution of chromosomes, which are structures cells use to organize and regulate their DNA.

dr Brenda Sandmaier appointed President of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, or ASTCT for short, gave Dr. Brenda M. Sandmaier announced as President of the ASTCT for 2022-2023. Sandmaier is Professor in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

dr David Hockenbery receives the Ali Al-Johani Award 2022 The gastroenterologist Dr. David Hockenbery is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Ali Al-Johani Award given to individuals at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who provide exceptional medical care and compassion to their patients. Since 2001, the faculty of Hutch’s Clinical Research Division has nominated a member for the award, which was created by a former leukemia patient.

dr Phil Greenberg becomes President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research The immunologist Dr. Philip Greenberg of Fred Hutch has started a one-year term as President-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research, setting the stage for him to lead the organization as President in 2023. Founded in 1907 by physicians and scientists, AACR is the world’s largest peer organization of cancer researchers with more than 50,000 members from 129 countries.

Science in the Spotlight Science Spotlight is a monthly series of articles written by postdocs at Fred Hutch that summarize new research by Hutch scientists. If you are interested in learning more or covering these topics, contact: [email protected]

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At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel Prize winners, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists are searching for 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, not-for-profit research organization based in Seattle, Fred Hutch is home to the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordination center for the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.


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