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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Seattle, Washington

Cause Description:
Located in Seattle, Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has become an institution of world-renowned depth and variety. More than 2,500 scientists and staff generate new knowledge valuable to understanding, treating and preventing cancer. At Fred Hutchinson, our mission is to eliminate cancer as a cause of suffering and death. Every day, our researchers make progress toward this goal. We do this through many approaches. These include laboratory research to understand how cancer develops and spreads through the body, patient-oriented research to create and test new cancer treatments, and studies of large groups of people to reveal causes of cancer and how it may be prevented or found at its earliest stages. This comprehensive research approach has yielded numerous breakthroughs in cancer and other diseases. Our achievements include the discovery of many of the genes and proteins that cause healthy cells to become cancerous; development of lifesaving treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases; and advances in our understanding of how diet, exercise, hormone use and other behaviors affect a person's risk of developing cancer. Our clinical researchers work directly with patients to develop and test new treatments. It was here that one of the leading cancer treatments of the last quarter century - bone marrow transplantation - advanced from an experimental lab technique to a potential cure for many who otherwise have no treatment options. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas won the 1990 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the breakthrough work on marrow transplantation he pioneered at Fred Hutchinson. Twenty-five years later Fred Hutchinson is still the home of the leading transplant program for these life-saving procedures. More importantly, our researchers have shared their technology, expanding treatment to far-reaching corners of the globe. Today, more than 40,000 marrow transplants are performed each year, and diseases that once were thought incurable now have survival rates as high as 90 percent. In addition to leukemia and other blood disorders, Fred Hutchinson doctors now treat lymphoma, myeloma, breast cancer, sickle-cell anemia, ovarian cancer and many other diseases. Our ongoing commitment is to apply our many accomplishments and research excellence toward saving lives and improving the quality of life of people around the world. Recently, we have defined four exciting new research initiatives that will focus our institution's strengths to achieve the greatest impact on benefiting human health: * The Early Detection and Intervention Initiative aims to improve cure rates for people with cancer by developing ways to detect cancer earlier, when survival rates are higher. This research also will lead to the creation of more effective treatments and tests to determine whether a therapy is working. Through generous donations, we have established a new facility that our researchers are using to discover protein clues in the blood that provide important information about a person's risk of getting cancer. The facility also will aid in the creation of tests to determine whether a person has cancer, the type of cancer, and whether the cancer is responding to treatment. * The Immunotherapy Initiative focuses on the development of new cancer therapies that exploit the immune system's natural ability to fight disease. This approach adds a new category of cancer treatment to currently available strategies, which include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Thanks to private donations, we have created a facility to manufacture immune-based treatments for cancer and other diseases, some of which already are in use. * The Global Health Initiative will speed the development and delivery of ways to prevent cancers and other diseases that are major sources of suffering and death in developing countries. By learning how infections with certain viruses, bacteria and other microbes increase the risk of cancer, we can develop new vaccines and other disease-prevention strategies. To create vaccines for these and other globally important diseases such as AIDS, we will partner with local institutions to establish an institute for vaccine development, manufacturing and testing. In another unique collaboration with universities and industry, we will conduct a study involving nearly 1 million people worldwide to learn how genes, environment and other factors work together to cause cancers in different populations around the world. * The Solid Tumor Initiative enables us to develop treatments with more potential to cure patients with breast, prostate, lung, gastrointestinal and gynecologic cancers. Fred Hutchinson's world-renowned programs in laboratory and public-health research have united with a team of oncologists, surgeons and other clinical specialists at the University of Washington and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center to ensure that patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have access to the best cancer treatments available. Our researchers already have begun to make impressive inroads into each of these areas. And with generous public support, even greater gains are within our reach. Contributors to Fred Hutchinson are key partners in our quest to improve the lives of people around the world. Together, we will continue to make great advances in the fight against cancer. For additional information, please visit our website, www.fhcrc.org or call 1-800-279-1618 or 206-667-4399.

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