Lifesaving Breakthroughs

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Since opening its doors in 1975, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has made some of the world’s most important medical advances—from development of the bone marrow transplant as a cure for leukemia, to pioneering powerful therapies that harness the immune system to fight cancer, to leading national and international initiatives that enable earlier cancer diagnosis and thus more effective treatment of disease.

The Hutchinson Center:

  • Pioneered bone marrow transplantation, a Nobel Prize-winning accomplishment that has boosted
    survival rates from nearly zero to 90 percent for certain types of leukemia.
  • Was first to use a patient’s own cancer-fighting T-cells as the sole therapy to put advanced melanoma into long-term remission.
  • Developed a method for early cancer detection in patients with the precancerous condition Barrett’s
    esophagus. This has increased survival rates for esophageal cancer from 5 percent to more than 80 percent.
  • Co-led the groundbreaking Women’s Health Initiative study, which revealed that hormone
    replacement therapy can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease.
  • Developed a “tumor paint,” in collaboration with Seattle Children’s, that will help surgeons see where
    a brain tumor begins and ends more precisely by illuminating the cancerous cells.
  • Discovered that a protein, hepsin, is a key driver behind prostate cancer’s progression, a finding that could spawn new treatments to prevent the cancer’s spread and extend patients’ lives.
  • Recognized internationally for pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation to treat leukemia and related cancers, the Hutchinson Center applies laboratory and clinical discoveries to an ever-broadening range of medical challenges—from solid-tumor cancers to HIV/AIDS.
  • Broke new ground in detecting cancer at its earliest and most curable stages, harnessing the immune system’s power to fight cancer with minimal side effects, preventing cancer and disease through lifestyle choices, and exploring fundamental mysteries in cellular and molecular biology.

The Center, together with its clinical and research partners, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s, form the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a state-of-the-art clinic that offers patients access to first-rate cancer care and the most promising cutting-edge research.

In Glory's words-

If just one life is saved, the sacrifices we all make will be worth it.

-Glorianna Gensch (June 2007)