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Fred Hutch / University of Washington / Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium

Comprehensive Cancer Center

Thomas J. Lynch, M.D., President & Director

Seattle, Washington

Main: (206) 667-5000

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The Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium is a collaboration among three partner institutions: the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1972, Fred Hutch received its first NCI comprehensive cancer center designation in 1973.

Over the years, the three institutions became highly integrated through joint cancer research and care programs and shared training grants. The formation of the Consortium in 2002 further cemented these relationships, and the comprehensive cancer center designation was conferred by NCI in 2003.

Research at FH/UW/SC Cancer Consortium

The consortium is comprised of more than 650 researchers with expertise in basic sciences, clinical/translational research, and public health sciences. In addition to conducting research across multiple types of cancer to accelerate scientific progress, investigators explore the molecular underpinnings of cancer through basic science research. They also work to create tools and strategies to detect and treat cancer and raise public awareness around cancer epidemiology. The population science program seeks to expand understanding of the public health factors and disparities that influence cancer incidence, mortality, and the quality and cost of care, and to develop ways to address these issues. The consortium also has a robust program of clinical trials which investigates the safety and efficacy of new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and preventive and supportive care. 

The members of the consortium are organized into eight research programs: Biostatistics & Computational Biology; Breast & Ovary Cancers; Cancer Basic Biology; Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention & Control; Cancer Immunology; Hematologic Malignancies; Pathogen Associated Malignancies; and Prostate Cancer. Research targets five scientific areas of inter-programmatic focus: the molecular basis of cancer; immunology and transplantation; pathogen-associated malignancies; tumor-specific translational research; and cancer etiology, prevention, and outcomes. 

Select Scientific Initiatives at FH/UW/SC Cancer Consortium

One notable focus is the consortium’s current work in immunotherapy, building on the pioneering, Nobel Prize–awarded research in bone marrow transplantation. Consortium researchers are developing novel approaches to harness the immune system for treating blood cancers as well as expanding toward treating more common solid tumors such as melanoma, breast, prostate, colon, kidney, lung, and ovary cancer.

The consortium’s catchment area is the state of Washington; however, patients come from all over the Pacific Northwest. In addition to scientific work, they strive to engage the community through multiple avenues. In particular, the consortium’s Office of Community Outreach & Engagement partners with communities burdened disproportionately by cancer to understand and address concerns about and barriers to cancer education, prevention, care, and clinical trials.

The Office of Education & Training aims to support youth exploration of biomedical sciences, particularly underrepresented minorities, as well as nurture trainees at all stages who are seeking careers in cancer research, through programming both locally and further away. A long-standing collaboration with New Mexico State University exemplifies dedication to increasing minority engagement in cancer research while a newer collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute to train scientists and physicians allows them to help build capacity globally. It is through these collective scientific and community-facing endeavors that they will realize the mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of suffering and death.

This profile was provided by the FH/UW/SC Cancer Consortium.

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