The Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium is a collaboration among four partner institutions: the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Founded in 1972, Fred Hutch received its first NCI comprehensive cancer center designation in 1973.
Over the years, the four 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 Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium
The consortium members have expertise in basic sciences, clinical/translational research, and public health sciences, and conduct research across multiple types of cancer to accelerate scientific progress. The consortium’s basic science research develops new insights into the molecular basis of cancer and tools to facilitate these studies.
The consortium has a robust program of clinical trials, with hundreds of studies active at any one time, investigating the safety and efficacy of new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and preventive and supportive care. The consortium’s population science program is one of the oldest in the nation and continues to innovate through research examining the relationships between the quality and cost of cancer care.
The members of the consortium are organized into multiple research programs:
- Biostatistics and Computational Biology
- Breast and Ovary Cancers
- Cancer Basic Biology
- Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control
- Cancer Immunology
- Hematologic Malignancies
- Pathogen Associated Malignancies
- Prostate Cancer
There are five scientific areas of interprogrammatic focus where the consortium is poised to make significant impact: 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 Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium
One notable focus is the consortium’s current work in immunotherapy, building on pioneering, Nobel Prize-awarded research in bone marrow transplantation. Consortium researchers are developing novel approaches to harness the immune system to treat blood cancers, as well as treating more common solid tumors such as melanoma, breast, prostate, colon, kidney, lung, and ovarian cancer. In addition, the consortium engages the community through multiple avenues:
- The Office of Community Outreach and Engagement is partnering with communities burdened disproportionately by cancer in an effort to understand and address their concerns about, and barriers to, cancer education, prevention, care, and clinical trials.
- The Office of Education and Training aims to support youth exploration of biomedical sciences, particularly by underrepresented minorities, as well as nurture trainees at all stages who are seeking careers in cancer research, both locally and through programs further away.
- A long-standing collaboration with New Mexico State University exemplifies the consortium’s dedication to increasing minority engagement in cancer research, while a newer collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute to train scientists and physicians allows the consortium to help build capacity globally.
This profile was provided by the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium.