Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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|Leader||D. Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D.|
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), (established in 1975, in Seattle, Washington) is one of the world’s leading cancer research institutes. Its interdisciplinary scientists research the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer and other diseases in the laboratory and at patient bedside in the United States and other countries.
Fred Hutch's mission statement is "the elimination of cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death".
Fred Hutch grew out of the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation, founded in 1956 by Dr. William B. Hutchinson. The Foundation was dedicated to the study of heart surgery, cancer, and diseases of the endocrine system. In 1964, Dr. Hutchinson's brother Fred Hutchinson, who had been a baseball player for the Seattle Rainiers and Detroit Tigers and later managed the Rainiers, the Tigers, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds, died of lung cancer. The next year, Dr. William Hutchinson established the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a division of the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation. Fred Hutch split off from its parent foundation in 1972, and the physical center was opened in 1975.
Today, Fred Hutch is solely a nonprofit, independent research institution and does not treat patients on site. Some of Fred Hutch's scientists, however, are also medical doctors who treat patients through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a patient-care facility run in collaboration with the University of Washington and Seattle Children's. In 2010, Dr. Lawrence Corey was appointed as the 4th President and Director of the Center following the retirement of Dr. Lee Hartwell.
The Arnold Library at Fred Hutch was founded in 1975. It specializes in biochemistry, biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, hematology, immunology, medicine, molecular biology, oncology, pathology, pharmacology, public health, radiology, surgery, and virology.
Nobel Prize recipients
Fred Hutch employs three recipients of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine:
- Linda Buck, Ph.D., who received the award in 2004 for solving many details of the olfactory system;
- Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., the Center’s president and director emeritus, who received the honor in 2001 for his discoveries regarding the mechanisms that control cell division; and
- E. Donnall Thomas, M.D., who received the award in 1990 for his pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation.
In 2000, Fred Hutch partnered with the British Columbia Cancer Agency to create the Chinese Women's Health Project that provides culturally competent outreach programs to increase cervical cancer screening rates among this population.
In September 2011 researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported the development of a new blood test for lung cancer proteins. The cancer test is sensitive enough to detect the presence of markers which suggest tumor activity before other tools such as a CT scan.
Clinical ethics controversy
In 2001, the Seattle Times published a controversial series of articles alleging that Fred Hutch investigators (including the Center's co-founder Dr. E. Donnall Thomas) were conducting unethical clinical studies on cancer patients. The paper alleged that in two cancer studies conducted in the 1980s and early 1990s, patients were not informed about all the risks of the study, nor about the study doctors' financial interest in study outcome. The paper also alleged that this financial interest may have contributed to the doctors' failure to halt the studies despite evidence that patients were dying sooner and more frequently than expected.
The center's leadership strongly contested the accuracy of the Seattle Times articles, maintaining that the researchers involved did not stand to gain financially and that patients were fully briefed. Still, Fred Hutch formed a panel of independent experts to review its existing research practices, leading to adoption of "one of the nation's toughest conflict-of-interest rules."
Fred Hutch is among the top National Cancer Institute-funded academic and research institutes and is ranked first in National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. independent research institutions. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center also receives funding through licensing and partnership agreements via pharmaceutical companies such as Actinium Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline directly and also indirectly through the center's membership at The National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
- "Financial Summary 2012". fhcrc.org. 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Mission Statement". fhcrc.org. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Hutchinson Center History". fhcrc.org. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Lawrence Corey, infectious disease expert, new Hutchinson Center President". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-04.
- American Library Directory 2 (64th ed.). Information Today, Inc. 2011–2012. pp. 2568–2576. ISBN 978-1-57387-411-3.
- "Medicine 2004". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Medicine 2001". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Medicine 1990". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Culturally Competent Outreach Programs Increase Cervical Cancer Screening Among Chinese Women". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Berman, Jessica (13 September 2011). "Scientists Work on Blood Test for Early Lung Cancer Detection". Voice of America. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Uninformed Consent". Seattle Times. 2001.
- Doughton, Sandi (2009-08-04). "Hutch leader Lee Hartwell guided center's ride to top, will retire next June". Seattle Times.
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- Fred Hutch's End Colon Cancer Now campaign