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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Type Nonprofit organization
Headquarters Seattle
Leader D. Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D.
US$435,510,000 (2014)[1]
Campus as seen from the Space Needle

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a cancer research institute established in 1972 in Seattle, Washington.[2][3]


  • History 1
  • Nobel Prize recipients 2
  • Commercialization 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The center grew out of the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation, founded in 1956 by 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 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.[2]

In 1972, with the help of Senator Warren G. Magnuson PNRF received federal funding under the National Cancer Act of 1971 to create in Seattle one of the 15 new NCI-designated Cancer Centers aimed at conducting basic research[4] called for under 1971 Act; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center became independent 1972 and its building opened 3 years later.[2][5][6][7]:3,5

The center was named an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1976.[8]

In 1998, the center formed the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), a separate nonprofit corporation,[9] with UW Medicine, and Seattle Children's. This solidified the center's reach into clinical care and was essential for it retaining its NCI comprehensive center designation;[10] the designation was extended to the center's consortium including the SCCA in 2003.[8] SCCA's outpatient clinic first opened in January 2001.[10]

In 2001, the Seattle Times published a series of articles alleging that investigators at the center (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.[11] In response, the center 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."[12]

In 2014, the center announced that D. Gary Gilliland would become president and CEO in 2015;[13] he took over from Lawrence Corey who was appointed as the 4th President in 2010, following the retirement of Lee Hartwell.[14]

Nobel Prize recipients

Until 2010, the center employed three recipients of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine:


The center is active in technology transfer. In 2013, it was one of the top ten biomedical research institutions in the field (excluding universities); it made 18 new deals with companies to develop inventions made at the center, and earned $10,684,882 in income from past deals it had signed.[20] Most notably, Juno Therapeutics, a company developing CAR-T immunotherapy for cancer and that raised $314 million in venture capital investments and had a $265 million initial public offering in 2014, was started based on inventions made at the center.[21] As of 2015, about twenty companies had been started based on center inventions since 1975, including Immunex and Icos.[21]


  1. ^ "Financial Summary 2014". 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mission Statement". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  3. ^ Simone JV. Understanding cancer centers. J Clin Oncol. 2002 Dec 1;20(23):4503-7. PMID 12454105
  4. ^ Jane Sanders for the University of Washington Libraries. 1987 Essay: A Legacy of Public Service
  5. ^ Melissa Allison for the Seattle Times. October 20, 2012 Obituary: E. Donnall Thomas, Nobel winner for bone-marrow transplant advances
  6. ^ US Government Accounting Office. March 17, 1976. Comprehensive Cancer Centers: Their Locations and Role
  7. ^ a b NCI Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium Page access June 27, 2015
  8. ^ Washington State Hospital Association Hospital Details: Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Page accessed June 27, 2015
  9. ^ a b BusinessWire October 24, 2012 Fitch Affirms Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (WA) Rev Bonds at A+; Outlook Stable
  10. ^ "Uninformed Consent". Seattle Times. 2001. 
  11. ^ Doughton, Sandi (2009-08-04). "Hutch leader Lee Hartwell guided center's ride to top, will retire next June". Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ Seattle Times Staff. November 20, 2014 Genetics expert named director, president of Fred Hutch
  13. ^ "Lawrence Corey, infectious disease expert, new Hutchinson Center President". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  14. ^ "Medicine 2004". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  15. ^ Frederick R. Appelbaum. Perspective: E. Donnall Thomas (1920–2012) Science 338(6111):1163, 30 November 2012
  16. ^ "Medicine 1990". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  17. ^ "Medicine 2001". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  18. ^ Luke Timmerman for Xconomy. September 20th, 2010 Lee Hartwell, at 70, Tackles Personalized Medicine, Education in Latest Career Phase
  19. ^ Brady Huggett. Top US universities and institutes for life sciences in 2013 Nature Biotechnology 32(11):1085
  20. ^ a b Annie Zak for the Puget Sound Business Journal, Feb 13, 2015 Fred Hutch and its amazing spinoff machine

External links

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Web site

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