News Releases

Cancer Information Service Contract Award

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the government's lead agency for cancer research, announced that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been selected as one of 14 organizations for a future contract award to operate its Cancer Information Service (CIS). Effective October 15, 1999 the Hutchinson Center contract will serve Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Created in 1976, the CIS is the source for the latest most accurate cancer information for the American public. The CIS provides up-to-date scientific information in understandable language, assists organizations in developing education efforts to reach people who do not have easy access to cancer information and services, and studies ways to promote healthy behaviors and communicate cancer information effectively.

According to Lee Hartwell, PhD, Hutchinson Center President, "The CIS is a critical resource for the American public, and we feel privileged to be able to continue to provide this service. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Cancer Research Center of Hawai’i at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to meet the cancer information needs of our community."

According to Jean Wooldridge, Project Director for the Cancer Information Service of the Pacific Northwest, "We are also excited about several improvements to our program. We now have the latest telephone technology so that callers can speak to a cancer information specialist without experiencing a wait or a busy signal. In addition, we have a new feature where callers can hear recorded information about cancer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."(more)

The CIS operates a toll-free telephone service (1-800-4-CANCER) where specially trained staff explain scientific information in understandable terms and answer calls in English, Spanish, and from the hearing impaired (1-800-332-8615). Information specialists provide thorough, personalized attention to each caller and answer questions about cancer prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and research.

The CIS also works in partnership with organizations that reach people in particular need of cancer information and services. Efforts are focused on reaching minorities (including African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives) and people who are medically underserved (including older Americans, and individuals living in communities lacking adequate health services or experiencing language, educational, financial, or transportation barriers.) The CIS Partnership Program helps these organizations access appropriate NCI materials, plan cancer education programs, and develop new or strengthen existing coalitions.

This new contract will also seek ways to build the capacity of the CIS network to support behavioral/cancer control research and to translate that research into improved service to the public, according to Deb Bowen, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator on the new contract, and faculty member of the Public Health Sciences Division, Hutchinson Center.

Each year, the CIS responds to more than 500,000 calls and assists 4,500 organizations nationwide with cancer education efforts.


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The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the Center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. The Hutchinson center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit the Center's Web site at

CONTACT: Kristen Woodward
(206) 667-5095

Sep. 3, 1999

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