Fred Hutch was founded on the bold innovations and pioneering research that led our earliest clinicians to discover bone marrow transplantation as a cure for leukemia. Building on this Nobel Prize-winning success, our research and clinical teams strive to further prevent, detect and treat cancer and other diseases. Our ultimate goal is a cure.
Established in the 1960s, the Clinical Research Division now includes more than 100 faculty members and dozens of scientific laboratories. Our faculty participate in a combination of advanced laboratory and clinical research as well as direct patient care at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutch’s clinical care partner. Our priority is translating promising discoveries from the laboratory to improve outcomes and quality of life for people with cancer and other illnesses, including HIV and infectious diseases.
Division researchers enjoy a world-class reputation thanks to the volume of research we publish yearly in internationally renowned journals. We have also conducted groundbreaking experiments and clinical trials that have enabled our partner institutions to achieve the best survival outcomes in the country for multiple types of cancer.
Grounded in a history of innovation and excellence established by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and Fred Hutch’s founders, our clinical researchers have continued to revolutionize cancer treatment and detection. In the 1960s, bone marrow transplantation was cutting edge. Since then, transplantation has become a standard of care.
Today, innovation lies in the revolutionary fields of immunotherapy and gene therapy. Committed to pursuing lifesaving treatment at the forefront of cancer research, division researchers have developed groundbreaking immunotherapy treatments as well as improved transplantation. Over the years, our pioneering achievements in cancer treatment have saved millions of lives worldwide.
Dr. Filippo Milano and his team have applied a technique developed by Drs. Colleen Delaney and Irwin Bernstein to successfully treat blood cancer patients who lack
access to suitable donors. The process allows the multiplying of umbilical cord blood for transplantation.
Dr. Jim Olson and colleagues have engineered small “optide” molecules originally found in scorpion venom to adhere to brain tumors and glow. This novel visualization technique enables surgeons to remove tumors more safely and completely.
Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem has engineered blood stem cells to resist the toxicity of chemotherapy. This prolongs the life of glioblastoma patients, whose tumors are notoriously difficult to treat.
Dr. Sylvia Lee has isolated and multiplied several patients’ most potent tumor-killing T cells and infused them back, in conjunction with immune system stimulating factors. This landmark approach has eliminated advanced melanoma cancer in two clinical trial patients, and it could inform our approach to tumor treatment in the future.