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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

1100 Fairview Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

(206) 667-5000

Learn More about this Cancer Center

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a nonprofit, independent cancer research institute located in Seattle, Washington. The center’s researchers — who include three Nobel laureates, a MacArthur fellow, and several members of the Institute of Medicine and the Academy of Arts and Sciences — seek "the elimination of cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death.” While Fred Hutch does not see patients, it is a vital part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the larger cancer-fighting medical community.


Fred Hutch traces its roots to the mid-1950s, when Seattle surgeon William Hutchinson, brother of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, had the idea to build an organization that would provide funding and laboratory space to physicians to pursue research. In 1956, he realized that dream with the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation, an organization that funded doctors to study cancer and heart and endocrine diseases.

But soon William Hutchinson began pursuing another goal: a center devoted exclusively to eradicating cancer, the disease that would take the life of his brother in 1964. In 1975, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opened in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. One of the center’s first priorities became overcoming leukemia and other blood cancers. After much study, the first successful bone marrow transplant was conducted there in 1980.

Fred Hutch has since expanded its work to the cure of cancers, HIV, and other related diseases. The center’s researchers are currently working on a relatively new treatment called immunotherapy — a treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to shrink and kill tumors — to target cancer cells with fewer side effects than conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

In 1998, Fred Hutch partnered with the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children’s to form the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest. Today, an SCCA outpatient center sits on Fred Hutch’s main campus.

Mesothelioma Treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Because the disease is relatively rare, being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like malignant mesothelioma can be overwhelming for both the patient and his or her family. Choosing a knowledgeable hospital and a trusted oncologist can help make the process more manageable for the entire family.

Fred Hutch focuses exclusively on research, so its experts do not see patients. However, some of the Center’s patients are doctors who treat patients through the SCCA. Patients with mesothelioma in the Pacific Northwest are treated at the Center’s partner organization, the University of Washington Medical Center, which collaborates closely with the Center to offer the most advanced therapies.

While cancer treatments are becoming more and more effective, much is still unknown about how the disease originates and how it spreads. That is why organizations like Fred Hutch are so vital. The Center’s scientists are working to understand the roots of the disease: how and why normal cells change into cancerous cells — such as mesothelioma, which occurs in the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, or other regions — and how modern medicine can prevent the change from occurring. Understanding cancer requires various specialists, so at Fred Hutch, several kinds of researchers work together to pool their knowledge. For example, clinical research scientists develop and test new cancer therapies, while public health scientists work to help people and communities reduce the occurrence and death rate of the disease.

In 2011, Fred Hutch researchers made an exciting discovery: the development of a new blood test for cancer patients that is so sensitive it can detect the presence of tumors before other known detection methods. The tool could help save lives through early detection.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Diseases / Research - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

“Scientists Work on Blood Test for Early Lung Cancer Detection”

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