Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Programs
Fred Hutch gives scientists the freedom to explore and encourages the collaborative innovation that leads to major breakthroughs. We have scientists working across disciplines to make the discoveries that will ultimately improve patient care and save lives.
Basic Sciences researchers produce the stunning insights that give rise to new waves of valuable technologies, including life-changing clinical tools and medicines. These researchers explore the most fundamental aspects of life, such as how cells grow and divide and how a molecule’s shape governs its role in a living organism. Through their painstaking studies, they unravel the essential mysteries of biology.
Human Biology researchers come together to form a multidisciplinary team that blends fundamental, applied, and translational research to better understand disease and, ultimately, improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Our Clinical Research teams continually develop and analyze new treatments for cancer and other human diseases and lead clinical trials to move the best new approaches from the laboratory to the patient.
Vaccine and Infectious Diseases
These researchers integrate clinical care, computational methods and basic science to reduce the global burden of infectious diseases.
Public Health Sciences
Using large populations as their "laboratory," our public health researchers lead projects around the world to look for links between cancer and its possible triggers, from diet and lifestyle to environmental and genetic factors. Identifying such cancer causes can lead to better cancer detection methods and new ways to help people adopt healthier lifestyles to minimize or avoid their risk of getting the disease in the first place.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
- Our Nobel Prize-winning development of bone marrow transplantation has boosted survival rates from nearly zero to 90 percent for certain types of leukemia and resulted in more than one million bone marrow transplants performed around the globe.
- Because of our work in bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation, we were among the first to recognize the cancer-fighting power of the immune system and now lead the fast-growing field of cancer immunotherapy.
- The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the clinical coordinating center of which is headquartered at Fred Hutch, helped reduce breast cancer by approximately 20,000 cases per year in the U.S. This 12-year clinical trial of more than 161,000 women revealed a link between combination hormone replacement therapy and the risk of invasive breast cancer and other health problems.
- Fred Hutch laid the groundwork for two of the HPV vaccines approved by the FDA, helping eradicate the cause of 70 percent of all cervical cancers.
- We pioneered a molecule known as “tumor paint” that lights up cancer cells so surgeons can easily target them while operating. We are using this technology, which leverages the power of nature, to create “optides,” a completely new class of less toxic drugs for treating cancer and many other diseases.
- Fred Hutch scientists have also discovered a link between a sedentary lifestyle and breast cancer risk.
- Our researchers are spearheading a technique that makes umbilical cord blood a viable alternative to bone marrow, which promises to extend the lifesaving power of a transplantation to any patient who needs it, even if they can’t find a genetically matched donor.
Support from people like you enables Fred Hutch researchers to tackle big questions faster. With government spending on biomedical research flattening, private donors have an unprecedented opportunity to directly fuel breakthroughs that save lives.