Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center raised over $13 million in donations at its recent Hutch Holiday Gala, the center's largest annual fundraiser held in Seattle each year. Money from the event will be used to recruit world-class researchers in pediatric oncology and to expand research infrastructure geared specifically toward pediatric cancer research.
The gala attracted 800 guests and raised funds through ticket sales, sponsorships, raffles, auctions, and generous donations. The new funding is much needed, as only 2 to 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s cancer awards are given to advance research on pediatric cancers. Yet each year nearly 16,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 2,000 die from it, according to Hutch News.
This lack of research funding hampers the growth of knowledge about pediatric cancer and other diseases that affect children. Certain types of pediatric cancer are so rare that they don't have any known treatments. As a result, children are sometimes treated with therapies developed for adults. These intensive therapies can have adverse effects on pediatric patients, whose young bodies and brains are still developing and can be harmed by the limited range of cancer-killing drugs that are available.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has long been dedicated to designing much-needed safe and effective therapies for children, and the new funding will help accelerate its mission. Investigators at the center have already made a tremendous impact on pediatric cancer survival rates and have developed or improved a number of innovative tools and therapies. Such projects and innovations include:
- The world's first pediatric bone marrow transplant clinic: Bone marrow transplants, such as those done at the Hutch clinic, have drastically improved the outlook for blood cancers. According to The National Cancer Institute, five-year survival rates for children with certain types of leukemia have gone from less than 10 percent to around 90 percent in the last fifty years.
- Tumor Paint, a molecular tool developed by Hutch researcher Dr. Jim Olsen that lights up cancer cells. The molecule acts like a cancer flashlight, making it easier for surgeons to remove cancerous tissue without harming the patient.
- Umbilical cord blood transplants: Research conducted by Dr. Colleen Delaney at Fred Hutch has led to a new technology that multiplies stem cells from umbilical cord blood to improve the transplantation process. Cord blood transplantation is a lifesaving alternative to bone marrow transplantation, especially for patients who are unable to find a match.
- Genetic testing for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML): Research conducted by Fred Hutch's Dr. Soheil Meshinchi has improved understanding of how the genetic mutations that drive AML in children are different from those that drive AML in adults.
As aptly put by Fred Hutch director Dr. Gary Gilliland, “Pediatric research isn’t siloed. This was true in the early days of bone marrow transplantation and remains a key component in our success today. Our programs learn from each other. When parents have run out of options, researchers here have kept hope alive. We are known for innovative approaches, for thinking outside the box.”
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. produces an annual life science trade show event at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that brings Seattle researchers face-to-face with laboratory suppliers. The Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ at Fred Hutch will be held on August 17th, 2017.
Life science professionals are invited to attend the annual on campus trade fair for free to view the latest lab supplies and technology. Click the button below for additional information or to pre-register.
If you are a laboratory equipment supplier, this is an excellent opportunity to meet with life science researchers and educate them about your lab or chemical supply products. Call us at 530-272-6675 or click on the following link to reserve a space and increase your scientific sales in 2017.