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Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a cancer research and patient care center on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. HCI's mission is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care. The only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the five-state Intermountain West, HCI serves patients with all types of cancer, using a multidisciplinary approach that facilitates the highest quality of care in a facility designed to provide the greatest comfort to patients and their family members. Through intensive faculty recruitment, HCI is developing a community of internationally respected professionals to explore cancer research and treatment opportunities.
Pursuing the Mission
- HCI researchers focus on genetic studies at the molecular level as well as population and familial studies to more fully understand the process of cancer and to devise new ways to treat it. The Utah Population Database, a University of Utah/HCI shared resource holding more than 15 million records (including multigeneration pedigrees), makes many of these studies possible. Clinical trials are an essential part of HCI's mission to develop better cancer treatments.
- Adults with all types of cancer are treated at HCI's outpatient clinics and 100-bed inpatient hospital. HCI's multidisciplinary care teams allow clinical oncologists to work closely with scientists and translational researchers to design the most effective care and treatment for each patient.
- HCI operates several clinics that focus on those at higher risk for melanoma and breast, colorectal, pancreas, and pancreatic cancers because of family cancer history. Patients receive the most up-to-date information about inherited cancers, opportunities for genetic testing, and personalized cancer screening recommendations. Their participation in these clinics provides a data pool for further research into inherited cancer predispositions.
- Patient and public education is an essential focus of HCI's mission, and includes the Cancer Learning Center (a walk-in resource library), web-based cancer information on the HCI website at www.huntsmancancer.org, and a cancer information service (an e-mail and telephone resource). All three are free services staffed by health educators.
- The Center for Children's Cancer Research is a unique collaboration between HCI, the University of Utah, and Primary Children's Medical Center physicians and scientists, working to refine and improve pediatric cancer care by developing superior treatment through basic science research.
- HCI and Intermountain Healthcare formed an alliance which combines HCI's leadership in laboratory, population sciences, and clinical research with Intermountain's nationally recognized expertise in clinical quality improvement and medical informatics. The program allows HCI researchers to use data about cancer care and outcomes from throughout Utah, so optimal approaches for cancer treatment can be determined. The alliance makes clinical trials widely available, so more patients can receive the most advanced medicines and treatment protocols.