The Only Cancer Institute in the World Designed by a Patient

Jon Huntsman, Sr., has had cancer four times. So he’s spent enough time in cancer hospitals to know what he’d do differently when he designed one from scratch. That’s why Huntsman Cancer Institute is unlike any other. It looks different. Feels different.

Why Do Elephants Almost Never Get Cancer?

P53 – one gene that may hold the key.  Humans have two copies, but some people are missing a copy.  For individuals with only one working copy of P53, their lifetime risk of cancer is nearly 100 percent.

Elephants, after 55 million years of evolution, have 40 copies of the P53 gene.  Those extra copies protect elephant’s cells from cancer by eliminating cells that develops any type of mutation that could go on to become cancer.

Learn more about the P53 gene and why elephants almost never get cancer

Chemoprevention for People at High Risk

Individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) have a nearly 100 percent chance of developing colon cancer and often undergo surgery to remove the colon so cancer can’t develop there.

A new medication being tested in a clinical trial lead by Jewel Samadder, MD, has shown promising results.  The first round of testing shows that in less than six months, half of the patients who received medication saw a nearly 70% regression of polyps.  For some, polyps disappeared completely.

Learn more about chemoprevention for people at high risk

Therapy On Four Legs

Every week, a special visitor appears at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). His job? To cheer up patients fighting cancer and their family members.

Volunteers from Intermountain Therapy Animals have been bringing Misio, an akita therapy dog, to HCI for the last few months.  Misio has been making a difference for patients and their families, turning tears to smiles. 

The use of animals to facilitate positive changes in a broad spectrum of therapeutic settings is becoming more accepted, appreciated and valued.

Learn more about therapy dogs.

Recent News

Body Fatness and Cancer — Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group

In April 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based in Lyon, France, convened a working group to reassess the preventive effects of weight control on cancer risk. (The members of the working group for volume 16 of the IARC Handbooks are listed at the end of the article; affiliations are provided in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.) Overweight and obesity are the abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat that present a risk to health. The body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) is a good proxy for assessing overall body fatness. Among adults, overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 and obesity as a BMI of 30 or more.1 Obesity can further be divided into class 1 (BMI, 30.0 to 34.9), class 2 (BMI, 35.0 to 39.9), and class 3 (BMI, ≥40.0) (Table 1TABLE 1 Definitions of Classes of Overweight and Obesity. ). Worldwide, an estimated 640 million adults in 2014 (an increase by a factor of 6 since 1975) and 110 million children and adolescents in 2013 (an increase by a factor of 2 since 1980) were obese. The estimated age-standardized prevalence of obesity in 2014 was 10.8% among men, 14.9% among women,2 and 5.0% among children,3 and globally more people are overweight or obese than are underweight.

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Huntsman Cancer Institute Investigator Receives Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards recognize and support outstanding clinical investigators at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI- funded collaborative clinical trials and whose leadership, participation, and activities promote a culture of successful clinical research. Established in 2009, the awards are intended to help retain investigators in academic clinical research careers. This year, 13 investigators nationwide, including Theresa Werner, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and University of Utah assistant professor of medicine have received the award.

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