"This is only the beginning."

These were the words of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) founder Jon M. Huntsman Sr. at the 2004 ceremony to dedicate a world-class cancer hospital in Utah. Since then, HCI has brought an unprecedented expansion of cancer research and care to our region.

Jon and Karen Huntsman with Mary BeckerleWe knew when we started HCI our ultimate goal was ambitious—some even said impossible. We set out to tackle the most challenging medical problems of our time. We set out to bring the most promising and innovative research discoveries to our patients. We set out to deliver a patient- and family-centered cancer care experience unmatched anywhere else in the world. We set out to defeat cancer through research.

In 2011, we dedicated a major expansion of the cancer hospital, moving forward in our commitment. HCI delivers leading-edge oncology, pushing past the standard care, using scientific expertise to identify the newest treatment options designed to provide the best care for each patient.

We are making advances not only in the treatment of cancer, but also the prevention of it. Using newly developed technologies, we are unlocking more secrets of cancer genetics. For those who have cancer, we apply this knowledge to deliver more targeted cancer treatments. For those at high risk of developing cancer, we use this knowledge to deliver better screening and early detection strategies to defeat cancer before it even starts.

With the newly expanded cancer hospital, we will provide nearly 100,000 specialized clinical care treatments to patients each year, including clinic visits, chemotherapy infusions, surgeries, and radiation therapy. HCI is home to the only early-phase clinical research program between Denver and San Francisco, providing our patients with advanced treatment options based on the most promising new scientific discoveries.

Research is what drives our clinical discoveries. At HCI, approximately 16% of patients choose to participate in a clinical trial, compared to a national average of less than 5%. Our research success is exemplified in our grants portfolio—in 2011, HCI investigators across the University of Utah campus secured more than $79 million in cancer research grants. In a time of economic downturn where federal and private grant funds have suffered significant cuts, this number demonstrates how HCI has risen to the top in a very competitive field.

The mission to defeat cancer through research is further strengthened by teamwork. Our commitment to collaboration is demonstrated through HCI cancer research papers published in prestigious academic journals—more than one-third of those published in 2011 were authored by at least two HCI investigators.

At HCI, many of the world's top clinical and scientific minds collaborate to apply the best each discipline has to offer as they work to develop and deliver improved cancer treatments, prevent cancer, and provide cancer education and outreach. This approach to cancer research—combined with an army of donors and friends around the world who support our mission—has been vital to our progress.

We remain ever committed to expanding on this promise of bringing healing and hope to all who are impacted by cancer. It is extraordinary to consider what we have accomplished together, and this is only the beginning.

Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital expansion