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.

Navigating Through Cancer

Eduardo Ayala was 17 years old when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is fluent in English and Spanish, but his parents speak only Spanish. Eduardo and his family came to HCI from Nevada for his treatments. It is one of the five Mountain West states at the core of HCI’s service area.

Cancer has a language all its own and it’s that much harder if English is not your first language. That’s where Guadalupe Tovar, a health educator and patient navigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), comes in. She helps Hispanic families navigate their cancer care.

Learn more about HCI's Patient Navigator program

"The Generation to End Cancer" - Sigma Chi 20K Club

They call themselves “The Generation to End Cancer.” Sigma Chi fraternity brothers from across the United States sharing one goal – to raise $10 million for cancer research at HCI.  For many Sigma Chi brothers, this fight against cancer is personal. Dan Shaver, chairman of the Sigma Chi Philanthropy Committee says, ”We rarely come across someone whose family isn’t directly or indirectly affected by cancer.  I just don’t think we’ll ever rest until we find the cure.”  Sigma Chi fraternities raised $1.3 million during the 2015-2016 school year.  29 schools each raised more than $20 thousand dollars and traveled to Salt Lake to be inducted into the 20k club.

Learn more about The Sigma Chi/HCI Partnership

New Trial gives hope to terminal cancer patients

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Many will be treated with chemotherapy and radiation, giving them a strong chance of survival, but about 30%, more than 75,000 each year, will face a metastasized cancer that isn’t curable.  Researchers at HCI are looking for ways to prevent breast cancer from metastasizing and have recently discovered a protein that helps cancer spread.   They are testing a new drug that turns off that protein and helps boost the immune system to fight cancer.

Learn more about breast cancer research and treatment

Data is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power

At Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), researchers are using the power of Big Data to help prevent cancer. HCI is home of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), a shared data resource that tracks family medical history through many generations.  Utilizing the UPDB, researchers are able to identify families that have higher than normal rates of certain cancers. 

Emily is a member of one of those families. Her grandmother, aunt, father, and sister were all diagnosed with cancer. When genetic testing revealed Lynch Syndrome, an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many types of cancer, Emily took preventive measures.

Read more about Emily's story and the UPDB

Recent News

NantHealth and University of Utah Establish Heritage 1K Project to Discover Genetic Causes of 25 Rare and Common Diseases

NantHealth, Inc., (Nasdaq: NH), a leading next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company, today announced that it has partnered with the University of Utah in analyzing the entire genomic profiles of at least 1,000 individuals who have a history of rare and life-threatening diseases and conditions in their respective families. The landmark project will focus on researching the genetic causes of 25 conditions, including, breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic lymphocytic leukemia, autism, preterm birth, epilepsy, and other hereditary conditions. Genomic sequencing will be conducted with unique, comprehensive molecular tests offered by NantHealth. NantHealth’s genomic sequencing platform integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, and RNA sequencing. By carrying out this extensive testing, including analysis of germline and somatic samples, University of Utah and NantOmics researchers will be able to explore the underlying genetic causes of certain conditions and diseases at the cellular level.

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Hope for a cancer-free future: chemoprevention for people at high risk

Kathy and her niece, Rhonda, regularly make the trip from their small town in Illinois, to Salt Lake City. They don’t come to see family and friends or to cheer for the University of Utah. They come to Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) to be tested for polyps in their small intestines. Kathy and Rhonda both have familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an inherited genetic disease. FAP causes hundreds of polyps to form throughout the small and large intestines. Any polyp in the intestine has the potential to become cancer. With so many polyps, people with FAP have a nearly 100-percent chance of developing colon cancer. Patients with FAP often undergo surgery to remove the colon so cancer can’t develop there.

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Physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia: increasingly legal but still rare

Legalized euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are mainly used by patients with cancer, but remain rare, according to a new analysis of such programs. In the last year alone, California has legalized physician-assisted suicide, Canada legalized both physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, and Colombia performed its first legal euthanasia, said John Urwin, a study author from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "In order to inform current debates, it's imperative to understand current laws and practices."

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