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Office of Public Affairs
2000 Circle of Hope,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


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Our Mission of Hope   

Through Research, Education, and Care
Our Mission of Hope PDF

Huntsman Cancer Institute'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.

Hope through Research

The scientists at HCI are focused on understanding cancer from its very beginnings and on translating this knowledge to safer and more effective treatments. Specialists work in cancer-specific teams to ensure that each patient benefits from the most current understanding of science and bedside care.

  • Researchers study genetic and molecular changes – the earliest events that lead to cancer.
  • Specialized research clinics identify, study, and educate families with inherited predispositions to melanoma, and breast, colon, or pancreas cancer.
  • Clinical trials bring promising new therapies to qualifying patients.
  • HCI is the steward of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), the world’s most comprehensive population database. Using this powerful tool, HCI researchers study cancer patterns and identify new cancer-causing gene mutations. HCI scientists have discovered genes involved in the development of colon and breast cancer, melanoma, and paraganglioma.

Hope through Education

Huntsman Cancer Institute offers patients and the general public information on specific cancers, treatments, cancer risk factors, and prevention and screening guidelines.

  • The Huntsman Cancer Learning Center provides information about all aspects of cancer through a library, information hotline, and online services such as texting, live chat, and email.
  • Cancer Education Outreach Program provides presentations to public groups upon request. Subject matter includes nutrition and cancer prevention; the general biology and development of cancer; prevention strategies; cancer’s warning signs; cancer screening and early detection of breast and cervical cancer; skin cancer prevention and early detection; tobacco cessation; and an overview of HCI's programs and services.

Hope through Care

Huntsman Cancer Institute provides a team approach to inpatient and outpatient care for all forms of adult cancer.

  • People with all types of cancer are diagnosed and treated in HCI's outpatient clinics.
  • Treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical procedures.
  • Patients requiring hospitalization are admitted to the 100-bed cancer hospital at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Quick Facts
Quick Facts PDF

  • Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) founder Jon M. Huntsman, philanthropist, industrialist and cancer survivor, and his wife, Karen, are personally committed to finding a cure for cancer and relieving the suffering it causes.
  • HCI researchers have identified a number of cancer-causing genes, including the genes responsible for melanoma, colon and breast cancer, and paraganglioma. These discoveries have led to improvements in cancer care and prevention.
  • HCI is the official cancer center of Utah and cares for more than 30 percent of Utah’s cancer patients.
  • HCI holds Comprehensive Cancer Center designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and is the only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the five-state Intermountain West.
  • HCI is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a 26-member alliance of the world's leading cancer centers located throughout the United States.
  • HCI is part of the University of Utah Health Sciences.
  • HCI operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon, and pancreas cancers. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer.
  • HCI has an average of 200 clinical trials open for enrollment at a given time, and provides the only Phase I (first-in-man) clinical research program in the region.
  • HCI’s only focus is to take care of people with cancer and to improve their quality and level of care. HCI utilizes a team approach to cancer care that includes personalized treatment, genetic counseling, educational resources, and pain and palliative care.
  • Since 1998, HCI has provided education and outreach across the nation and around the world:
    • 220,000 people helped by G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center
    • 106,000 people educated through outreach presentations
    • 1,000,000 people informed at health fairs
  • HCI manages the Utah Population Database (UPDB), the largest genetic database in the world, with more than 22M records linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics.

By The Numbers
By The Numbers PDF

On any given day, HCI performs:

  • 67 chemotherapy infusion treatments
  • 125 radiation therapy procedures
  • 18 cancer surgeries
  • 452 outpatient visits
  • 230 radiology procedures including mammograms and other screenings


  • 673,000 total square feet – research and patient care
  • 100 beds
  • 102 examination/procedure rooms
  • 84 treatment rooms
  • 50 chemotherapy stations (37 Infusion Suite; 13 BMT Clinic)
  • 5 linear accelerators
  • 2 digital tomosynthesis (3D) mammography machines
  • 1 intraoperative MRI
  • 1 daVinci Surgical Robot


  • 1,600 total number of employees
  • 179 Cancer Center faculty researchers
  • 111 volunteers

HCI Phase IV Information
Phase IV Information PDF

  • 220,000 ft2 building – doubles HCI research space; plan to recruit 30 researchers
  • Scheduled for completion early Summer 2017
  • 110-seat auditorium
  • Two bridges:
    o 4th floor connection to research space in Phase 1
    o 6th floor public access sky bridge to Phases I, II, and III
  • 30,000 ft2 of contiguous space unifying Population Sciences
  • Public meeting spaces on each floor
  • Community white boards and conversation niches
  • Central coffee bar on main floor adjacent to co-localization of shared resources
  • Access to outdoors with atrium on east side of building
  • Exercise facilities and showers to enhance employee satisfaction and encourage alternative transportation
  • HCI-managed Shared Resources to be located in expansion:
    • Cancer Biostatistics
    • Genetic Counseling
    • High-Throughput Genomics and Bioinformatics Analysis
    • Research Informatics
    • Utah Population Database

Cancer Facts
Huntsman Cancer Foundation
Cancer Learning Center
Wellness and Integrative Health Center     

Cancer Facts 
Cancer Facts PDF

  • This year about 589,430 Americans are expected to die of cancer, almost 1,620 people a day
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States.
  • In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 deaths are from cancer.
  • Men have slightly less than a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer; for women, the lifetime risk is approximately a little more than 1 in 3.
  • This year about 1,658,370 new cancer cases will be diagnosed nationwide; 11,050 will be in Utah.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that the direct medical costs (total of all health care expenditures) for cancer in the US in 2011 were $88.7 billion.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.
  • Tobacco-related diseases are the most preventable cause of death worldwide, responsible for the deaths of approximately half of all long-term tobacco users.
  • The greatest risk factor for cancer is age, with about 78 percent of all cancers diagnosed at age 55 and older.
  • Although uncommon, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children.
  • The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that up to one-third of the cancer cases in the U.S. are related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and/or poor nutrition.

 Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2015 - American Cancer Society

Huntsman Cancer Foundation  
Quick Facts
Huntsman Cancer Foundation Quick Facts PDF

  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s current priorities are to fund the construction of The Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute and to fund research by cancer types such as women’s cancers, brain cancers, lung cancers, gastrointestinal cancers, urologic cancers, blood cancers, sarcomas, etc. Donors may restrict donations to any area of cancer interest.
  • All Huntsman Cancer Institute fundraising initiatives occur through Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which is a public, functionally-integrated, Type III 501(c)(3). 
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded in 1995 with a $125 million gift from the Jon M. Huntsman family. 
  • In 1995, the Huntsman family founded the Huntsman Cancer Foundation with its sole purpose to ensure the financial future of the research, education, and treatment programs at Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • Since 1995, the Jon M. Huntsman family has contributed approximately $400 million to the construction, maintenance, and operation of Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • The Jon M. Huntsman family and Huntsman Cancer Foundation have raised an additional $1 billion, for a total philanthropic investment in Huntsman Cancer Institute of $1.4 billion. More than 120,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations have supported Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute is part of the University of Utah and is not owned by the Huntsman family. 
  • In 2007, the Chronicle of Philanthropy placed Mr. Huntsman in the second place position on its 2007 list of largest donors. He has been motivated by his personal experience with cancer and his concern for the global human family.
  • One family cannot do it alone. The Huntsman family has seeded the Huntsman Cancer Institute. It is now up to the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations and community groups to sustain its lifesaving work. 
  • One hundred percent of all donations benefit Huntsman Cancer Institute. Through generous underwriting support by Jon and Karen Huntsman, no overhead is deducted from gifts.

Cancer Learning Center  
Cancer Learning Center PDF

The mission of the Cancer Learning Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute is to encourage and empower patients and the public to become active participants in their health care by increasing their knowledge and understanding of cancer topics relevant to their personal health needs.

The Cancer Learning Center (CLC) provides education about cancer, its causes and prevention, and options for treatment to patients, their loved ones, and the general public.

  • Trained health educators are on staff to help patrons access the most current, easy-to-understand information about cancer and new developments in cancer research.
  • Answers to your cancer-related questions are available free of charge, in person, by phone, or by email.
    • Phone toll-free 1-888-424-2100
    • Email
    • Text “askhci” to 66746
    • Chat online by clicking the green “Ask a Question” tab on
    • Visit the CLC, located on the sixth floor of the newly expanded hospital at Huntsman Cancer Institute, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The CLC’s Community Outreach Program educates the public about cancer risk, prevention, and care and provides presentations by cancer information specialists and volunteers to health fairs, schools, worksites, and community groups upon request.A lending library is on site, with a collection of more than 3,000 cancer-related books, DVDs, CDs and Playaways®. Additional materials (e.g. reference books, brochures, anatomical models, newsletters) are available for use at the CLC.
  • Personal assistance is available in both English and Spanish.
  • The Cancer Learning Center has directly reached more than 326,000 people worldwide by phone, email, texts, and in person since it opened September 13, 1999. 

Wellness and Integrative Health Center
Wellness and Integrative Health Center PDF

The Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness and Integrative Health Center Promotes Physical and Emotional Balance for Cancer Survivors

Personal Optimism with Exercise Recovery (POWER) Program

  • POWER offers cancer patients a personalized exercise prescription based on diagnosis, cancer treatment type and phase, and individual fitness goals
  • Individualized physical assessment, including cardiovascular, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, body composition, and bone health
  • Customized exercise program
  • Community-based exercise activities such as core and stretch, creative dance, Pilates, resistance training, road biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and rowing

Nutrition Counseling

  • Personalized nutritional counseling by an registered dietician for people diagnosed with all types of cancer
  • Help with special dietary needs resulting from cancer therapies

Supportive Care and Stress Management

  • Mind-Body Skills Group—participating patients are taught guided imagery and visualization, breathing techniques, and moment-to-moment awareness and meditation
  • Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE)—a treatment approach to improve understanding of stress-related conditions, addiction, emotional issues, and chronic pain

Acupuncture and Massage Therapy

  • Acupuncture is used as a complementary therapy to help ease symptoms of cancer treatment such as nausea, pain, fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, peripheral neuropathy
    • Research being conducted on the "Effects of Acupuncture on Cancer Treatment-Induced Fatigue, Hot Flashes, and Peripheral Neuropathy"

Healing Arts
Artist in Residence, dance, YourStory Program, creative writing, knitting

Cancer survivors are among those with the highest risk for developing a secondary cancer. HCI researchers use the Wellness Center to understand how participation and engagement in activities such as fitness programs contribute to quality of life for cancer survivors. Several such studies are underway.

John M Huntsman


  • Founder and Executive Chairman,
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Founder and Chairman, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Benefactor, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University

Jon M. Huntsman, a native of Blackfoot, Idaho, is Founder and Executive Chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a global manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals.

Almost fifty years ago, Mr. Huntsman began a small entrepreneurial plastics packaging business. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, its operating companies today manufacture chemical products used in a wide range of industries, with more than 16,000 employees and multiple locations worldwide. The Company’s 2015 revenues exceeded $15 billion.

Mr. Huntsman earned his undergraduate degree at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He has been awarded thirteen honorary doctorate degrees.

Mr. Huntsman was a U.S. Naval Gunnery Officer. He served under President Richard M. Nixon as Special Assistant to the President and as White House Staff Secretary.

Jon Huntsman, characterized by Elite Traveler magazine as a “folksy patriarch” and “a cross between Mark Twain and Warren Buffet,” authored a book on corporate ethics entitled, Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten). The second edition is entitled Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times and made the Wall Street Journal’s best sellers list. His autobiography, Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer, was released in October 2014 to extensive acclaim.

Mr. Huntsman is widely recognized as one of America’s foremost concerned citizens and philanthropists. His lifetime humanitarian giving, including contributions to the homeless, the ill and the under-privileged, exceeds $1.5 billion. He has assisted thousands, both domestically and internationally.

He was named One of the Ten Most Influential Utahns in the 20th Century in 2000.

He was a member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors from 1997-2005 and from March through October, 2013. He also serves on the board of the Beaumont Foundation.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed Mr. Huntsman second on their 2007 list of largest donors. In 2011, Forbes Magazine counted him among the 18 “most generous givers on the planet.”

Mr. Huntsman and his wife, Karen, founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) in 1995 to accelerate the work of curing cancer through human genetics. Mr. Huntsman’s early contributions to Huntsman Cancer Institute amounted to $225 million. The Institute is now one of America's major cancer centers dedicated to finding a cure. The combined facility features leading-edge research laboratories and a state-of-the-art hospital treating cancer patients. The recently announced $125 million expansion will double the laboratory space and create the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, which will focus exclusively on inherited and childhood cancers. Today, approximately $1.5 billion has been directed to the building of HCI, almost half of which was donated by the Huntsman family.

Mr. Huntsman has served in senior leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the past fifty years. His latest assignment was service as a member of the Seventies Quorum.

Jon and Karen Huntsman are the parents of nine children. They have 56 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.


  • 1954 Studentbody President, Palo Alto High School
  • 1955 Awarded the Crown Zellerbach Scholarship to The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1959 University of Pennsylvania Student Alumni Award of Merit (undergrad)
  • 1959 University of Pennsylvania Spoon Award (most outstanding student graduate)
  • 1959 International Balfour Award (most outstanding Sigma Chi in US/Canada)
  • 1971 José Marti Brotherhood Award, from Cuban Americans, Most Respected U.S. Citizen
  • 1991 Armenian Medal of Honor
  • 1994 American Academy of Achievement
  • 1994 Kaveler Award, Most Outstanding CEO, Chemical Industry
  • 1996 Great Humanitarian Award, Freedom Foundation
  • 1996 National Caring Award, Caring Institute
  • 1997 Horatio Alger National Award
  • 1999 Armenian Presidential Award
  • 1999 University of Pennsylvania Alumni Award of Merit
  • 2000 Named One of Ten Most Influential
  • Utahns in the 20th Century
  • 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst & Young
  • 2003 Humanitarian of the Year
  • 2004 Othmer Award, Outstanding Inventions in Plastics, Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • 2005 Giant in our City Award, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • 2006 American Red Cross Excellence in Governance Award
  • 2008 Medal of Honor, American Cancer Society
  • 2008 Trustee Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2009 Chairman Emeritus, The Wharton School Board of Overseers (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 2010 Distinguished Public Service Award, American Assn. for Cancer Research
  • 2010 Inducted into Idaho’s Hall of Fame
  • 2010 National Award for Charity (Restoring
  • Honor Day, Washington, D.C.)
  • 2011 Service Above Self Award
  • 2011 WSJ’s Innovator of the Year Award
  • 2013 Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement, American Chemical Society
  • 2014 William E. Simon Award for Philanthropy
  • 2015 The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia’s Business Leadership Award (Bower Award)
  • 2015 Philanthropy Roundtable’s Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Award
  • 2016 Insider Magazine listed Huntsman as second largest contributor to charities in America


Click for Milestones PDF

1986 Cancer program at the University of Utah earns National Cancer Institute designation as a Cancer Center, with an emphasis on genetics research as a way to understand, diagnose, and treat cancer.
1993 Jon M. and Karen Huntsman donate $10 million to the University of Utah to establish a cancer institute.
1994 HCI receives custodianship of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), a resource for biomedical researchers that contains health and vital statistics records from several generations of Utah families.
1995 The Huntsman family pledges $100 million to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center.
1996 HCI breaks ground for a new 231,118 square foot research, treatment, and education facility.
1997 HCI joins the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.
1999 HCI building is dedicated; Patient Care Center opens.
2000 Jon M. Huntsman pledges $125 million to fund cancer research and construct the Huntsman Cancer Hospital.
2001 Construction begins for new hospital.
2004 Huntsman Cancer Hospital opens, featuring first full-field digital mammography unit, first PET/CT imaging unit, and first facial prosthetics lab in the Intermountain West.
2005 HCI and Intermountain Healthcare join forces to create the Huntsman-Intermountain Cancer Care Program, opening research opportunities to advance cancer care.
2007 Cancer Center member Mario Capecchi, PhD, wins Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for gene targeting research.
2008 Major hospital expansion begins.
2009 A donation from Jon M. and Karen Huntsman to the University of Utah establishes five Presidential Professorships in Cancer Research to commemorate HCI’s 10th anniversary.
2010 The National Cancer Institute renews HCI’s designation as a Cancer Center; HCI holds the only such designation in the five-state Intermountain West.
2011 Jon M. and Karen Huntsman donate $41 million to cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Huntsman Cancer Institute 156,000 sq. ft. hospital expansion opens.
2014 Huntsman Cancer Institute Breaks Ground for New $105 Million Research Expansion.
2015 National Cancer Institute awards HCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.

Huntsman Cancer Institute Expansion Facts 
Click for HCI Technology Facts PDF 

Technological advances help Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) toward its mission of improved patient care through progressive cancer treatment. Here are some examples of cutting-edge technology HCI offers.


Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI)
Currently used in brain tumor surgery, the iMRI is an MRI scanner that makes images in the operating room before surgery ends. If more tissue must be removed, surgeons can go back to work immediately. Previously, MRIs had to be taken after the surgery was complete, and if tumor tissue was still present, the patient would have to undergo another surgery. HCI's IMRI is the only one in the Intermountain West. Worldwide, only 20 are in operation.


Breast Tomosynthesis and Digital Mammography
Digital mammography records high-resolution images of the whole breast in a process similar to a digital camera. Breast tomosynthesis scans multiple breast images from different angles and composes them into a three-dimensional view. Breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography help physicians detect breast cancers more precisely, prevent unnecessary biopsies, and reduce call-backs for additional imaging. HCI is among a few in the Intermountain West to have breast tomosynthesis capabilities.

 deVinci Surgical Robot prostate Cancer

da Vinci® Surgical System
From a computer console in the operating room, HCI surgeons control small instruments that access a patient's prostate. More than 400 da Vinci procedures for prostate cancer patients have been performed at HCI, more than any other hospital in the Intermountain West. The system's precision and less invasive approach spares nerves and the bladder and aid in more complete removal of the cancer. Patients also benefit from smaller incisions and faster recovery time.


Combined PET/CT Scanner
This technology combines metabolic imaging from positron emission tomography (PET) and anatomic information from computed tomography (CT). The combined PET/CT scanner reduces the number of procedures a patient must undergo. It also allows physicians to view the metabolic activity of a tumor and evaluate its size, shape, and relationship to other critical body structures. PET/CT also reveals the extent that a cancer has spread, so doctors can properly stage and classify it.

 operating room

Minimally Invasive Surgery Rooms
HCI features two operating rooms equipped to perform minimally invasive surgery (MIS). In MIS procedures, doctors make small incisions through which they pass tubes that hold a telescope and video camera as well as miniature instruments for cutting, removing, and repairing tissues. Less pain, fewer complications, and quicker recovery create better patient outcomes with MIS compared to conventional surgeries.


Novalis® Shaped Beam Surgery™
Brain tumor surgery is technically difficult and poses risks of nerve damage. Radiation therapy provides a non-surgical way to treat brain cancers. The Novalis® is a linear accelerator that delivers precisely targeted doses of radiation powerful enough to destroy a tumor without harming surrounding structures. The technique is helpful for treating recurrent and metastatic brain cancers, as well as for tumors in surgically risky locations.

Our media relations representatives are here to help reporters Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-5 pm.

Tonya Papanikolas
Public Affairs Manager
Phone: 801-587-7639

Amie Parker
Public Relations Associate
Phone: 801-213-5755

Jill Woods
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 801-585-5321
Fax: 801-585-0900

After-hours calls: Reporters calling before or after business hours on an urgent matter can page the University of Utah Health on-call media relations representative at 801-581-7387 and press 1.