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34th Annual Hutch Holiday Gala Raises More Than $7 Million For Cancer Research
Date:12/6/2009

SEATTLE, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A challenge donation from the Bezos family at Saturday's Hutch Holiday Gala boosted the evening's fundraising total to more than $7 million for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"Help the Hutch," a portion of the live auction during which guests raise their bid cards for specific contribution levels, brought in $6.4 million to be directed toward the Hutchinson Center's work to harness the human immune system to battle cancer.

The black-tie Gala took place Dec. 5 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. The Bezos family asked for unity to advance and broaden the Center's program in immunotherapy to fight solid-tumor cancers.

In November the family pledged $10 million to the Hutchinson Center to advance the promising field of immunotherapy research to treat and cure cancer, even in late stages. The family chose to structure the gift as a challenge in the hope that it will unite others in the community to join the cause. The three-year challenge period kicked off during Saturday's Gala and will extend through Dec. 31, 2012.

Through the years the Center has led the development of immunotherapy, via bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, to help patients win the battle against leukemia and other blood cancers. These advancements greatly enhanced researchers' understanding of the body's ability to use antibodies, T cells and other immune-system components to fight disease. As a result of their successes, Center scientists believe they are uniquely poised to apply knowledge of the immune system to combat common cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, kidney, ovarian and skin cancer.

Recent discoveries in the Center's Clinical Research Division herald a new era in cancer treatment. An example is the work of Cassian Yee, M.D., who found that infusing patients with their own "helper" T cells could put advanced melanoma into remission. Yee and o
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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