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33rd Annual Hutch Holiday Gala Raises Millions for Cancer Immunotherapy Research
Date:12/8/2008

SEATTLE, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Saturday's Hutch Holiday Gala raised more than $2.2 million for cancer and related disease research at 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 $1.2 million to be directed toward immunotherapy, through which clinicians harness a patient's immune system to battle cancer.

The black-tie Gala took place Dec. 6 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. Leading the "Help the Hutch" appeal was Dr. Lee Hartwell, president and director of the Hutchinson Center, who said donations made through the annual outreach event are essential to help scientists make discoveries that improve the future of human health.

"We are fortunate that the community recognizes the need for private support in the fight against cancer," Hartwell said. "Government grants simply do not provide the resources necessary to pilot new research ideas or bring new breakthroughs to patient care.

"Our science has demonstrated the potential of immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment," he said. "Because of the resources required to develop these novel therapies, we have had to move slowly. Yet our extraordinary success with these therapies and new information about how to extend their results has brought us to the point where a major acceleration of this work is needed."

Funds raised through the "Help the Hutch" portion of the Gala will be used for an expansion of immunotherapy clinical trials to test their impact on normally fatal late stage disease for a variety of cancers, Hartwell said.

An example of the Center's success in immunotherapy research was reported in the June 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, in which a team led by Cassian Yee, M.D., an associate member of the Clinical Research Division, desc
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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