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Cross-border cancer research partnership formed

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VANCOUVER — The BC Cancer Agency, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have formed a new partnership to enhance cancer research. 
The announcement was made in Vancouver this week with the formal signing of a memorandum of understanding at the Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference, with BC Premier Christy Clark, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaare in attendance. 

The new partnership will expand patient access to care and clinical trials, advance immunotherapy, enable research collaboration, and provide better training opportunities for young scientists and researchers.

Highlighted at the conference as an example of collaboration and cross-border opportunity within the newly named Cascadia Innovation Corridor, the clinical research collaborations between BC Cancer Agency and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will accelerate discoveries and enhance the research performance of both organizations, ultimately making discoveries that will have worldwide impact for patients facing cancer care and treatment.

Organization leaders will begin by overseeing and developing a new 'master collaboration agreement' to progress next steps.  


Health Minister Terry Lake

"We have long been leaders in cancer care, and with this opportunity, we are able to expand even further in providing the highest-level care to British Columbians. This collaboration in research and innovations will make a big difference for those diagnosed with cancer."

Dr. Malcolm Moore, President, BC Cancer Agency

"Both the BC Cancer Agency and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are international leaders in cancer care and research.  I have met with the leadership at Fred Hutchinson and we are all excited about the potential of this partnership.  Both institutions have world-class programs that in many ways complement each other, so we believe that by working together the success of the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.  We see particular potential in the areas of genomics, functional imaging immunotherapy, stem cells and health services research.  Innovation in life sciences that has global impact requires partnerships between academic institutions and governments to create the right environment for success.  We were delighted to hear the strong endorsement of Premier Clark and Washington Governors Inslee and Gregoire for this agreement."  

Dr. Gary Gilliland, President, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

"For the first time, our institutions have identified critical areas of mutual interest and potential synergies to drive better outcomes for patients. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center looks forward to working with the BC Cancer Agency to expand clinical trials, collaborate on public health research, apply genomic information more effectively, and advance stem cell treatments and immunotherapy. This partnership will help the Hutch and the BC Cancer Agency continue to advance immunotherapy as a powerful, lifesaving treatment for cancer and alter dramatically the prospects that come with so many cancer diagnoses. Cancer knows no boundaries or borders, and neither do we."

Learn More:

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit  or follow us on Twitter @BCCancer_Agency.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch's pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation's first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women's Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Fred Hutch's clinical care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, brings together leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children's and UW Medicine whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for patients. For more information visit or follow Fred Hutch on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.

For more information or to arrange an interview:

Media Contact:

Jenn Currie
Communications Officer
BC Cancer Agency
O: 604-675-8106
PHSA media line: 778-867-7472
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