The University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that serves residents in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. This makes it the center that serves the largest geographic region in the country. Its mission of reducing human suffering is what drives its doctors and researchers to work together to find breakthroughs and improve patient lives. In addition to conducting groundbreaking cancer research and clinical trials, the institute’s multidisciplinary care team provides innovative treatment and comprehensive support to those being treated for cancers of all kinds, including lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.
Facts about the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute
The Huntsman Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. It serves residents in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming, making it the comprehensive cancer center facility that serves the largest geographic region.
The center is owned by the state of Utah.
More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center in the world.
The institute has approximately 325 clinical trials open to patients and 263 research teams studying all aspects of cancer.
Huntsman Cancer Institute manages the Utah Population Database, which holds data on more than 11 million individuals and is the largest genetic database in the world.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute created the world’s first cancer hospital-at-home model, called Huntsman at Home.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded in 1995 by Jon M. Huntsman Sr. and his wife Karen following the University of Utah being designated as a Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute in 1986. At that time the facility’s emphasis was already focused on genetics research. Supported by a $10 million donation from the Huntsman family in 1993, the Cancer Center received custodianship of the Utah Population Database in 1994, then received another $100 million from the Huntsman family to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center. By 1997, the Huntsman Cancer Institute had joined the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to cancer patients.“2”]
In 1999 the institute opened dedicated patient clinics and in 2001 construction began on the Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Hospital, which opened in 2004. Since then, the hospital has doubled its clinical capacity, and in 2015 it was designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. The facility created the world’s first cancer hospital-at-home model, the Huntsman at Home program, which extends care to rural Utah communities, and has recently opened the Senator Orrin G. Hatch Proton Therapy Center.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute
Huntsman Cancer Institute’s specialists treat patients with small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Nationally recognized and experienced experts in treating cancers of the lung and chest wall, the professional staff takes an individualized approach, creating a treatment plan that is different for each patient and which offers the most advanced methods and innovative, state-of-the-art technology. Options include robotic and video-assisted thoracic surgery, radiation therapy treatments, interventional pulmonology, targeted therapies, and chemotherapy treatments.
Huntsman Cancer Institute is one of the few hospitals in the country that offers patients with peritoneal mesothelioma the option of an innovative treatment specifically designed for cancers that spread to the abdominal lining. Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy allows a more concentrated application of cancer-killing drugs directly to the site where the tumor has been surgically removed, thus eliminating the adverse side effects of systemic chemotherapy and directly treating any microscopic cancer cells left behind after surgery.
Huntsman Cancer Institute was originally founded to drive discovery and innovation in cancer research, and that — in combination with impactful patient care — remains its mission. Over the years it has been responsible for innovations in precision oncology, data science, and artificial intelligence and increasing understanding of cancer from its beginnings to create and improve treatment, as well as to expand access. Its research laboratories are organized into four programs: Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation; Cell Response and Regulation; Experimental Therapeutics; and Cancer Control and Population Sciences. The institute also has ten disease centers where clinicians and scientists collaborate to translate groundbreaking findings into bedside care for specific types of cancer.
The center has focused much of its work on cancer’s genetic basis and the identification of cancer-causing genes and is home to the Utah Population Database. This is the largest database of its kind in the United States, holding data for eleven million individuals.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
Huntsman Cancer Institute’s mesothelioma specialists combine innovative research with world-class patient care that offers patients a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and effective treatment of this challenging disease. The multidisciplinary team that treats patients with lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma includes medical oncologists Dr. Shiven Patel and Dr. Wallace Akerley, a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Steering Committee for Small Cell Lung Cancer Panel and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Panel, a well as thoracic surgeons Dr. Brian Mitzman and Dr. Thomas K. Varghese Jr., who helped build the center’s Thoracic Surgery Center of Excellence.
Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma benefit from the expertise of Dr. Laura A. Lambert and Dr. Erin P. Ward, both surgical oncologists with expertise in the use of cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute leverages advances in precision oncology and transdisciplinary research to deliver innovative clinical care for patients diagnosed with lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.