Fred Hutchinson gets $25M grant for breast cancer research

Researchers at Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center have received a four-year, $25 million federal grant to learn how to destroy metastatic cancer cells before they can spread.

The U.S. Defense Department grant, the Transformative Breast Cancer Consortium Award, will allow researchers from the cancer center to collaborate with experts at Huntsman Cancer Institute of Salt Lake City and the University of California at San Francisco, the cancer center said in a July 27 news release. The research will initially focus on bone metastasis and expand to other areas in the body where breast cancer can spread.

"Targeting and eradicating the root of distant breast cancer recurrence — breast tumor cells that have disseminated and lie dormant in distant organs like the lung, bone marrow and brain — may be the paradigm-shifting therapeutic strategy that prevents lethal metastatic disease," the research team wrote in its proposal for the grant.

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