Seattle cancer programs explore restructuring; may form new center

Members of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which operates nine treatment centers in Washington, are eyeing a restructuring plan of their long-standing relationship aimed at accelerating patients' access to new treatments. 

The alliance's founding members are Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's. Under the new plan, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Fred Hutch would merge to form the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, according to a July 13 announcement. 

Five details: 

  1. The new center would operate all of the alliance's clinical sites.
  2. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would operate as a "clinically integrated part of UW Medicine." 
  3. Seattle Children's would continue operating independently and serve as the central site for pediatric cancer care. 
  4. Leaders from the organizations will present the new structure to governing boards and stakeholders over the next few weeks and months. If approved, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would launch early next year. 
  5. The proposed restructure would not affect current Seattle Cancer Care Alliance patients' treatment or care teams, officials told The Seattle Times.

"I think this is going to allow us to take … a laboratory finding or an idea from a laboratory finding to a clinical trial in a much more efficient and rapid fashion," Nancy Davidson, MD, president of the alliance, told The Seattle Times. 

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