The Leukemia Program is a highly interdisciplinary group of investigators dedicated to reducing the incidence and subsequent mortality of leukemia. The program fosters interdisciplinary research in basic science, genetics, clinical medicine, cancer prevention, and epidemiology at Fred Hutch Cancer Center, the faculty at the University of Washington, and the clinical community to improve leukemia prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Forty years ago, researchers at Fred Hutch developed bone marrow transplantation, which continues to be one of the most effective options for patients with leukemia. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and his team proved it is possible to replace cancerous cells and stem cells with donated healthy cells that engraft within a patient’s bone marrow. The discovery has created an effective treatment option for leukemia and other blood cancers, and earned Thomas the 1990 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Today, our researchers continue to perform ground breaking work that is revolutionizing the field of hematologic malignancies. Our clinicians and research teams bring the newest cutting-edge therapies to our leukemia patients through access to clinical trials. Our studies are using translational genetics to help predict resistance and response to treatment, and clinicians are studying new strategies to combine therapies to extend survival and improve quality of life for patients.
The foundational success of bone marrow transplant has set the stage for other methods that use a patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. This field, called immunotherapy, is transforming the cancer field and achieving remarkable results. For more about immunotherapy, watch this video by Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Stan Riddell.
Dr. Radich is a medical oncologist who specializes in molecular genetics of leukemia and the detection of minimal residual disease. Dr. Radich studies the molecular genetics of response, progression, and relapse in human leukemia. His research topics include the detection of minimal residual disease, dissecting the role of signal transduction abnormalities in leukemia, and constructing gene expression profiles of response and progression.