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Huntsman Cancer Institute Quick Facts

The mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care.

  • In 1995, the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman family pledged $100 million to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center, formally establishing and naming Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, serving Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming, the largest geographic region of any center.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute is owned by the state of Utah and designated by the state legislature as its official cancer center.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute’s campus in Salt Lake City includes state-of-the-art cancer research space and a cancer hospital that utilizes a team approach to cancer care.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute expands its reach through several community clinics in the surrounding area and six affiliate hospitals in neighboring states.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute operates clinics that focus on patients with a family history of breast, colon, melanoma, pancreas, and prostate cancers.
  • More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center in the world. These include genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute operates the only Phase I clinical cancer research program in the region. This includes approximately 150-200 clinical trials open to patients.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute has 237 research teams studying all aspects of cancer.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute has provided patient and prevention education to more than one million residents from every state and six continents.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute manages the Utah Population Database (UPDB), the largest genetic database in the world. The UPDB includes information on more than 11 million people, linked to genealogies and health, birth, death, and marriage records.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute operates a Cancer Screening and Education Bus that travels across Utah to perform mammograms and educate communities on cancer prevention and screening.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute launched the world’s first cancer hospital-at-home model. Called Huntsman at Home, the service extends hospital-level cancer care to the patient’s home. The program began in Salt Lake City, and was expanded to three rural Utah counties in 2021.

Huntsman Cancer Foundation Quick Facts

  • In 1995, the Jon and Karen Huntsman family started Huntsman Cancer Foundation to ensure the future of cutting-edge research at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.
  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s sole purpose is to raise funds to support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • All Huntsman Cancer Institute fundraising initiatives occur through Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which is a public, functionally integrated, Type III 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Due to the generosity of the Jon M. Huntsman family in underwriting all fundraising expenses, 100 percent of all donations support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors are Chairman and CEO Peter Huntsman, University of Utah President Taylor R. Randall, PhD, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Zions First National Bank A. Scott Anderson.
  • One family cannot do it alone. Huntsman Cancer Foundation enjoys the support of more than one million donors supporting the vision of the Huntsman family.
  • Through Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s Huntsman Heroes program, individuals and teams run, walk, ride, and fundraise while participating in events from 5Ks to marathons to 140-mile bike rides.
  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s signature fundraising events include Huntsman SportsFest, held in June each year, with walking, running, and cycling options; and Park City PowderFest, a ski day to conquer all cancers, which takes place in March and invites individuals to enjoy a day on the slopes while raising money for cancer research.
  • The Huntsman Cancer Foundation Gala is held each fall and brings together donors and community members to celebrate the work of Huntsman Cancer Institute and raise funds for Huntsman Cancer Institute’s mission.
  • In 2005, Sigma Chi International Fraternity designated Huntsman Cancer Foundation as its preferred philanthropic partner. In February 2020, an $11 million pledge was completed. In June 2019, Sigma Chi pledged an additional $20 million to support women’s cancer research and treatment at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

2022 Cancer Facts

  • This year, 1.9 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States. Utah expects 13,190 new cases.
  • This year, 609,360 Americans are expected to die of cancer—about 1,693 people per day. Around nine Utahns are expected to die of cancer every day in 2021—a total of 3,540 Utahns per year.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Utah and the United States, trailing only heart disease.
  • In Utah, the top five diagnosed cancers are prostate (2,130), breast (1,960), melanoma (1,610), colorectal (900), and lung (780).
  • Utah has the highest rate of melanoma in the United States and a much higher incidence of thyroid cancer than other states.
  • In the United States, approximately 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetimes.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1–14.
  • The greatest risk factor for cancer is age. About 80 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55 or older.
  • At least 42 percent of newly diagnosed cancers are avoidable. About 20 percent of these cases are caused by smoking and 18 percent are caused by a combination of excess body weight, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. Additionally, certain cancers caused by infectious agents, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, could be prevented through behavioral changes and vaccination.
  • Cancer screening is known to increase survival rates for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, lung, and prostate. In addition, being aware of changes in the body and discussing them with a health care provider may result in earlier detection.
  • There are an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States.
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that cancer-related medical costs in the United States were $183 billion in 2015 and are projected to increase to $246 billion by 2030.

COVID-19 and Cancer

  • People with active cancer are generally more susceptible to infectious agents because of an impaired immune system.
  • The disruption of health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of individuals missing cancer screenings and follow-up appointments.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to result in more cancer-related deaths over the long term due to delayed diagnoses; interruptions or alterations in treatment; the possibility that some will stop taking care of themselves; and the expectation that millions of adults will remain unemployed and without health insurance.

Sources: Cancer Facts & Figures 2022 – American Cancer Society and Utah Cancer Registry

The Area We Serve

In 2021, HCI formalized its longstanding commitment to the five-state Mountain West in advancing cancer prevention, education, and care.

This commitment means Huntsman Cancer Institute formally works to reduce the cancer burden of the entire Mountain West—from research and access to clinical care, to training and education, and community outreach and engagement.

The Area We Serve is part of a National Cancer Institute requirement for all cancer centers to outline its catchment area, a term used to describe the region where a cancer center focuses its efforts.

Huntsman Cancer Institute has had a longstanding commitment to cancer patients in the Mountain West. Whether it be through cancer prevention, cancer screening, cancer education, access to clinical trials, telemedicine, or research into improving care for cancer patients in rural areas.

The expanded area of service builds on decades of effort by Huntsman Cancer Institute and dedicated local providers and care teams. This includes a network of affiliate hospitals that have raised the standard of cancer care in our region.

The expanded area we serve builds on Huntsman Cancer Institute’s longstanding programs that serve Mountain West residents:

  • Community Outreach and Engagement teams provide cancer prevention and education, access to cancer screening, connect residents to local resources, and work in collaboration with community partners to build capacity for clinical and research projects. 
  • Coalitions spearheaded by Huntsman Cancer Institute bring regional health experts and researchers together to reduce cancer incidence, and the cancer center supports training of students, K–12 teachers, early-career cancer researchers, and care providers across the region.
  • Dedicated patient navigation services for American Indians, Adolescent and Young Adults, and Spanish-Speaking patients and rural patients.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute researchers work to improve cancer care, prevention, access, and quality of life for patients throughout our region. This includes access to clinical trials that test innovative new approaches, as well as programs that provide transportation and lodging support for patients who travel long distances.
  • The Huntsman at Home™ program is the world’s first cancer hospital-at-home program, and provides acute, supportive, and palliative care. It serves patients in Salt Lake County and three other rural Utah counties.
  • The Cancer Screening and Education Bus serves the entire state of Utah, providing mammography breast cancer screenings and tailored prevention education, regardless of insurance status.
  • The Community Advisory Board includes members that represent each Mountain West state. Members have worked closely with Huntsman Cancer Institute on their state cancer plans.
Map of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada with pictures of landscapes from each area filling in the shape of the states

Recent Expansions

The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers

The mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care.

  • The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers will expand clinical space at Huntsman Cancer Institute by 220,000 square feet.
  • Major donors for the building are the Spencer and Kristen Kirk Family, Huntsman Foundation, Scott and Karen Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sigma Chi International Fraternity, and dōTERRA International. An additional 140 donors have made major gifts to support this expansion.
  • The eight-story building will include an entire floor dedicated to breast and gynecologic cancers, a new endoscopy center, an expanded wellness and integrative health center, 48 inpatient rooms, a new blood and marrow cancer treatment space, and an oncology faculty workspace.
  • Exterior walkways and sky bridges will connect The Kathryn F. Kirk Center to the current cancer hospital and research space.
  • Construction costs are $178 million. The expansion is fully funded.

The Senator Orrin G. Hatch Proton Therapy Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute

  • The Senator Orrin G. Hatch Proton Therapy Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute will be the first center in the Mountain West to provide proton therapy treatment.
  • The building is named in honor of United States Senator Orrin G. Hatch, in recognition of his lifetime support of cancer research.
  • Proton therapy distributes beams of radiation to shrink a tumor as part of cancer treatment.
  • Intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), which projects precise, pencil-thin beams of protons to a tumor, helps ensure a maximum dose of radiation to the tumor and minimum damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
  • The 7,450-square-foot building sits on the south end of the cancer hospital and is connected to the radiation therapy wing.
  • Patients who are given proton therapy may need a treatment course that occurs five days a week, spanning four to eight weeks. Before Huntsman Cancer Institute's proton therapy center, the closest treatment centers were in southern Arizona and southern California.
  • The center is projected to treat up to 200 patients each year.


1986 Cancer program at the University of Utah earns National Cancer Institute designation as a Cancer Center, with an emphasis on genetics research as a way to understand, diagnose, and treat cancer.
1993 Jon M. and Karen Huntsman donate $10 million to the University of Utah to establish a cancer institute.
1994 Cancer center receives custodianship of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), a resource for biomedical research that contains health and vital statistics records from several generations of Utah families.
1995 The Huntsman family pledges $100 million to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center, formally establishing Huntsman Cancer Institute.
1996 Huntsman Cancer Institute breaks ground for a 231,118-square-foot research, treatment, and education facility.
1997 Huntsman Cancer Institute joins the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a non-profit alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to cancer patients.
1999 Jon M. Huntsman Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute is dedicated; patient clinics open.
2001 Construction begins on new hospital with generous donation from Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.
2004 Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Hospital opens, featuring first full-field digital mammography unit, PET/CT imaging unit, and facial prosthetics lab in the Mountain West.
2007 Cancer Center member Mario Capecchi, PhD, wins Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for gene targeting research.
2011 A major expansion of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Hospital opens, doubling clinical capacity.
2015 National Cancer Institute awards Comprehensive Cancer Center status, the highest national designation possible, to Huntsman Cancer Institute.
2016 Vice President Joe Biden visits Huntsman Cancer Institute to discuss the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
2017 The Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute opens, doubling research capacity.
2019 Huntsman Cancer Institute breaks ground on The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers. Lead donors include the Spencer and Kristen Kirk family, the Huntsman Foundation, Karen and Scott Smith, the Sigma Chi International Fraternity, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and dōTERRA International.
2020 Huntsman Cancer Institute expands its Huntsman at Home program, the world’s first cancer hospital-at-home model, to rural Utah counties.
2021 The Senator Orrin G. Hatch Proton Therapy Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute opens for patients, bringing this state-of-the-art treatment, critical for some cancers in children and adults, to the region for the first time.

Our Founder

Jon M. Huntsman

Jon M. Huntsman

Huntsman Cancer Institute Founder and Principal Benefactor


  • Founder and Executive Chairman, Huntsman Corporation
  • Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Huntsman Cancer Foundation
  • Benefactor, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University

Jon M. Huntsman, a native of Blackfoot, Idaho, was Founder and Executive Chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a global manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals.

Mr. Huntsman began a small entrepreneurial plastics packaging business. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, its operating companies today manufacture chemical products used in a wide range of industries, with more than 16,000 employees and multiple locations worldwide.

Mr. Huntsman earned his undergraduate degree at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He was awarded thirteen honorary doctorate degrees.

Mr. Huntsman was a U.S. Naval Gunnery Officer. He served under President Richard M. Nixon as Special Assistant to the President and as White House Staff Secretary.

Jon Huntsman authored a book on corporate ethics entitled, Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten). The second edition is entitled Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times and made the Wall Street Journal’s best sellers list. His autobiography, Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer, was released in October 2014.

Mr. Huntsman was widely recognized as one of America’s foremost concerned citizens and philanthropists. His lifetime humanitarian giving, including contributions to the homeless, the ill and the under-privileged, exceeds $1.5 billion. He has assisted thousands, both domestically and internationally.

He was named One of the Ten Most Influential Utahns in the 20th Century in 2000.

He was a member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors from 1997-2005 and from March through October, 2013. He also serves on the board of the Beaumont Foundation.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed Mr. Huntsman second on their 2007 list of largest donors. In 2011, Forbes Magazine counted him among the 18 “most generous givers on the planet.”

Mr. Huntsman and his wife, Karen, founded Huntsman Cancer Institute in 1995 to accelerate the work of curing cancer through human genetics. Mr. Huntsman’s early contributions to Huntsman Cancer Institute amounted to $225 million. Huntsman Cancer Institute is now one of America's major cancer centers dedicated to finding a cure. The combined facility features leading-edge research laboratories and a state-of-the-art hospital treating cancer patients. Today, approximately $1.5 billion has been directed to the building of Huntsman Cancer Institute, almost half of which was donated by the Huntsman family.

Mr. Huntsman served in senior leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the past fifty years. His last assignment was service as a member of the Seventies Quorum.

Jon and Karen Huntsman have nine children, 56 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.

Peter Huntsman

Peter R. Huntsman

Peter Huntsman is Chairman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2019 revenues of approximately $7 billion. Huntsman Corporation operates more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employs approximately 9,000 associates within its four distinct business divisions.

In addition, Mr. Huntsman is the Chairman and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF). HCF raises funds and supports the ongoing research, treatment and educational programs of the world-renowned Huntsman Cancer Institute. He is also CEO of the Huntsman Foundation, a private foundation focused on cancer care, mental health, homelessness and a variety of other projects to improve society.

Mr. Huntsman is involved as a member of various executive boards and councils including The American Chemistry Council; the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; the Memorial Hermann Health Systems Board in Houston, TX; Venator Corporation; the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Board in The Woodlands, TX; The Beaumont Foundation; and the Board of Advisors for Interfaith of The Woodlands in Texas.

He and his wife are the parents of eight children and have 16 grandchildren.