Mar 14, 2022 8:00 AM
As I write this month’s message, the 2022 session of the Utah State Legislature has just adjourned, midnight, March 4. As always, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, alongside Huntsman Cancer Institute, has advocated for state funds to address critical unmet needs in cancer. For the past two years, that need has been to replace an important tool used to treat patients with cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other devastating diseases—our cyclotron equipment.
In 2004, Huntsman Cancer Institute introduced the first and still only cyclotron in the Mountain West. A cyclotron manufactures medical isotopes used to stage, assess, and treat cancer. Prior to bringing the equipment to Utah, hospitals had to order isotopes from other parts of the United States, at great expense and with many supply chain challenges. When our cancer hospital opened, for the first time, hospitals and clinics in the five-state Mountain West finally had a resource for this medicine close to home. This has improved medical care and more than 100 patients benefit from this resource each day, 364 days per year (the only downtime is Christmas Day).
Our cyclotron is now 18 years old. The usual lifespan of this equipment is about 15 years. That is why this month’s message is dedicated to thanking the Utah state legislators who voted to fund the replacement of our cyclotron. In all, the state provided $12 million for this need. Thank you.
The first cyclotron was funded thanks to philanthropy. This time around, its replacement is primarily funded by appropriations from the state of Utah. On behalf of the thousands of patients who will receive critical doses of medicine each day thanks to this enlightened and generous action, we thank our state leaders.
Since we began to replace this equipment, in addition to grants and state support, philanthropy support has provided more than $300 million to advance the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute. We are so appreciative that the state joined hands with us and our donors in this significant way.
Thank you, everyone, for your generous help. The quest to defeat cancer once and for all requires that we all become involved.
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation