HCI Quick Facts

Huntsman Cancer Institute

By-the-Numbers Flyer

The mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) 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 Huntsman family pledged $100 million to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center, formally establishing and naming HCI.
  • HCI is wholly owned by the state of Utah and is designated by the state legislature as the official cancer center of Utah.
  • HCI’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.
  • HCI has three community clinics in the surrounding area and five affiliate hospitals in neighboring states.
  • HCI operates several clinics that focus on patients with a family history of breast, colon, melanoma, pancreas, and prostate cancers.
  • HCI operates the only Phase I clinical research program in the region. Approximately 150–200 clinical trials are open for enrollment at any given time.
  • HCI has 206 research teams that study all aspects of cancer.
  • More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world. These include genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma.
  • HCI has provided patient and prevention education to more than one million residents from all 50 states and six continents.
  • HCI is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. It serves the largest geographic region of all centers, covering Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.
  • HCI 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.
  • HCI is ranked among the Top Ten Most Beautiful Hospitals in the country by Soliant.
  • HCI has a new cancer screening and education bus that travels around the community to perform mammograms. During its first five months, it has screened more than one thousand women for breast cancer.

HCF Quick Facts

Huntsman Cancer Foundation

  • In 1995, the Jon and Karen Huntsman family started Huntsman Cancer Foundation to ensure the future of cutting-edge research at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah.
  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s sole purpose is to raise funds to support the mission of HCI.
  • All HCI 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 HCI.
  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors are Chairman and CEO Peter Huntsman, University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, 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 SportsFest, held in June each year, with walking, running, and cycling options; and Pink Park City, 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 HCI and raise funds for HCI’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 HCI.

2021 Cancer Facts

  • This year, 1.9 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States. Utah expects 12,750 new cases.
  • This year, 608,570 Americans are expected to die of cancer—about 1,670 people per day. Around nine Utahns are expected to die of cancer every day in 2021—a total of 3,470 Utahns per year.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in both Utah and the United States.
  • In Utah, the top five diagnosed cancers are breast, prostate, melanoma of the skin, colorectal, and lung.
  • 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 41 out of 100 men (nearly 1 in 2) and 39 out of 100 women (just over 1 in 3) will develop cancer in their lifetimes.
  • Cancer is second only to accidents as the leading cause of death among children ages 1–14 years.
  • The greatest risk factor for cancer is age. About 80 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55 years of age or older.
  • At least 42 percent of newly diagnosed cancers are avoidable. 19 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 reduce mortality for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, lung (among current or former heavy smokers), and prostate. In addition, being aware of changes in the body and discussing these changes with a health care provider may result in the early detection of cancer.
  • There are an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors alive today in the United States.
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that cancer-related direct medical costs in the US were $183 billion in 2015 and are projected to increase to $246 billion by 2030.

COVID and Cancer

  • People with active cancer are generally more susceptible to infectious agents because of an impaired immune system due to the cancer itself and/or its treatment.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to result in increased cancer mortality over the long term due to delayed diagnoses; interruptions or alterations in potentially curative treatment; the possibility that some adults will abandon prior patterns of preventive care; and the expectation that millions of adults will remain unemployed and without health insurance.

Sources: Cancer Facts & Figures 2021 – American Cancer Society and Utah Cancer Registry

Recent Expansions

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

The mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) 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 (HCI) 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 women’s 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 HCI Hospital and research space.
  • Construction costs are $148 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 (HCI) 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 at HCI.
  • 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 HCI’s hospital and is connected to HCI’s 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 HCI’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 and naming Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI).
1996 HCI breaks ground for a new 231,118 square foot research, treatment, and education facility.
1997 HCI joins the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.

Jon M. Huntsman Research Center at HCI is dedicated; patient clinics open.

2000 Jon M. Huntsman pledges $125 million to fund cancer research and construct the Huntsman Cancer Hospital.
2001 Construction begins for new hospital.
2004 HCI Cancer Hospital opens, featuring first full-field digital mammography unit, first PET/CT imaging unit, and first facial prosthetics lab in the Mountain West.
2005 HCI and Intermountain Healthcare join forces to create the Huntsman-Intermountain Cancer Care Program, opening research opportunities to advance cancer care.
2007 Cancer Center member Mario Capecchi, PhD, wins Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for gene targeting research.
2009 A donation from Jon M. and Karen Huntsman to the University of Utah establishes five Presidential Professorships in Cancer Research to commemorate HCI’s 10th anniversary.
2010 The National Cancer Institute renews HCI’s designation as a Cancer Center; HCI holds the only such designation in the five-state Intermountain West.
2011 Jon M. and Karen Huntsman donate $41 million to cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Huntsman Cancer Institute 156,000 sq. ft. hospital expansion opens.
2015 National Cancer Institute awards HCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status, the highest national designation possible.
2016 Vice President Joe Biden visits HCI to discuss the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
2017 HCI opens new Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center. 
2018 HCI breaks ground on the The Senator Orrin G. Hatch Proton Therapy Center, the first proton therapy center in the Mountain West.
2019 HCI breaks ground on The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers, with lead donors including the Spencer and Kristen Kirk family, Huntsman Foundation, Karen and Scott Smith, The Sigma Chi International Fraternity, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and dōTERRA International.

Our Founder

Jon M. Huntsman

jon-m-huntsman.jpgHCI 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 (HCI) in 1995 to accelerate the work of curing cancer through human genetics. Mr. Huntsman’s early contributions to HCI amounted to $225 million. HCI 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 HCI, 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.