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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 30, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 26Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Huntsman Steps Up Cancer War
Salt Lake Tribune 26Apr00 B2
By Guy Boulton and Lisa Carricaburu: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- LDS billionaire Jon M. Huntsman will announce today that he is donating $125 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Huntsman started the Institute in 1995 with a $100 million donation.

The donation comes less than a month after he sold Huntsman Packaging Corp. to insiders and investors for $1.1 billion.

The new funds will allow the Institute to build a clinical research hospital adjacent to its current facility. The new hospital will focus on cancer treatment protocols. And $25 million of the money will support join cancer-care programs with Intermountain Health Care, the non-profit group of hospitals once owned by the LDS Church. Intermountain Health Care provides cancer care services to about 60 percent of the cancer patients in the Intermountain West.

In a statement released to the press yesterday, Huntsman said, "As long as cancer persists, I am hopeful that our family will be able to assist in research and treatment." Huntsman is a cancer survivor himself and lost both parents to the disease.

His backing of the center has allowed it to try new approaches in cancer research and to attract some of the top scientists in the U.S. Taking advantage of the knowledge base in the region, the Institute has focused on identifying genetic links to cancer, using the genealogical records of the LDS Church and the assistance of the region's LDS population. The center has also studied how cancerous cells spread through the body.

Peter Meldrum, chief executive of Salt Lake biotech company Myriad Genetics Inc. says that the center is increasingly important to cancer study, "They are on their way to being one of the top cancer centers in the United States."


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