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."