Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

The Ben Towne Center’s mission is to translate scientific discoveries into innovative therapies that cure childhood cancer with minimal side effects and improve survivors’ quality of life.

Our Vision

We are spearheading treatments that use the immune system to eliminate cancer, without chemotherapy or radiation. Our goal is to render today’s therapies obsolete until treating childhood cancer is no different than treating an everyday virus.

Accelerating Progress Toward Cures

  • Goal: Cure Neuroblastoma

    Dr. Julie Park is leading one of the world’s first clinical studies of immunotherapy for neuroblastoma – the deadliest childhood cancer.

  • We Need Your Help

    You can help bring an end to childhood cancer all over the world, by supporting our Strong Against Cancer fundraising initiative.

Participate in Research

Our researchers have started the first round of clinical trials exploring a potential cure.

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness, and help other children in the future. Learn more.

Careers

Developing groundbreaking cancer treatments takes more than just the right ideas. It also takes the right people.

Please visit Seattle Children’s careers page to learn about current openings.

For information about potential opportunities in the Ben Towne Center, email us.

Latest News

For experimental cancer therapy, a struggle to ensure supply keeps up with demand6.13.17 – Science Magazine
A transformative cancer therapy based on modified immune cells has lured doctors, companies, and patients alike, but many are hitting a frustrating roadblock: generating enough of these chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells to meet surging demand. Seattle Children’s Hospital recently broke ground on a building that in a few years will triple or quadruple its cell therapy capacity, now about 10 batches of CAR-T cells a month. Right now the time to generate cells from “vein to vein” ranges from about 2 to 4 weeks, depending partly on the technique. Dr. Rebecca Gardner, a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children’s, says the hospital is shifting to a more efficient approach which shaves a week or two off its 3- to 4-week time frame.

Forum at Fred Hutch focuses on the hottest developments in cancer immunotherapy – 6.16.17 – Hutch News
At the Xconomy forum on June 14, Dr. Mike Jensen, a pediatric immunotherapy researcher at Seattle Children’s, discussed the new advances in genetically engineered T-cell therapy. Combination immunotherapies could include something as simple as giving a patient two different FDA-approved drugs, as in many ongoing trials, or as complex as combining multiple types of genetically engineered, cancer-fighting T cells in one high-tech punch. That’s the premise of a new trial recently opened at Seattle Children’s Hospital for kids with advanced leukemia.

Seattle Children’s clinical trial on molecular diagnostics opens for pediatric patients – 6.25.17 – The ASCO Post
Seattle Children’s Hospital
has opened the PREDICT (Precision Diagnostics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Cellular Therapy, and Transplantation) trial which is expected first to provide clinicians new information about why inflammatory bowel disease arises in children, allowing them to tailor treatment plans to each patient. The trial will later expand to include bone marrow transplant patients, with the goal of identifying the immunologic changes that occur when a patient develops graft-vs-host disease. “PREDICT seeks to change the paradigm of treatment by first changing the paradigm of diagnosis,” said Dr. Leslie Kean, the trial’s principal investigator and associate director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.