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.


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

Arthritis drug seen lowering GvHD risk12.11.2017 – MedPage Today
Abatacept (Orencia), an immunomodulatory drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis, dramatically reduced the incidence of acute graft versus host disease (GvHD) in patients undergoing HLA-mismatched unrelated donor stem-cell transplants, preliminary clinical data suggested. If the preliminary results hold up in an ongoing randomized trial, use of abatacept could have a major impact on outcomes of high-risk transplants, Dr. Leslie Kean of Seattle Children's Research Institute said at the American Society of Hematology meeting.

My cancer-free Christmas: Little girl cured after groundbreaking gene trial finally gets to have celebration of her dreams12.15.2017 – Daily Mirror
Last year little Erin Cross spent Christmas in the hospital with her parents, surrounded by fairy lights as she endured chemotherapy and waited for a bone marrow transplant. This year, Erin and her parents hope Christmas will be very different. The 7-year-old has now been cancer free for the longest period since she was diagnosed with aggressive leukemia in 2012. After exhausting all her options in the UK, Erin's family managed to raise enough money to send her to Seattle Children's Hospital for CAR T-cell therapy, which re-engineers the cells in the lab to attack and kill cancer cells when they are injected back into the patient’s body. Dr. Rebecca Gardner, an oncologist at Seattle Children's Hospital, said: “Because of brave children like Erin, we believe in a world where treatment for childhood cancer is just a blip in the road rather than a life-altering treatment.”

Clinical trials actively recruiting patients with pediatric leukemiaThe ASCO Post
A clinical trial led by Dr. Rebecca Gardner of Seattle Children’s Hospital will use T cells obtained directly from the patient for treatment, which can be genetically modified to express two CARs. One is to recognize CD19 and the other is to recognize CD22, both of which are proteins expressed on the surface of the leukemic cell in patients with CD19-positive/CD22-positive leukemia.