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

Seattle Children’s launches into solid tumor treatments with new CAR T immunotherapy trial – 8.07.2018 – GeekWire
Seattle Children’s Research Institute is launching a CAR T immunotherapy clinical trial that will examine a new kind of cancer-fighting treatment. CAR T therapies have found early success in blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, but have run into obstacles when it comes to solid tumor cancers like lung and breast cancer. This new trial, called STRIvE-01, is hoping to overcome those obstacles for children with sarcoma, kidney and neuroblastoma tumors. The trial will treat children whose cancer has relapsed, a group that often has few remaining treatment options. Dr. Katie Albert, the lead investigator of the trial, said the goal of this early trial is to test the safety of the new therapy and establish the best dose, although researchers also hope to see the trial make headway against patients’ tumors. “Further, we hope to observe efficacy against one or more types of tumors and minimal toxicity to normal tissues. In the best case scenario, this will simply be the first step in developing a curative therapy for our highest risk patients,” Albert said. Scientists at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research will reprogram the T-cells of patients in the trial to create CAR T cells designed to hunt down cancer cells that display the EGFR protein. The new trial is yet another notch in the belt of Seattle Children’s growing immunotherapy research program.

Seattle Children's 'Brain Child' study seeks to stop brain cancer at the source6.19.2018 – KING5.com
More than 4,000 children battle brain cancer every year. About 25% of the time, the cancer returns after treatment. Seattle Children's has announced a new study, BrainChild-01, that seeks to stop cancer when it recurs. It takes a different approach to immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the body's own cells to target cancer. This time, doctors plan to inject cancer-fighting CAR T-cells directly into the brain. "We are using a newer generation of CAR T-cells with better signaling domains around it that will help the cell activate better," said neuro-oncologist Dr. Nick Vitanza, who moved to Seattle to work on studies like this with Dr. Mike Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. “This is very exciting new technology,” Vitanza said. “It's offering a new chance for a lot of people who thought they were out of chances.”

Seattle Children’s launches CureWorks, a project aimed at revolutionizing cancer treatment for kids6.12.2018 – GeekWire
New cancer immunotherapies could revolutionize how we treat the disease, but for many children, those treatments are far out of reach. A new collaboration between four children’s hospitals across North America is working to solve that. The collaborative, called CureWorks, is spearheaded by Seattle Children’s and will allow patients at the three other member hospitals to receive cutting-edge CAR T immunotherapy treatments. “What we hope to do through CureWorks is to, in a sense, democratize access to these very complex but potentially revolutionary cancer immunotherapies for children,” said Dr. Mike Jensen, CureWorks’ executive director and director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.