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

On CAR-T’s edge, Seattle researchers plot to bypass Novartis therapy9.19.2017 – Xconomy
It’s not a stretch to say that Greta Oberhofer is alive thanks to the genetically modified cell therapy called CAR-T. But the Novartis CAR-T wasn’t what cured Greta; her parents enrolled her in a study for a different CAR-T program, at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which was accepting patients as young as a year old. Three years later with no relapse, Greta is one of the lucky ones. The dim outlook for many others, however, has spurred Drs. Mike Jensen, Rebecca Gardner, Colleen Annesley, and their colleagues to press on with more cutting-edge versions of CAR-T that they hope in a few years are not just replacements for the Novartis therapy, but alternatives to bone marrow transplants.

Promising drug combination silences the rage of graft-versus-host disease9.20.2017 – On the Pulse
For nearly 180 days, London Bowater stayed in Seattle Children’s Cancer Unit with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which she developed after a cord blood transplant for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Building on a decade of work dedicated to finding the right combination of therapies to prevent GVHD, there is promising new research underway by Dr. Leslie Kean, associate director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and a research scientist in her lab, Dr. Victor Tkachev. London, now 10, overcame GVHD with access to another experimental therapy that Dr. Paul Carpenter of Seattle Children’s obtained through compassionate use.

Kymab and Seattle Children's Research Institute publish impressive results using Kymab's KY1005 in a model of Acute Graft versus Host Disease (aGVHD) in Science Translational Medicine8.08.2017 – Yahoo! Finance
Kymab announced that new data published in Science Translational Medicine indicate that Kymab's most advanced clinical stage antibody, KY1005, could play an important role in blood-system transplants, such as the treatment of leukemia. Researchers from Kymab worked with a team led by Dr. Leslie Kean, associate director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute. "KY1005, in combination with sirolimus, sets a new standard for aGVHD prevention," commented Kean. "These results in the complex and clinically relevant animal model suggest this regimen is an exceptional candidate for clinical translation."