News Releases

Carreras Foundation to endow clinical-research chair at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Internationally renowned tenor expresses gratitude for successful treatment

SEATTLE — Oct. 16, 2007 — The Friends of José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation has announced it will endow a chair for clinical research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in honor of E. Donnall Thomas, M.D., who pioneered the bone-marrow transplant.

The Foundation cites a strong wish to honor Carreras and Thomas, emeritus director of clinical research at the Hutchinson Center. Thomas' research in bone-marrow transplantation has saved thousands of lives and won the 1990 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

In 1987, Carreras was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and traveled to the Hutchinson Center for what proved to be a successful series of treatments, including a bone-marrow transplant. In 1988, in deep gratitude to both science and society for the life-saving treatment and the care and affection he received during his illness, Carreras enlisted the help of noted physicians and scientists to initiate the Fundación Internacional Josep Carreras in his hometown of Barcelona.

"I want to express my deepest admiration for the work of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its dedication toward science, leukemia patients and their families," Carreras said. "The Hutchinson Center and the Foundation share a common goal: to achieve that leukemia becomes one day a totally curable disease, always and for everyone. It is a real pleasure to collaborate with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and especially with an admirable person like Dr. Thomas."

"There are innumerable links that bind me with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and with Dr. Thomas. It is an honor and a great responsibility to continuously count on the trust, help and support of the Hutchinson Center and Dr. Thomas," Carreras said.

The Spanish Carreras foundation and branch foundations in the United States, Germany and Switzerland concentrate their efforts in four main areas: funding scientific research, health care infrastructure, promotion of transplantation, and social service to leukemia patients and their families. In addition to funding leukemia research, the Spanish Carreras foundation has worked to establish a bone-marrow registry in Spain. The foundation and its affiliates have helped support dozens of scientists worldwide, including annual fellowships for promising early-career scientists at the Center and throughout the world.

The José Carreras/E. Donnall Thomas Endowed Chair for Cancer Research will be awarded to a full member of the Center's Clinical Research Division who spends at least 75 percent of his/her time in research. Candidates will be nominated by their peers and selected by a committee chaired by the Center's president and director. They must have an international reputation for excellence in their field of research and, in addition, will have independent grant support.

In September, Thomas and Center colleagues celebrated the 50th anniversary of his groundbreaking paper on the promise of human bone-marrow transplantation in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Media Contact
Christi Ball Loso
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-5215
closo@fhcrc.org

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