February 10, 2021 — Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) today marked the 20th anniversary of opening the doors of its first clinic in South Lake Union. Established in 2001 to bring together leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s and University of Washington Medicine, SCCA began with a singular mission that remains its focus today: the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for cancer patients.
In the last two decades, its teams have served nearly 190,000 cancer patients and conducted more than 1,700 clinical trials, advancing cancer care not only in the Pacific Northwest but also throughout the nation.
“SCCA was founded with the unique vision that combining the best in cancer care and research will change the lives of those with cancer,” said Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, president and executive director at SCCA and senior vice president of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. “Throughout the past 20 years, our organization has proven the power of this vision. Our teams have helped drive new advances in the delivery of cancer care as well as the development of cutting-edge new therapies and technologies that have improved how we screen for, diagnose and treat many cancers as well as how we support cancer patients and their loved ones. And while we are proud of what we have accomplished the last 20 years, SCCA is ready to continue to build on this foundation for decades to come.”
SCCA opened its first outpatient clinic in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood in 2001. It has grown from a single location to a network of treatment centers in the Puget Sound region encompassing hematology/medical oncology, radiation oncology and infusion outpatient services. It also has network affiliations with hospitals in five states, connecting community-based physicians with the latest cancer research and treatment options from SCCA to elevate cancer care in the community.
As part of the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in Washington state, SCCA has helped to advance cancer research, establish new models of cancer care, connect more cancer patients to clinical trials, and enhance patients’ access to the best possible cancer care and treatment.
“Putting patients first is paramount to everything we do at SCCA. And it’s because of the commitment and passion of our staff — from physicians and nurses to pharmacists and administrative support staff – that we have been able to succeed and deliver on that promise,” said Aaron Crane, executive vice president at SCCA. “Their work has driven SCCA to new heights in cancer care and allowed us to achieve significant growth. With the expected opening of our South Lake Union clinic expansion in 2023, we will be able to conduct more cutting-edge research and provide even more patients world-class cancer care.”
SCCA alliance member Fred Hutch is known for its pioneering work in bone marrow (BMT) and stem cell transplantation. Stemming from this legacy work, SCCA is continually recognized for its patients’ survival rates and has now performed more than 9,000 transplants since 2001, making it among the most experienced cancer centers in this field in the world. SCCA is also noted for its leadership in immunotherapy. In 2016, it opened the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic to support its growing work in this field. This clinic, which has now treated more than 500 patients, has increased the number of clinical trials offering cellular immunotherapies, including CAR-T therapies. SCCA is one of the top providers of CAR-T therapy and among the first cancer centers to offer patients all three FDA-approved cellular immunotherapies.
Through groundbreaking clinical trials, along with alliance partners UW Medicine, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutch, SCCA has led the development of new treatment options for patients for a variety of cancers. Over the last two decades, SCCA has opened more than 1,700 trials serving nearly 37,000 participants. A couple of recent examples include a SCCA’s trial for a new bladder cancer treatment, which received FDA approval after its results gained international recognition, redefining treatment protocols for that cancer. Another example is a recent clinical trial for lung cancer where SCCA is advancing personalized care through research that assesses the effectiveness of a treatment in real time, allowing providers to give patients treatments based on an individualized care path.
SCCA also has contributed to the development and adoption of molecular testing in cancer care. Its team has expanded known biomarkers that indicate a patient’s risk for certain cancers – including breast, lung and colon cancers and hematologic malignancies – as well as determine the best course of treatment. In 2016 and 2018 respectively, SCCA opened the Prostate Cancer Genetics and Hematologic Malignancy Genetics Clinics, which offer genetic testing, counseling, and consultations to help patients better understand their genetic risks and manage their cancers.
“SCCA has been a vital part of saving the lives of so many across our region,” said Paula Rosput Reynolds, Chair of SCCA’s Board of Directors. “It has seamlessly combined pioneering research with the best in state-of-the-art clinical patient- and family-centered care. SCCA has made an indelible mark on how many cancers are diagnosed and treated and continues to push boundaries on how cancer care is approached and carried out. We are excited to celebrate its achievements this year and look forward to what is yet to come from this extraordinary organization and its team.”
For the past decade, SCCA has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the Best Cancer Hospitals in the U.S. and the top cancer hospital in the Pacific Northwest.