Jon Huntsman Sr. helps wage global war on cancer

Published: Thursday, March 4 2010 12:55 p.m. MST

Jon Huntsman Sr.

Jason Olson, Deseret News

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SALT

LAKE CITY — Using diplomacy that focuses on curing cancer, Jon Huntsman

Sr. has laid the groundwork to help build a network of cancer hospitals

in several countries, including nations in the Middle East.

He

told the Deseret News on Wednesday that he's been approached multiple

times in recent years by government and medical officials at home and

abroad who want to use the genetic research now under way at Utah's

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) as the basis for establishing a

specialty cancer hospital in their areas. He said he has no estimate

for when these hospitals might be built.

Researchers

and leaders in Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China have all

expressed interest, as have researchers from several areas in the U.S.,

he said.

\"They don't have $50

million per year for research ... which is a black pit of (financial

losses), but it's absolutely essential in the medical world to make

progress. Without it, you can't move forward.\"

In

response to the queries, Huntsman officials developed a blueprint for

expanding the Huntsman Cancer Hospital at the University of Utah into a

network of similar hospitals in various parts of the world where

universities, municipalities or governments are willing to build the

facilities.

\"We will provide the

architectural plans and layouts, train their doctors with personnel

from the institute and require them to meet specific standards of care

in order to bear our name,\" he said.

Each

facility would be owned independently but would utilize HCI's

consulting and research for a $5 million annual fee, which would be

funneled back into HCI to fund ongoing research, Huntsman said. A

handful of sites are now negotiating with HCI to build such a facility,

he said. He declined to name them, noting that local officials in those

areas would make the announcements when the time is right.

Because

the vast majority of cancers can be treated on an outpatient basis

through chemotherapy and radiation, the hospitals would be

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