Puget Sound Business Journal

Seattle Children’s Research Institute is receiving a $5 million donation from a local foundation to support new cancer treatments focused on using a child’s immune system to fight cancer.

The Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation made the gift to specifically support the work of Dr. Michael Jensen, who is leading the Seattle Children’s research on reprogramming child immune systems to attack cancer cells.

Jeff and Carin Towne founded the Ben Towne Foundation and named it after their son, who died at age 3 of high-risk neuroblastoma in December 2008. Current treatments of children have a 30 percent long-term survival rate, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“We had seen so much suffering, not just in Ben’s life but with other children and their families battling cancer,” said Carin Towne in a statement. “We felt like we were uniquely equipped to do something about it.”

Seattle Children’s will rename its Center for Childhood Cancer Research the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.

“Parents of children suffering from pediatric cancer ask the same question: ‘Will that next breakthrough happen in time to save my child?’ Jensen said in a statement. “Thanks to this generous gift, we at Seattle Children’s Research Institute can accelerate the process of creating treatments for cancer that are less traumatic for kids and that saves lives.”

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2012/01/seattle-childrens-receives-5-million.html