SEATTLE -- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his family have donated $20 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for research and development of cancer immunotherapies - the largest single contribution on Fred Hutchinson s history.

We've followed the work Fred Hutch scientists have been conducting over the last few years in the promising area of immunotherapy to combat cancer and are so encouraged by the spectacular results in patients with leukemia and lymphoma, Mike Bezos on behalf of the Bezos family said in a released statement. The potential to now attack other cancers with this approach is too huge not to take this research to the next level. We believe the scientists at Fred Hutch are ready to take this challenge, and we are pleased to be supporting their efforts.

The gift will allow Fred Hutchinson and its partners at the University of Washington and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to combine its cancer immunotherapy research with the latest technology and transform treatment for common cancers, like lung, ovaries, pancreas and colon.

The contribution comes at a pivotal time, said Dr. Larry Corey, president and director of Fred Hutchinson. We have strong indications that immunotherapy will be effective for a much broader range of cancers, and we now have resources to utilize our technologies to discover targets for some of the most deadly cancers.

Their enthusiasm for this work and the impact it can have on patients means a great deal to us. (The Bezos family) are extraordinary allies, he said.

This is not the first time the Bezos family has partnered with Fred Hutchinson for cancer research. In 2009, the family made a $10 million gift to support immunotherapy research.

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