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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center installs Washington State's first PET/MR system in $320 million outpatient clinic

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 30, 2023
Molecular Imaging MRI Rad Oncology
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, in Seattle, has opened a $320 million clinic that includes the first PET/MR system in Washington state and the second in the Pacific Northwest, along with highly specialized treatment clinics and other state-of-the-art procedure sites.

The clinic will also include a CT Angiography suite for noninvasive imaging of blood vessels, which previously could not be performed on-site. Both the PET/MR scanner and CT Angiography suite are from Canon Medical Systems.

Located on the South Lake Union campus of the University of Washington School of Medicine, the six-story, 150,000 square-foot outpatient facility is the largest construction project undertaken by the organization, and will utilize a design approach aimed at reducing the need for patients to move around the clinic for care.
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Patients will be situated in so-called “care neighborhoods,” central areas where staff and clinicians provide care side-by-side, with treatment floors divided up based on cancer type. Each treatment floor will have 30 rooms and house three separate care neighborhoods with 10 flex rooms, which will act as "efficiency apartments” for patients and caregivers when they arrive for exams, blood draws and infusions.

The PET/MR suite will have a hot lab for radiopharmaceutical prep and storage on the first floor, and consolidated imaging will expand space for radiopharmaceutical therapy. The new building also has three MR systems and biopsy services, and is connected to the existing cancer center via a pedestrian walkway on the ground floor. Conventional MR imaging and mammography will also be performed on the first floor.

Instead of traditional waiting rooms, the building has a lake-view corridor running the entire length of the building with couches, chairs, small alcoves, and shielded sections for those who are especially immunocompromised.

A National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that operates eight clinical care sites, Fred Hutch merged with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in April 2022 as a single, independent, not-for-profit organization that is a clinically integrated part of UW Medicine and UW Medicine’s cancer program; provides medical oncology, infusion, radiation and proton therapy, with network affiliations with hospitals in four states.

The opening will happen in stages, with the third floor already open since late March. The first and fourth will open in April, and the fifth and second, in May and June, respectively.

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