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Fred Hutch researcher named most influential person in health

December 19, 2012

By Colleen Steelquist, Hutchinson Center Science Editor

Hats off to Fred Hutch’s own Dr. Sunil Hingorani. We blogged about his incredible pancreatic cancer breakthrough earlier this year. And it turns out we weren’t the only ones who noticed this all-too-rare progress against the almost uniformly lethal cancer:

Seattle Magazine named Hingorani its 2012 most influential person in health.

In their December issue, Seattle Magazine said, “For years, Hingorani’s research has been advancing scientific understanding of pancreatic cancer—how it works, why it resists treatment—but his newest breakthrough is the most exciting of all.

News came this year that Hingorani and his team have uncovered a promising new treatment strategy for pancreatic cancer called “enzymatic therapy,” which essentially opens up tumors so that drugs can get in.

Dr. Sunil Hingorani

Dr. Sunil Hingorani

The treatment is in early clinical trials, and it could be years before enzymatic therapy becomes available, but with Hingorani hammering away at it, pancreatic cancer—which killed an estimated 37,000 Americans this year alone—could one day meet its match.”

As one of the world’s leading pancreatic cancer researchers, he once explained his sole focus on the disease as “a case of the cancer choosing me.” Hingorani’s own father lost his fight against pancreatic cancer, providing very personal motivation for his son’s scientific efforts.

The gastrointestinal oncologist has devoted his entire career to making inroads against this one cancer. With his success in penetrating the fortress pancreatic tumors build, his patients have truly met a knight in shining armor.

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