Huntsman wants to help build cancer hospitals in Middle East

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.

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