National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 9, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 3

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Cancer Center Profile

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

President: Dr. John Mendelsohn • 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 1-877-MDA-6789 • Web site:


M. D. Anderson campus photo M. D. Anderson's main campus is located in Houston, TX

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was established by the Texas State Legislature in 1941, and it became one of the nation’s first three federally designated comprehensive cancer centers after the passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971. Today, M. D. Anderson is recognized throughout the world for its many contributions to cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention.

M. D. Anderson is a free-standing, degree-granting component of The University of Texas System. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey ranked M. D. Anderson as the top hospital in the nation for cancer care. The Center has achieved this ranking six times in the past 8 years.

M. D. Anderson is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth. A workforce of about 17,000 includes nearly 1,500 full-time faculty and is supported by about 1,300 onsite volunteers. More than 6,000 trainees take part each year in educational programs, including advanced degrees in biomedical sciences and bachelor’s degrees in allied health disciplines.


M. D. Anderson’s strength lies in its ability to rapidly translate scientific knowledge to better cancer therapies and prevention strategies. The center currently holds 12 Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants from NCI for advancing research in cancers of the bladder, brain, breast, uterus, head and neck, lung (shared with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center), ovaries, pancreas, and prostate, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma.

M. D. Anderson also administers an NCI-funded Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Research Base, which prepares cancer control and prevention trials. These trials are then made available to a national network of sites so that patients can have access to state-of the-art cancer care and clinical protocols without having to relocate temporarily or leave the support of their communities.

Patient Care

Since 1944, about 800,000 patients have turned to M. D. Anderson for multidisciplinary cancer care—more than 96,000 in the last year alone. Last year M. D. Anderson had more than 1,000 active clinical trial protocols, with more than 11,000 patients who took part in trials of novel potential therapies, perhaps the largest such program in the world. Late in 2010, M. D. Anderson will begin opening an additional 12 floors atop its Alkek Hospital, adding more than 300 inpatient beds to the current complement of 500.

M. D. Anderson is accredited by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit hospital accreditation group, and holds Magnet Nursing Services Recognition status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Other Notable Programs

In addition to M. D. Anderson’s main campus in Houston and two research campuses in Bastrop County, TX, the center has developed a number of local, national, and international affiliations. All are united by M. D. Anderson’s mission to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world.

The institution is also expanding its research endeavors with the creation of the McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer. Composed of seven centers, the McCombs Institute focuses on genomics, proteomics, screening, RNA interference and non-coding RNAs, diagnostic imaging, and drug development, and it is located adjacent to the M. D. Anderson Proton Therapy Center.

The new Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment will help accelerate the transfer of discoveries in prevention and genetic and lifestyle risk factor research to clinical and community settings.

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