Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas
The Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center was established in 1991 and received its NCI designation in 2010. The Center has built on a basic science foundation and developed a focus on translational cancer research.
The Simmons Cancer Center provides patients living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and North Texas with access to innovative cancer treatment. To accomplish this, the Center has brought together 252 members from 40 departments, divisions and centers across the University to promote innovations in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and control. The members work in trans-disciplinary teams on research organized around five scientific programs: Development and Cancer, Cancer Cell Networks, Chemistry and Cancer, Experimental Therapeutics of Cancer, and Population Science and Cancer Control. This trans-disciplinary focus is reflected in a total of 22 multi-investigator research projects which are highlighted by a Lung SPORE, Colon Cancer and HPV PROSPR Center (NCI U54), Lung Cancer Target Discovery and Development (NCI U01), PanCan/AACR Gateway Grant, National Clinical Trials Lead Academic Participating Site (NCI U10), and UTSW Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (AHRQ). In addition, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has accelerated research progress and produced transformative change through key funding for recruitment of cancer-focused investigators, new shared resources, graduate training, and multi-investigator research projects.
The Development and Cancer program brings together investigators in cancer biology, stem cell biology, and developmental biology to uncover how aberrant developmental processes contribute to the initiation and progression of cancer. The Cancer Cell Networks program promotes research to increase understanding of the mechanisms in aberrant cell regulatory networks that support cancer initiation and growth. The Chemistry and Cancer program focuses on discovery of drug-like small molecules that affect biological processes related to the development or inhibition of cancer. The Experimental Therapeutics of Cancer program advances personalized medicine in cancer care by understanding how gene-related processes lead to cancer, and how genetic variation among individuals affects tumor growth and response to treatment. And the Population Science and Cancer Control program generates research discoveries that address cancer burden and disparities in our North Texas catchment area, with a focus on cancer prevention and screening.
Patient care is provided at UT Southwestern clinics and hospitals in addition to Parkland Hospital and the Children’s Medical Center. The new 460-room Clements University Hospital opened in fall 2014 with a floor dedicated solely for cancer patients, and a new 862-room Parkland Hospital opened in 2015. In addition to receiving care, patients may also participate in a wide range of clinical trials, including investigator-initiated Phase 1 trials. The Center’s Moncrief Cancer Institute, located in Fort Worth, extends the Center’s community outreach activities to Fort Worth and surrounding rural counties. There is also a clinical genetics screening program that offers counseling to high-risk individuals in North Texas. Students enrolled in the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences can pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology.
* This profile was provided by the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center.