MD Anderson celebrates World Cancer Research Day


The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is once again supporting World Cancer Research Day, September 24, and its goals to highlight the importance of cancer research, enhance scientific collaboration and reduce the global burden of cancer through improved prevention, early detection, treatment, and survival strategies.

Launched in 2016, World Cancer Research Day is an international effort now supported by more than 120 organizations to raise awareness and encourage collaboration. This year’s theme, “Supporting Research to Prevent and Catch Cancer Early,” focuses on the importance of cancer prevention, addressing health inequities, and advocating for effective screening and early detection practices for all communities.

MD Anderson is home to one of the largest and most advanced cancer prevention programs in the country, and its experts lead research and education efforts that help communities by helping them develop healthy lifestyle choices and by providing early detection screening that can dramatically reduce cancer risks. Or catch it in its early stages. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the Foundation works to eliminate health disparities in cancer and translate research discoveries into clinical advances using evidence-based detection and prevention strategies.

One of the many examples is MD Anderson’s Pre-Cancer Atlas project, which is led by teams of researchers to generate a comprehensive biological roadmap of pre-cancerous evolution in order to discover ways to intercept cancer. By gaining a better understanding of the pathway from pre-cancerous to cancer, researchers hope to design strategies to intervene before cells become malignant.

“The current focus of World Cancer Research Day is in line with our mission, as we recognize the tremendous impact of evidence-based prevention and early detection research and strategies,” said Giulio Dretta, MD, chief scientific officer. “Research is fundamental to everything we do at MD Anderson, and we are proud to have some of the best minds in the world working collaboratively to make breakthroughs across the cancer science spectrum to improve the lives of patients and the communities we serve.”

For more than 80 years, MD Anderson has focused on creating integrated, comprehensive programs that allow scientists to advance effective discovery, prevention, translational, and clinical research that can provide meaningful benefits to patients. In the past fiscal year alone, the foundation invested more than $1.03 billion in research and led the country in funding cancer research through the National Institutes of Health.

The unique ability of scientists and clinicians to seamlessly collaborate and exchange ideas in a continuous cycle of innovation, is the hallmark of what makes the environment at MD Anderson exceptionally suitable for breakthroughs at an unparalleled pace.

Results from the laboratory can be quickly translated into the clinic by leveraging well-established research platforms and programs, such as the Foundation’s Therapeutic Discovery Division, which accelerates the discovery and development of life-saving drugs. MD Anderson leads one of the world’s largest clinical trial programs, with more than 1,300 clinical trials currently active, evaluating new drugs, diagnoses, and treatment strategies. In the previous fiscal year, the Foundation was granted nearly 200 patents and its researchers contributed work on 29 drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In the spirit of collaborative advancement, MD Anderson is also proud to host the upcoming Flagship Cancer Research Symposium from November 17-18. The virtual event is open to all researchers and is an opportunity to facilitate discussions on important and emerging topics in the field. The symposium features presentations on therapeutic strategies and clinical data science as well as a panel discussion on patient-centered research and high-value cancer care.


MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas


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