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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the McCombs Institute located?

The six buildings that house the programs are located on MD Anderson's 116-acre South Campus 1.5 miles from the North (formerly known as Main) Campus, near the intersection of Fannin and Old Spanish Trail.

How will the McCombs Institute benefit the Houston community?

Job growth in the Houston area will be a major effect of the construction, research activities and the biotechnology companies that the institute will attract.

What are local and national groups doing to support the funding effort? 

Funding will be a public/private partnership. In addition to the MD Anderson and the University of Texas System investments in facilities and research grants, the City of Houston and the State of Texas are investing in the UT Research Park infrastructure. Helping to establish the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research are the Texas Enterprise Fund, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, which will share the facility, and GE Healthcare. Hitachi and others invested in the Proton Therapy Center.

How long will it be before the McCombs Institute is completed?

It should be fully operational in 2008. Four programs are already in full operation: the Proton Therapy Center, the Cancer Metastasis Research Center, the Center for Immunology Research, and the Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers. The Proton Therapy Center was completed in 2006 and is accepting patients. The remaining two research facilities, the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research and the Center for Targeted Therapy are scheduled for completion by 2008.

Do cancer patients benefit directly?

The Proton Therapy Center offers direct patient care, and clinical research with patients in that center and in the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging.

In the other centers, new diagnostic tests and therapies will be developed and then will be introduced to patients in the hospital and clinics on the North Campus. The emphasis on early detection and prevention research will lead to treatments for individual patients that are more effective and less invasive. The goal is individualized treatment based on a patient's specific cancer cells.

Will cancer patients who do not come to MD Anderson benefit from the McCombs Institute's discoveries?

Yes. MD Anderson's research findings are published for other scientists to evaluate and are presented by its faculty at distinguished scientific meetings. Many ideas and inventions from MD Anderson already are in use worldwide by research centers, health-care institutions and companies. For an example, please see the 12-16-05 news release: MD Anderson Leads with Cancer Genome Pilot Projects 

How to Help Innovative Research - The institute's interconnected programs offer you a chance to help at an historic moment in the long search for answers to cancer. For more information, you may send a request to

© 2013 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center