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News Backgrounders

MD Anderson news backgrounders are produced as an occasional series of perspective pieces about cancer industry trends.

Toward the Future of Radiation Therapy: MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center Pioneers Pencil Beam Technology for Cancer Patient Care - The radiation oncologist’s mantra is to deliver the maximum dose of radiation to the malignant tumor, while limiting damage to healthy surrounding tissue. In proton therapy, this balance is achieved by using proton particles, accelerated to nearly the speed of light, to mimic the shape of a tumor and effectively deposit their energy within the confines of it with sub-millimeter precision. 08/02/2010

Making Cancer History: The Evolution of a Powerful Idea - The iconic new logo is an expression of all that the institution represents, from the dedicated scientists, clinicians, employees and volunteers, to its unparalleled research and education programs and state-of-the-art therapies born of multidisciplinary care. Yet always at the heart of MD Anderson is its core focus on providing the best care possible for patients.05/04/2010

The Challenge of Unsponsored Charity Care - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has a long tradition of providing care for low-income residents of Texas. A supplemental financial assistance program provides coverage for care delivered at MD Anderson to cancer patients who meet residency and financial eligibility requirements.

Advances in Proton Therapy, Pencil Beam Technology Reach Patient Care - Today more than ever, new tools are enabling physicians at the Proton Therapy Center at to harness proton particles and conform them more closely to the uneven contours of a cancer tumor. Using a technology known as pencil beam scanning

Morgan Welch’s Journey Inspires Physician, MD Anderson - Weeks before her wedding, Morgan Welch noticed that one of her breasts appeared to have a mosquito bite. She had absolutely no idea that it was a sign of a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer – a disease that often spreads before women realize it. After antibiotics did nothing to alleviate symptoms that she thought were caused by a breast infection, Welch was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

MD Anderson is Making Survivorship An Integral Phase of Cancer Care - The outlook continues to get better for people with cancer. On the strength of public awareness and early detection, and improved forms of treatment, for many patients cancer has evolved from an often-fatal disease to a chronic, treatable condition. 10/01/07

MD Anderson Teaches the Art of Aromatherapy to Soothe and Heal - A bubble bath that improves memory. A kitchen cleaner that wards off nausea and energizes. A scented handkerchief that calms a patient entering the MRI. The benefits of aromatherapy are real. Below, learn the uses, healing properties and how-tos of using aromatherapy to heal and de-stress from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. 08/29/06

New Hope in Cancer Vaccines Emerges as Novel Therapies are Developed and Tested - Medicine can now prevent a host of diseases with a mere shot of vaccine. Polio and smallpox are almost non-existent, and mumps and chicken pox are rarely seen nowadays. And for the first time, the prospect of eradicating a specific cancer through vaccination is possible. The newly approved human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is designed to curb the 230,000 worldwide deaths due to cervical cancer, which is caused solely by HPV. And the hepatitis B virus, responsible for 70 percent of all liver cancer deaths, is also preventable with a vaccine. 08/04/06

MD Anderson: Setting the Benchmark in Brain Tumor Treatment - The molecular revolution that has led to improvements in treating other cancer types is well under way at the institute's Brain Tumor Center. For the first time in decades, new therapies are bringing hope to patients and physicians. And at long last, glioblastoma, the most common and deadly of brain tumors, is finally giving up some secrets. 03/14/06

Anti-angiogenesis: Next Era of Cancer Therapy Aims to Separate Cancer from Blood Supply - With cancer, it's all about the body's bounty of blood. If all the blood vessels in the body were lined up end-to-end, they would form a line that could circle the earth twice. Yet the body produces still more blood vessels on demand, such as to heal wounds or grow embryos. 03/14/06

The Proton Therapy Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Inside a tunnel of enormous magnets about the length of a football field in Houston, Texas, a beam of protons rockets towards its objective.  Within fractions of seconds, these supercharged sub-atomic particles, stripped from the nucleus of hydrogen atoms and accelerated to the energy of upwards to 250 million volts, strike their target with lethal precision.  03/14/06

Cancer Gene Therapy News Backgrounder - The concept seems straightforward. If, at its heart, cancer is a disease of genes, then giving patients new genes should disarm cancer. Such treatment would replace missing or faulty genes that keep cell growth in check, or would flush the body with “super genes” that could attack and destroy cancer. 03/06/06

Toward the Future of Cancer Prevention - Can we learn how to prevent most types of cancer? It’s a question that has emerged in the past 20 years, given advances in screening and early diagnosis, rapid developments in genetics and molecular biology, and progress in the treatment of early disease and in next-generation targeted therapies. 03/06/06

The Children's Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson Builds on a 50-year Record of Positive Outcomes - They’re among the most frightening words a parent can hear: Your child has cancer. Dismay, confusion, dread follow in quick succession. The search for quick solutions and instantaneous cures ensues. Finding none, families pray for the best, but prepare for the worst. 02/17/06

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