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M. D. Anderson Dedicates First International Affiliate Madrid Facility Greets First Patients in October

M. D. Anderson Dedicates First International AffiliateMadrid Facility Greets First Patients in October
M. D. Anderson News Release 11/10/00


The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center will share with the world yet another "first" in cancer care as its first international affiliation -- and Spain's first full-service cancer care center -- is dedicated this month.

Former President George Bush, chairman-elect of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors, will be joined by M. D. Anderson President Dr. John Mendelsohn, dignitaries from Madrid and visitors from Houston, to dedicate M. D. Anderson International - España in ceremonies Nov. 14. President Bush will tour the new facility and visit with staff and patients as part of the celebration. The ceremony caps off a two-day medical symposium conducted by Dr. Mendelsohn and a dozen M. D. Anderson physicians.

M. D. Anderson International - España offers inpatient and outpatient services in a freshly-refurbished tri-level hospital. Adjacent to the remodeled clinic is a newly-constructed radiation therapy facility built to specifications and standards established by M. D. Anderson. The facility opened for second-opinion consultations in June and greeted its first patient for treatment last month.

According to Dr. Martin Raber, senior vice president for strategic and business planning, the center is the only facility in Spain where patients with cancer can receive all of their diagnostic tests, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and see all of their physicians at a single site.

With the program now under way in Madrid, patients will be able to stay closer to home, yet still be treated according to M. D. Anderson's clinical care guidelines developed by internationally-renowned faculty in Houston.

Patients cared for in Spain also will have access to many of the clinical trials of new therapies at M. D. Anderson, he said.

More than 100 patients come from Spain to M. D. Anderson in Houston every year, and many more would like to come but cannot because of the time and expense required for travel. The center in Madrid will give those patients an opportunity to benefit from the M. D. Anderson approach to care, according to Dr. Mendelsohn.

"It is the mission of M. D. Anderson to eradicate cancer in Texas, the United States and the world," said Dr. Mendelsohn. "For the first time, we are exporting our expertise to an international partner who shares our mission. This is an opportunity to see if we can help to improve cancer care in a population of patients who do not have the chance to come to Houston for treatment. It is a new way to affect cancer care throughout the world."

In the first year, M. D. Anderson International - España expects to register approximately 500 patients, Dr. Raber said.

Though open to patients only a month, the facility has already had numerous "firsts." With new patients being scheduled for appointments every day, the staff already have given the first radiation treatment and chemotherapy infusion, admitted the first inpatient, implanted the first central line catheter and participated in its first patient conference with Houston physicians via satellite uplink.

Since opening its doors in June, M. D. Anderson International - España doctors have conducted 450 second opinion consultations. Working closely with colleagues in Houston via telemedicine and e-mail, physicians at the Spain facility validated or recommended changes to original diagnoses or treatment plans.

M. D. Anderson International - España currently has a staff of 50 physicians, nurses, technicians, a pharmacist, a nutritionist, a radiation physicist, a dosimetrist and support staff. Medical specialists include a breast surgeon, hematologist, radiation oncologist, anesthesiologist, urologist, general surgeon and two medical oncologists.

The facility has outpatient clinics, outpatient chemotherapy rooms, 20 inpatient beds, a pharmacy and lab for some blood workups.

Currently under renovation are two protected environment rooms for immuno-suppressed patients who have received bone marrow transplants. In January, five operating rooms will open after a total re-design and renovation.

Accompanying the clinic building is the diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy facility which houses two new linear accelerators, a treatment planning system and brachytherapy unit for radiation therapy. It also includes a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit, a Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner and mammography and ultrasound equipment for imaging. All the diagnostic imaging equipment is digital to allow images to be clearly transmitted from Madrid to Houston via the internet or telemedicine technology.

Since 1998, M. D. Anderson faculty and staff have worked closely with their counterparts in Madrid, collaborating on infrastructure, training and quality assurance. They have developed and implemented a variety of clinical practices and programs, including patient education, nursing, pharmacy, volunteer services, radiation physics and dosimetry, and management information in an effort to replicate and embrace key M. D. Anderson operations and philosophies.

As part of the collaboration, all physicians and surgeons of M. D. Anderson International - España have spent time or trained with their specialty teams in Houston, said Dr. Raber. More than a dozen nurses trained in Houston for six weeks last spring, and for the last three months an M. D. Anderson nurse has been coaching and offering daily hands-on training to nurses in Madrid.

"Part of the formula for success for this facility is the fact that all the physicians and nurses will be from Spain," said Dr. Raber. "They know the culture and the community, and we want

M. D. Anderson International - Espana to grow slowly and steadily and be a resource for patients and physicians."

M. D. Anderson International - España is a venture between MDA Holding Spain, S.A., a Spanish investment consortium, and the M. D. Anderson Outreach Corporation, a health care organization created in 1989 to open and expand access to M. D. Anderson's internationally-recognized standard of care.

In return for assisting with the development and operation of the Madrid facility, M. D. Anderson Outreach has a small equity and share in profits. Neither M. D. Anderson Cancer Center nor M. D. Anderson Outreach Corporation has invested any dollars in the project.

M. D. Anderson has two seats on the 10-member board of directors of MDA Holding Company. The two board seats have significant "reserve powers," which mandate that both representatives approve certain decisions such as those related to quality assurance.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center