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$250,000 Gift to M. D. Anderson Funds Early Research

$250,000 Gift to M. D. Anderson Funds Early Research
M. D. Anderson News Release 02/19/04

International Bancshares Corporation (IBC), through its charitable foundation, has given $250,000 to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Physician-Scientist Program to fund developing research.

$250,000 Gift to M. D. Anderson Funds Early Research

 

Robert C. Bast Jr., M. D., vice president for translational research, Dennis Nixon, president and chief executive officer of International Bancshares Corporation in Laredo, Texas and Jon Trent, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology.

Through the program, private gifts allow physicians to make the most of their experience in both the laboratory and the clinic by enabling them to rapidly move research findings into patient therapies, while caring for patients and gaining a better understanding of research needs. The program gives scientists the chance to conceive and build independent research programs, while being mentored by senior research faculty.

Dennis Nixon, president and chief executive officer of International Bancshares Corporation in Laredo, Texas, and member of M. D. Anderson’s Board of Visitors, encouraged support for the gift after seeing several bank employees and clients touched by cancer.

The scientist receiving the IBC Foundation funds is Jon Trent, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology. Sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Trent’s research focuses on the use of targeted drugs to stop cancer growth.

“This is a very exciting time in oncology, research and patient care. New therapies are being developed and tested, but it takes a great deal of effort, time and financial support to accomplish these goals — to take these new developments from the lab to the clinic and make an impact on patient care,” says Trent.

The foundation’s gift will enable Trent to expand his research with the drug Gleevec® on a two-part research project over the course of five years. Gleevec is being studied for its ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancers.

“Gleevec has been effective in patients with inoperable gastrointestinal stromal tumors, but we are currently studying the biologic and clinical effects of this drug in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors that may be surgically resected,” explains Trent. “These studies will lead to the identification of the genes responsible for the remarkable effects of Gleevec, and determine whether the drug has the ability to cut off the blood supply to tumors.”

Trent’s second initiative includes laboratory and clinical research into the identification of new therapeutic targets for a sarcoma known as rhabdomyosarcoma.

“New treatment methods are vitally needed for patients whose tumors do not respond to chemotherapy or Gleevec, and these studies will lead to new treatments for patients with sarcomas,” says Trent.

Nixon has been a member of M. D. Anderson’s Board of Visitors since 1998 and attributes his commitment to the institution with his desire to help those in his community who have been touched by cancer.

“We created the foundation in 1998 to help with issues that are of tremendous concern to our community, and cancer is one of those issues. We particularly want to support initiatives that might not otherwise receive funding,” says Nixon.

“Because of my involvement with M. D. Anderson’s Board of Visitors, I have developed an affinity for the faculty, staff and volunteers. I am privileged to support an institution that has such a central focus on eliminating cancer, and hope this research will enable M. D. Anderson to do something significant to push that mission forward,” he states.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center