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Patient Care: News Briefs

Annual Report - 2005-2006

Nursing Magnetism

Having first earned the honor in 2001, M. D. Anderson once again received Magnet Recognition Program designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2006.

M. D. Anderson is one of only 13 institutions in Texas to be certified. This recognition is held by fewer than 200 health organizations, hospitals and hospital systems nationwide.

With more than 2,400 registered nurses composing more than 16% of M. D. Anderson’s total workforce, the institution has expanded its nursing corps in a time of national shortage.

Barbara Summers, Ph.D., head of the Division of Nursing, says her team has established community partnerships, enhanced financial and educational incentives, offered a mentoring program and refined flexible scheduling to retain and attract nurses.

Such strategies, she adds, have allowed the nursing force to keep pace in the last five years with a patient growth rate of 37% and patient participation in therapeutic clinical trials that has grown by more than 100%.

Staging BATTLE

A $9 million U.S. Department of Defense research grant will help clinicians take on lung cancer like never before.

Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy of Lung Cancer Elimination is a novel clinical trial program that will first explore and eventually prescribe treatments based on the genetic and molecular profile of a patient’s tumor.

After a panel of tumor markers is identified and assessed, patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer will be enrolled in one of several Phase II trials testing agents that target abnormalities in their cancer. A novel adaptive randomization statistical design will be applied to the clinical trials to accelerate the identification of highly individualized treatments for each patient.

As part of the program, investigators also will study the mechanisms of response or resistance to existing and newer targeted agents, explore novel signaling pathways for future trials and identify molecular features in tumor and adjacent normal tissues that correlate with treatment outcome.

A Baby’s Gift

The very lifeline that once connected a mother to her baby is increasingly becoming the nourishment many patients with cancer need to survive.

A rich source of stem cells that work like those from the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood is an option for patients needing a bone marrow transplant. M. D. Anderson is partnering with other Houston hospitals, collecting cord blood units from consenting maternity patients.

Since the first collection was taken in 2005, more than 2,600 cord blood units have been collected and 1,700 units stored in M. D. Anderson’s Cord Blood Bank, which has received donations of $35,000 and $25,000 from The Cockrell Foundation and Cockrell Family Fund, respectively. Five units already have been used for transplant.

In 2006, the Cord Blood Bank received accreditation from FACT-NETCORD and the National Marrow Donor Program, which awarded the blood bank $500,000. M. D. Anderson also was selected by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal government to participate in the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program’s National Cord Blood Inventory and awarded a contract of $3 million for the first year with additional funding for the second and third years.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center