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Track the journey, lower the risk

Annual Report - Winter 2014

Photographer: Wyatt McSpadden

The best defense is a good offense.

MD Anderson physicians and researchers are breathing new life into that old adage with their work in cancer prevention and risk assessment. They’re discovering ways to detect the disease at its earliest stages by examining how genetic, environmental and behavioral factors contribute to its development. The earlier cancer is caught, the better our chances of curing it. In addition to detection, they’re educating the public about lifestyle changes and choices that can help prevent the disease altogether.

Kenneth Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.
Photographer: Wyatt McSpadden

"If we can identify the molecular events that drive the progression of cancer, we can then target the right vulnerabilities to interrupt the progression sequence, stopping skin cancer in its tracks." 

Kenneth Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Going beyond skin-deep, to the molecular level

As a dermatologist and dermatopathologist, Kenneth Tsai, M.D., Ph.D., has set his sights on preventing squamous cell carcinoma — the second most common form of skin cancer in the United States.

Working for inheritors of higher risk

People with inherited conditions that raise their risk of developing certain cancers, such as colon cancer, deal with a lot of anxiety that comes from uncertainty about their health. Hopefully, the work of Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez will one day alleviate that risk.

Improving odds by making cancer more predictable

Paul Scheet, Ph.D., has a background in population genetics, which makes his role in the cancer prevention process a unique and important one.

Paving the way for trailblazers

Dallas’ Lyda Hill is determined to help solve “the mystery that is cancer.”

Innovation grows from seed money

The Seed-funding Research Program helps scientists, researchers and clinicians across the institution launch innovative cancer prevention research projects.

Tanning bed ban for minors is a major step

MD Anderson joined advocacy organizations to educate state legislators about the dangers of tanning beds, and, on Sept. 1, 2013, a new Texas law took effect prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from using them.

Ovarian cancer screening is put to the test, with encouraging results

An old blood test now offers new hope and possibility.

MD Anderson's 'protein pioneer'

In 1983, Robert Bast Jr., M.D., and his colleagues published a seminal paper in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing his discovery of the protein CA-125 and its value in helping to predict if ovarian cancer might recur.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center