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Branching Out to Conquer Cancer

Conquest - Fall 2010

Illustration: Dave Cutler

Addressing cancer globally 'next great frontier'

By David Berkowitz

When you examine MD Anderson’s family tree, you may discover relationships that you never knew existed.

Sister institutions. Partnerships. Affiliations. Extensions. You name it, MD Anderson has them.

Oliver Bogler, Ph.D.

Feeding off the deep roots and sturdy trunk of the main campus in Houston, these branches stretch across the United States and far beyond.

“Our mission to eliminate cancer extends around the world,” reminds Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president for Global Academic Programs. Bogler works closely with other leaders in MD Anderson’s Center for Global Oncology who concentrate on clinical programs and business development. His aim is to build the world’s premier scholarly network dedicated to:

  • preventing and treating cancer,
  • conducting basic, clinical and translational research, and
  • educating future generations of scientists and health care professionals focused on eliminating cancer.

From Texas to New Mexico, Arizona and Florida; from Central to South America; and from Europe to the Middle East and Asia — MD Anderson is sharing its expertise across the globe and learning from others, as well.

Among the extended family are 20 sister institutions representing leading cancer centers and academic institutions around the world. These relationships serve as a major artery for the international exchange of scientific data and scholarship.

Also read:
Cultural Shift in Cancer Care
Paving Way for International Patients

While much has been gained to date, Bogler envisions taking the sister institution approach to the next level.

“We need to evolve our sister institution model into a true network, where many institutions work together in an integrated fashion,” he says.

A prime area for expansion is clinical research. To help Bogler develop these activities, Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Leukemia, recently was named associate vice president for Global Academic Programs for Clinical Research.

Identifying new sources of philanthropy is also crucial to help spark research on the international level, according to Bogler.

As MD Anderson continues to branch out, “we have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of cancer throughout the world,” he says. “Addressing cancer on a global scale is MD Anderson’s next great frontier.”

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center