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What's in a Name? — New Logo Features Strike Through Cancer

Conquest - Spring 2010


By David Berkowitz

For nearly 70 years, MD Anderson has been defined by a single, powerful idea — to eliminate cancer.

It inspires everyone who works at the institution. It captures the essence of what we do. It’s our mission.

With this issue of Conquest, we’re introducing MD Anderson’s new logo, which integrates this mission into the institution’s name. The red line striking through the word “Cancer” translates the “Making Cancer History®” tagline into a dramatic visual signature.

The logo is central to MD Anderson’s brand, which is how other people perceive our institution and what we do, and encompasses all the attributes that make us distinctive.

“We want to be the first choice for patients and their families, as well as for talented faculty and staff,” says John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We also want to be at the top of the list for physicians who can recommend us, donors whose support is essential, volunteers who give tirelessly, and students and trainees who aspire to be leaders in our field.

“The new logo is a visual demonstration of our commitment to our mission. We are proud that we’ve built tremendous momentum in cancer research and care. Every patient and research project teaches us more about how we can help eliminate cancer.

“Our trademark for nearly a decade, the red line drawn through cancer is now incorporated into our very name to create a distinctive logo that tells not only who we are, but also what we do,” Mendelsohn says. “Our dream is that five years from now when people anywhere see a strike through cancer, they will immediately associate it with MD Anderson and ‘Making Cancer History.’ ”

The updated logo soon will begin appearing in many venues, including on
MD Anderson’s website, signage, vehicles and printed materials. A coordinated approach has been developed for the visual identity of all MD Anderson locations and relationships, including regional care centers and other collaborative interactions in the United States and internationally. Programs such as the Children’s Cancer Hospital and Children’s Art Project also will reflect the new look in their logos.

If you would like to share your thoughts on our new logo, please e-mail Conquest managing editor Sandi Stromberg.

Feelings behind the words

What does Making Cancer History really mean? Here’s what a few MD Anderson cancer survivors had to say:

Victoria Johnson

“Making Cancer History means putting everything we have into research, into therapies, into providing quality of life for cancer survivors. MD Anderson has been able to do that for me very successfully.”

Jaime Ramirez

“It means that one day, real soon, people no longer will know what cancer is. There will be no more suffering, amputations or other difficulties related to cancer. I’m looking forward to that day.”

Janice Duplessis

“Making Cancer History means hope and survivorship for me and for the many other people who come to MD Anderson.”

Jason Connelly

“It means saving my life three years ago after I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma.”

How We've Changed, Through the Years

This isn’t the first time that MD Anderson has experienced a logo or name change. Here’s a quick look at the institution’s identity over the past seven decades.

  • 1941: Established by the Texas Legislature as the Texas State Cancer Hospital and the Division of Cancer Research.
  • 1942: Renamed M. D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research of The University of Texas to honor support from the M. D. Anderson Foundation.
  • 1955: A year after moving into permanent quarters in the Texas Medical Center, the name was changed to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston.
  • 1972: UT System reorganization led to establishment of The University of Texas System Cancer Center, with components including The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston and The University of Texas Environmental Science Park (now Science Park).
  • 1988: Name changed to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
  • 1996: The phrase Making Cancer History® began to be used with the logo and in advertising following the Texas Legislature’s approval of patient self-referral to MD Anderson.
  • 2010: Introducing MD Anderson’s new logo.

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center