MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health Northeast Announce Affiliation

UT Health Northeast in Tyler and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston today announced a partnership to provide greater access to the most advanced cancer care available for adult patients in northeast Texas and the surrounding region. Through this partnership, UT Health Northeast’s Cancer Treatment and Prevention Center joins MD Anderson Cancer Network®, an international collaboration of hospitals and health systems that share and contribute to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. The center in Tyler will be known as UT Health Northeast MD Anderson Cancer Center when it officially launches in 2017.

UT Health Northeast’s cancer program will be clinically and operationally integrated with MD Anderson Cancer Center, joining only six other healthcare institutions across the U.S. and three facilities in Brazil, Spain and Turkey. Enhanced local access to MD Anderson’s multidisciplinary care, treatment innovations, standards of care and clinical trials will be hallmarks of the partnership.

“This partnership will help cancer care in our region to take a quantum leap forward, which is needed as the lack of access to care is a key reason why citizens from our region are the unhealthiest in our state,” said UT Health Northeast president Dr. Kirk Calhoun. “Tackling this regional healthcare crisis with the top-ranked cancer center in the world with the common goals of reducing cancer rates, improving outcomes, and making a measurable impact on the health and well-being of our family, friends, and neighbors is not only vital, but both humbling and hugely inspiring.”

Collaborations like this are a vital part of UT System Chancellor William McRaven’s Quantum Leaps, which he identified to position Texas as a world leader in several critically important areas including health care. This initiative includes a commitment to “improving the health of Texas by putting the collective power of UT System institutions to work.”

“If we want to make our state and our nation as healthy as possible, then we have to serve all people regardless of where they live,” McRaven said. “Patients who live in northeast Texas including those who live in rural areas often don’t have access to specialty medical care. That’s about to change because UT Health Northeast – a trusted health care provider – and UT MD Anderson – the top cancer care provider in the nation – are leveraging their individual strengths and joining forces to serve to cancer patients where they live.”                

Rooted in MD Anderson’s mission to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world, the network reaches out to like-minded health systems and hospitals to extend the institution’s expertise in cancer care, prevention, research and education. Through affiliations with community institutions, patients have an opportunity to receive MD Anderson’s signature multidisciplinary care while remaining closer to home and their loved ones. 

“Our collaboration with UT Health Northeast is another opportunity for MD Anderson to take our deep expertise, groundbreaking research and innovative approaches to more patients and better serve them in their own community,” said Ronald A. DePinho, president of MD Anderson. “We are proud to join with our colleagues in Tyler and look forward to working alongside them to enhance the standard of care across the entire region and achieve our mission to end cancer.”

Texas’ top elected officials have also signaled support for this partnership. “Texas is blessed with some of the world’s finest medical research and health care centers, and the partnership between MD Anderson and UT Health Northeast is an exciting new development for patients, physicians and researchers,” said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.  “By pooling resources and working together, the opportunities for successful treatments and cutting-edge therapies will be greater than ever, benefitting the entire east Texas region.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said, “This partnership between UT Health Northeast and MD Anderson is welcome news for the fight against cancer.  These institutions have a reputation that is second-to-none for their research on cancer prevention and treatment.  I'm grateful that the combined efforts will provide further care and treatments for the residents of East Texas."

The two organizations will join forces in the recruitment of all future program physicians and allied health staff. A national search to hire a medical director to lead the new program is planned.         

Cancer Care at UT Health Northeast

In November 2011, the UT Health Northeast Cancer Treatment and Prevention Center opened the doors on a facility designed with the patient at the forefront of every decision made, including convenient access to advanced treatment technologies, groundbreaking clinical trials and a full range of supportive care services all in one location.

The center’s focus is to provide patients with advanced, patient-centered and compassionate care, including medical oncology, radiation therapy, surgical oncology, pathology, laboratory and diagnostic imaging, as well as other clinical and support services.

In 2014, the center received a three-year accreditation with commendations from the Commission on Cancer, an organization that sets rigorous accreditation standards to ensure cancer care is patient-centered, measured against national standards to improve outcomes, and also focused on prevention, research and education.