ExxonMobil commits $10 million to MD Anderson’s cancer prevention and control initiative

Gift to help Houston-area community reduce risk of cancer and other chronic diseases

MD Anderson News Release 10/02/14

ExxonMobil today announced a $10 million grant to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, an unprecedented, comprehensive initiative to significantly reduce deaths from cancer.

Exxon Mobil Corporation Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson shared the news at a press conference preceding the Greater Houston Partnership’s State of Energy luncheon at the Hyatt Regency downtown. He also announced $8 million in additional health grants to two other Texas Medical Center institutions: $3 million to Texas Children’s Hospital and $5 million to the Texas Heart Institute.

“These world-renowned institutions are helping improve the health and lives of families in the Greater Houston area and that of other patients around the world, and we’re proud to support their important mission,” said Tillerson. “The grants will bolster their lifesaving medical research, prevention programs and patient care.”

The MD Anderson grant supports the Healthy Community Initiative, developed by leaders of the Moon Shots Program’s cancer prevention and control platform to encourage policies, education, behaviors and services that promote health and prevent cancer.

MD Anderson will designate a targeted population in the Houston area and collaborate with schools, workplaces, clinics, social service agencies, faith-based organizations and neighborhood centers. Its purpose is to implement strategies that promote healthy behaviors, improve health and prevent disease by reaching children and families with information, activities and services that reduce their risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. It’s hoped that the project will serve as a model for other cities across the state and nation.

“Just as ExxonMobil has made a significant economic impact on the economy of the greater Houston area, so will it now have a powerful impact on its residents’ health and well-being,” said Ron DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “With this leadership gift we have the opportunity to make the vision of a healthy Texas a reality. We’re grateful for ExxonMobil’s generosity to MD Anderson, its commitment to our community and its partnership in our mission to end cancer.”

In September 2012, MD Anderson launched the Moon Shots Program with six teams of researchers and clinicians initially focusing on these eight cancers:

  • acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndromes
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • melanoma
  • lung cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • triple-negative breast and high-grade serous ovarian cancers

Moon shot teams pursue innovative projects prioritized for greatest patient impact, while specialized scientific and technical platforms provide infrastructure and expertise. The ultimate goal is to apply knowledge gained from this process to all cancers. Moon shot efforts will help support all other cancer research at MD Anderson. Estimated to cost $3 billion in the first 10 years, the program receives funding from private philanthropy, institutional earnings, competitive research grants and commercialization of new discoveries.