UT MD Anderson Cancer Center Campaign Surpasses $1.2 Billion Goal

Institution's Largest Fundraising Effort to Advance Research, Patient Care and Education Initiatives

MD Anderson News Release 10/20/11

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has completed its largest fundraising campaign ever. Thanks to the generosity of supporters across the globe, Making Cancer History®: The Campaign to Transform Cancer Care has raised $1.215 billion for:

  • research initiatives in cancer prevention and risk assessment, basic science, cancer care excellence, personalized cancer therapies, early detection and targeted treatments
  • an endowment to educate and train the next generation of cancer research specialists
  • a new 600,000-square-foot research facility to support personalized cancer care and accelerate the pace of pancreatic cancer research
  • support of other key areas within the institution.

The campaign reached its original $1 billion mark in August 2010, more than two years ahead of schedule, during the tenure of John Mendelsohn, M.D, who stepped down as president of MD Anderson in August 2011. To fund still-unmet needs, a 19-member campaign executive committee chaired by Harry J. Longwell of Dallas recommended increasing the goal to $1.2 billion, with a shortened target date of Dec. 31, 2011.

"The campaign's early completion gives MD Anderson researchers and clinicians the means to make significant progress in the fight against cancer," said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. "And completing the goal during difficult economic times of decreasing federal and state funding reflects an incredible outpouring of confidence in MD Anderson as the premier cancer hospital in the world. With the philanthropic support of those who share our passion, we'll make major progress in preventing, detecting and treating cancer. Together, we have the opportunity to do great good for humanity."

Barbara and George H.W. Bush, both members of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, were honorary chairs of the campaign. President Bush chaired the Board of Visitors from 2001 to 2003.

The campaign, which officially began in September 2006, received more than 630,000 gifts, with

  • three donors of $50 million or more,
  • two donors of $30 million or more,
  • four donors of $20 million or more,
  • six donors of $10 million or more,
  • 12 donors of $5 million or more and  
  • 172 donors of $1 million or more.

Some 200 donors contributed more than 70 percent of the total, said campaign chair Longwell.

"It's through phenomenal generosity such as we've seen throughout this campaign that MD Anderson in turn is able to accomplish the extraordinary," said Longwell. "Philanthropy is a key component in the lifeblood of MD Anderson. We all are proud to have been a part of this pivotal effort to transform cancer care and truly make a difference in the lives of cancer patients everywhere."

Philanthropic support generates an invaluable return on investment for each dollar donated, said Patrick Mulvey, MD Anderson's vice president for development. It often provides seed money that enables researchers to pursue novel ideas, gather data and successfully compete for federal funding.

"Thanks to the generosity of all who supported our efforts, regardless of gift size, Making Cancer History®: The Campaign to Transform Cancer has not only met but also exceeded its goal, representing enormous benefits for thousands of patients, their families and friends, now and for generations to come," said Mulvey. "Every gift plays a significant role in leveraging for federal research funds and bringing us closer to a future free of cancer."

Transformational gifts

Substantial campaign contributions came from people, corporations, foundations and events around the world. In the campaign's early stages, for example, Lowry and Peggy Mays of San Antonio donated $20 million to MD Anderson's South Campus Research Initiative. MD Anderson named the Lowry and Peggy Mays Clinic in recognition of their generosity. In 2007, T. Boone Pickens of Dallas contributed $50 million, stipulating that within 25 years MD Anderson grow the money to $500 million before putting the funds to use. The institution met that goal in three years and established the Pickens Research Endowment. In 2010, H. Ross Perot of Dallas donated $20 million, divided equally among research initiatives in personalized cancer therapy and targeted therapy at MD Anderson.

Gifts made during the campaign have been essential in launching and driving five institutes that represent a new approach to cancer research involving collaborations of diverse departments and disciplines to focus on the entire continuum of cancer care, from prevention to survivorship.

The five institutes include:

  • The Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy:
    • Supported by a $150 million grant from the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation on behalf of the president of the United Arab Emirates and his family foundation.
    • Focuses on selecting individualized cancer therapy for each patient based on the genetic and molecular abnormalities in that particular patient's cancer.
  • The Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment:
    • Established through two gifts totaling $50 million from the Jan and Dan Duncan family.
    • Addresses genetic and lifestyle risk factors that lead to cancer.
  • The Institute for Basic Science:
    • Focuses on areas most critical to advancing fundamental knowledge about cancer.
    • Encompasses genetics and genomics; epigenetics; stem cell and developmental biology; structural biology; environmental and molecular carcinogenesis; biological pathways; and immunology, inflammation and infection.
  • The Institute for Cancer Care Excellence:
    • Focuses on finding ways to enhance the quality of cancer care and ensure patients' safety and well-being.
    • Measures the effectiveness of treatment with accurate clinical outcomes data.
  • The Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer:
    • Launched in 2005 with a $30 million gift from the Charline and Red McCombs family of San Antonio.
    • Translates basic science discoveries about the genes that cause cancer and the molecular pathways that promote its growth, survival and metastasis into new diagnostic tests and treatments targeting key genes and pathways.

Learn more at www.makingcancerhistorycampaign.org. 10/20/11