HOUSTON - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center remains the leading hospital in the nation for cancer care for the fourth year straight, according to the annual "Best Hospitals" survey published by U.S. News & World Report.
This is the seventh time in the last nine years that MD Anderson has ranked number one in the annual listing. Since the survey began in 1990, the institution has been ranked one of the top two cancer hospitals in the United States.
Five subspecialties at MD Anderson also were singled out for high rankings, including ear, nose and throat (6); urology (10); gynecology (11) and gastroenterology (19). MD Anderson's ranking in diabetes and endocrinology jumped to number 21 this year, up from 41 last year and unranked the year before.
In a separate survey of pediatric hospitals, published by U.S. News & World Report last month, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital was ranked 12th in the nation.
"We are proud to be ranked again as the top cancer center - an honor that reflects the expertise and accomplishments of our outstanding physicians, researchers, nurses, staff and volunteers, all focused on reducing the burdens of cancer for patients here and everywhere," said John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of MD Anderson. "The last decade of cancer research has yielded real benefit for patients worldwide, with declining death rates and improving five-year survival rates. To hasten our progress, the need for collaboration among the fine cancer programs recognized by U.S. News & World Report is greater than ever, and we must broaden our cooperation internationally and with government, industry and patients."
A Year's Progress
In the past year, MD Anderson has treated a record number of patients - expected to number more than 100,000 persons by September 1 - and advanced vital research fueled by new state and federal funding resources and an institutional capital campaign.
In April, researchers from MD Anderson reported the results of the first lung cancer clinical trial that guided targeted therapies to patients based on genetic and molecular signatures and used an innovative statistical model that may enable future trials to require smaller numbers of patients who are more likely to benefit. Known as BATTLE (Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination), the research matched four drugs to specific biomarkers in a group of patients with advanced lung cancer to determine which drug would be most effective against each individual's tumor.
MD Anderson has many clinical and basic research projects in the areas of personalized medicine and prevention that contribute to a growing body of knowledge at the institution and beyond.
MD Anderson received funding from two new government sources this year, adding to its cancer research program that is now valued at more than $500 million. MD Anderson was awarded $53.8 million over two years through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as federal stimulus funds, and $29 million from the state's innovative new Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which now is the second-largest funding source for cancer in the nation.
Philanthropy remains critical to igniting the research efforts that keep MD Anderson at the forefront of making progress over cancer. In early 2010, the institution announced the public phase of its most ambitious campaign named, "Making Cancer History: The Campaign to Transform Cancer Care," with a goal of $1 billion. The campaign is raising funds for research initiatives that are driven by virtual "institutes" for cancer prevention and risk assessment; basic science; translational research; personalized therapy; and care quality, safety and effectiveness. Already, the campaign has raised $834.6 million.
New Look for a New Year
"Making Cancer History" continues to capture MD Anderson's mission to eliminate cancer, and the tagline was introduced graphically in May as the institution's new logo. The new mark boldly puts a red strike through the word "cancer," clearly stating MD Anderson's commitment, vision and hope for a future free from cancer.
MD Anderson employs more than 17,000 people and has a volunteer corps of 1,300 people. More than 96,000 patients were served last year, with one-third of them new patients. Late in 2010, MD Anderson will begin opening an additional 12 floors atop its Alkek Hospital, adding more than 300 inpatient beds to the current complement of 500 beds.