Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Marks First Anniversary With $5 Million Gift and New Marquee Programs

September 26, 2012

$5 million gift to establish the Cox Center for Integrative Oncology Bone Marrow Transplant Program also planned for late 2012.

Gilbert, Ariz. – In its first year, the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center brought forth an unprecedented new era of cancer treatment in Arizona - making a difference in the lives of countless patients and families touched by cancer, celebrating many milestones and setting its sights on a promising future.

Philanthropic support of the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center has been extremely generous, as noted by a recent $5 million gift from the James M. Cox Foundation. As part of a nonprofit health care system, Banner MD Anderson relies on the assistance of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund screening and prevention services, family support programs, research and much more.

To honor this gift, Banner MD Anderson will establish the Cox Center for Integrative Oncology. Led by Medical Director Diljeet Singh, M.D., the center will incorporate traditional cancer treatments with evidence-based integrative therapies such as relaxation techniques to aid in pain and/or stress management. The Cox Center for Integrative Oncology will include individualized prevention, screening and diagnosis programs, rehabilitation and community outreach programs and will also be an invaluable community resource for cancer prevention education.

"The Cox Foundation is particularly excited about this gift to Banner. Our family has always believed in getting involved in the communities where we do business. Through this gift, thousands of our customers, employees and others will receive world-class health care and that's worth more than I could ever say," says Alex Taylor, Senior VP of Field Operations for Cox and great-grandson of company founder, James M. Cox.

With this gift, the “Cancer has Met Its Match” fundraising campaign, established on behalf of Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and led by a cabinet of more than 40 valley leaders, is on target to meet its campaign goal of $40 million by the end of 2014.

Another major treatment service that is anticipated to be available in late 2012 is the Banner MD Anderson Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplant program led by Gorgun Akpek, MD, MHS. Eligible patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and all other hematologic conditions will be offered stem cell transplantation as part of their treatment. “As part of a comprehensive and highly specialized cancer center, the transplant team is very excited to begin serving patients in Phoenix and all of Arizona,” said Dr. Akpek, who comes to Banner MD Anderson from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, an NCI-designated cancer center. He trained and worked in the Bone Marrow Transplantation program at Johns Hopkins University.

Included in the many successes over the last year was the acceptance of the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center into the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and Gynecology Oncology Group (GOG) as an affiliate of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. The SWOG and GOG memberships represent major steps forward for the research program at Banner MD Anderson, which will give patients greater access to new and innovative therapies within NCI-sponsored clinical trials.

Banner MD Anderson’s robust team of medical experts includes 50 highly-specialized physicians from renowned cancer centers and medical institutions across the country, each specializing in various cancer types and treatments.

“As we celebrate our one-year anniversary, we look forward to future growth and continuing to be the epicenter for personalized cancer care in Arizona,” said Todd Werner, CEO of Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and neighboring Banner Gateway Medical Center.

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center First Year Stats

  • Number of patients seen – 3,511
  • Number of radiation oncology treatments – 15,416
  • Number of infusion treatments – 14,493
  • Number of clinic visits – 12.167

About Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

The Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center on the Banner Gateway Campus delivers an unprecedented level of cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution. Patients receive care in a three-story, 133,000 square-foot outpatient center supported by 76 beds on two floors inside Banner Gateway Medical Center. The outpatient center houses physician clinics, medical imaging, radiation oncology, infusion therapy and many support services.

About MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For nine of the past 11 years, including 2011, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in the “Best Hospitals” survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.