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UT Health’s Mays Cancer Center receives designation, millions in grants

The National Cancer Institute renews designation while CPRIT awards more than $10 million to center

 UT Health PSA: Social distancing is required to slow the COVID-19 pandemic
UT Health PSA: Social distancing is required to slow the COVID-19 pandemic

SAN ANTONIO – It has been a week of celebration at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health in San Antonio. On Aug. 13, the National Cancer Institute renewed its designation of the Mays Cancer Center.

“It’s a tremendous validation of the efforts of many individuals to work together as a team to really care and focus on the cancer issues of San Antonio and South Texas,” Mays Cancer Center Director Dr. Ruben Mesa said. “We are the main academic center really tasked with caring for this region and community, and we’re really excited to meet that mandate.”

The National Cancer Institute designation means that the Mays Cancer Center is looked at as one of the top cancer research facilities in the nation. It is one of four in Texas to have an NCI-designation.

“It has a huge impact for our community in terms of economic development, recruitment of physicians and scientists, and directly helps to decrease the burden of cancer here in San Antonio,” Mesa said.

More than $10 million dollars will go to the center as part of that designation.

The Mays Cancer Center was also awarded $10.3 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The grants will be used to bring in some of the top cancer researchers to work with local researchers on specific treatments. Among the researchers coming to San Antonio is Dr. Peng Zhou from the University of California at San Diego.

“She is focusing on key issues related to liver cancer,” Mesa said. “Liver cancer is very common here in San Antonio and South Texas. It’s a very serious problem so we’re really excited to have her join us and work with the research team to advance that.”

“We’re incredibly proud of those efforts and incredibly delighted to continue to work to decrease the burden of cancer not only in our community, but across the state of Texas and really around the world.”


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