Marking 10 years: Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center


Banner MD Anderson has cared for
more than 200,000 patients
since inception.

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center recently commemorated its 10th year of providing world-class cancer care in Arizona. Opened in 2011 on the campus of Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Banner MD Anderson is the largest extension of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center outside of Houston, offering patients the same treatment protocols, standards of care, access to clinical trials, and integrative support—all right here in the Valley.

Beginning with one physician and now with 140 disease-specific specialists on staff, Banner MD Anderson has cared for more than 220,000 patients, representing over 1.5 million patient visits since inception. The Cancer Center has expanded to include additional locations in downtown Phoenix on the campus of Banner – University Medical Center and in the west valley on the campus of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. The newest Banner MD Anderson location recently opened on the campus of Banner Health’s North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, CO.

“Our approach is compassionate, collaborative, and evidence-based, with physicians from all cancer specialties, to provide highly coordinated and personalized care,” said Rogerio Lilenbaum, Banner MD Anderson director, during a recent reception marking this milestone. “We call today a milestone rather than a celebration, because truly--we are at war with cancer and want nothing more than to make cancer history. We are proud that our programs have grown, we have expanded access to life-saving clinical trials, and we have broadened the reach of our services so that we can give hope to everyone in our communities battling cancer.”

Philanthropic support has played a critical role in the launch and ongoing growth of Banner MD Anderson. “What made our vision for Banner MD Anderson a reality was a small army of passionate community leaders who recognized the importance of bringing world-class cancer care to Arizona,” said Peter S. Fine, FACHE, Banner Health’s President & CEO. “This group of individuals helped to ensure we had cancer prevention and integrative oncology, melanoma care, dedicated chaplains, the best of diagnostic imaging, and prostate cancer research – just to name a few of the ways philanthropic investment made an early difference.”

Fine recalled the first philanthropic gift to support the Cancer Center, $5 million from Norm and Marilyn Pearce. Norm had been a patient at MD Anderson in Houston and when he read in the newspaper about plans to build a Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center here in the Valley, he wanted to support the effort. “Thanks to that very first gift, we were able to secure critical diagnostic equipment needed to outfit our facility and build the best treatment protocols for each cancer,” said Fine, adding “I want to thank Norm and Marilyn Pearce for believing in us and making that first major investment, and the many other donors who followed their lead and continue to do so.”

Over the past decade, Banner MD Anderson has been honored to bring together many of the world’s best oncology experts, along with technology and research, to greatly improve the lives of so many people who have faced this disease. “We want to elevate the level of cancer care in all aspects. We believe that we can raise the bar and encourage other oncology programs to do the same,” Lilenbaum said.

More than 130 clinical trials are open across all of Banner MD Anderson here in Arizona, offering hope to thousands of patients eligible for the latest investigational treatments. Leaders expect to enroll more than 300 patients in those clinical trials to develop new and improved ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

“We want to make sure that anyone who is afflicted by this disease feels that they have a partner in their journey and knows that we will go out of the way to ensure that they are receiving the best quality and the most cutting-edge cancer treatment available in the nation,” Lilenbaum said.

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