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Photo of researchers in a laboratory
Photo of researchers in a laboratory

Our Cancer Research

Research at Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, is transforming the way we care for our South Texas community. Our research is making significant contributions to the field, with far-reaching benefits to future patients and care teams.

Mays Cancer Center is the only cancer center in Central and South Texas whose research excellence is recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Ours is among a select number of centers carrying out research to address the nation’s most pressing cancer concerns. Find out more about our NCI designation.

Our research combines the expertise of renowned cancer scientists and clinicians to accelerate scientific discovery and enables us to address our community’s unique needs. Our team approach accelerates scientific discovery and care innovation.

Preventing cancer and slowing cancer progression

We are taking steps to reduce the impact of cancer in South Texas with research programs focusing on:

  • Basic science of cancer: We are uncovering detailed information about how and why cancer develops and progresses. This work is informing new ways to prevent and treat cancer. Get more information about our Cancer Development and Progression Program.
  • Cancer prevention: Our efforts, which include lab studies and community-based research, aim to prevent and slow cancer’s spread. We are pursuing novel research studies focusing on the types of cancer that are most common in South Texas. These efforts are helping us learn more about the impact of cancer in our community. Find out more about our Population Science and Prevention Program.

Developing new cancer drugs

We are contributing to cancer drug development and expanding the range of medical therapies by:

  • Identifying new drug targets: Our efforts include lab studies that are uncovering new drug targets. A drug target is a substance that interacts with cancer cells. Get more information about our Experimental and Developmental Therapeutics Program.
  • Improving existing drugs: We are also exploring how existing drugs might slow cancer that does not respond to standard treatments.
  • Developing new drugs: Our center has a long history of developing new (novel) cancer drugs. We offer first-in-human trials that give eligible patients unique access to more treatment options. Find out more about the Institute for Drug Development.

Pediatric cancer care

Mays Cancer Center is home to a state-of-the-art research facility focused on pediatric cancer: Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute. We are among a select few institutes in the nation using lab research to explore new pediatric cancer care methods. We are also developing a basic understanding of how and why pediatric cancers occur, paving the way for improved treatment. Our discoveries are changing the way doctors and researchers all over the world approach pediatric cancer.

Learn more about Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute.

Cancer research training and community outreach

Our center has cores focused on our community and training new cancer researchers, including:

  • Community outreach and engagement core: We are working to decrease the impact of cancer in South Texas with activities that reflect our community’s unique needs. Our researchers evaluate effective ways to share best care practices, improve access to services and decrease disparities in care. Read more about Community Outreach and Engagement.
  • Career development and enhancement core: We are engaging future cancer researchers with services that support career development. Our efforts begin with talented high school students and continue at all levels of training, from undergraduate to postdoctoral medical and research training. We also offer enhanced mentoring for junior faculty at Mays Cancer Center. Learn more about Cancer Research and Career Enhancement Program.