Ushering in a new era

Health Science Center receives largest cancer endowment in the history of the United States 


During the last legislative session, the Texas Legislature appropriated a record $200 million to form an endowment to create a children’s cancer research center at the Health Science Center 

The $200 million is the Health Science Center’s piece of the first installment of Texas’ history-making $17.3 billion tobacco settlement. 

The center will build on the Health Science Center’s existing pediatric oncology research.

John P. Howe, III, M.D., Health Science Center president, said, “This funding will allow us to expand the outstanding research already being conducted at the Health Science Center. The discoveries made here will provide new hope for the children of Texas—and their families,” he said. “We are now poised to make breakthroughs that can save Texas’ youngest citizens from the tragedy of cancer.”

This center will bring together ongoing cancer research from throughout the Health Science Center and the San Antonio Cancer Institute (SACI), designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

SACI represents the combined cancer research programs of the Health Science Center and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC).

Dr. Howe said leaders throughout the South Texas/Border Region pulled together to support the children’s cancer research center at the Health Science Center.

“The outstanding support from our elected officials was the very real reason we now have this great resource for the children of Texas.”

Dr. Howe also commended members of the San Antonio and South Texas business community for supporting this project.

“With the medical sector now leading San Antonio’s economy—military spending and tourism dollars are in second and third places—business leaders understand the financial benefit of bringing such research to the region. We are so fortunate that while we conduct life-saving research, we are also bringing millions of dollars to the local economy and that benefits everyone,” he added. 

As research projects are planned and funded, the children’s cancer research center will concentrate heavily on the epidemiology of children’s cancer in the South Texas/Border Region. The center also will be looking at research in cancer prevention.

At this time, an internal advisory committee has been working on a plan for specific programs, and an external advisory group, composed of some of the nation’s foremost leaders in children’s cancer research, recently visited the Health Science Center, reviewed the program plan, offered suggestions, and enthusiastically endorsed the Health Science Center’s plans.

The prestigious advisory committee members expressed their confidence that the center will be a major contributor to the best of children’s cancer research.

The Health Science Center is well on its way to creating a world-renowned center with one goal—saving the lives of children.