First Banner Research Retreat in Houston

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By: Shubhra Ghosh MD, CCRP, Project Manager, Global Academic Programs

A research retreat was held in Houston July 29-30 in which participants from Banner Health and MD Anderson discussed developing a research program at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, due to open in Phoenix next year.

The visitors from Banner had the opportunity to meet experts from MD Anderson who introduced them to different aspects of cancer research. Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president, talked about MD Anderson's mission to eliminate cancer within Texas and beyond by a seamless integration of research with clinical care and prevention. He mentioned that MD Anderson is using advanced educational and training programs and developing new technologies to enhance the level of cancer care.


GAP_Banner2010.JPGEric Reiman, M.D., chief scientific officer, Banner Research Institute, expressed great interest in developing a clinical research program at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center that would offer the best treatment options to patients coming to the new center. He wanted to know how MD Anderson works with its partners in this regard. Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president for Global Academic Programs, presented an overview of the global network of MD Anderson partners that collaborate on research projects to make breakthroughs in the understanding of cancer and explore novel ways to treat it.


The significance of research-driven cancer care was highlighted in the presentations on various types of cancers. All speakers stated that the vast majority of clinicians in their departments were actively involved in research. Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., associate vice president for Global Academic Programs, Clinical Research, summed up the group's sentiment by stating that "in cancer, research-based care is the best care."


Bill Camp, chief executive officer for the Banner Research Institute, presented Banner's current research infrastructure and stated the importance of developing a fiscally viable research program at the new cancer center. The group discussed the challenges and investment required to set up the infrastructure in terms of personnel, policies and procedures, information technology, quality assurance and quality control, and oversight.

The plan made by the integrated team foresees starting with a focused deployment of clinical trials and research in selected specialties, to achieve early success, and then move aggressively to bring the new center up to speed with research closely tracking clinical development.

The retreat ended with an agreement to continue the dialogue. The next step is for MD Anderson to visit Banner.


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