The Penny F. Garrett Sarcoma Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organized in 2010 to raise awareness and much-needed funding for research for all rare cancers.
Through the Creeper Trail Ride to End Cancer, we have contributed over $700,000 for rare cancer research.
100% of funds raised will be sent to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
What is Rare Cancers?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines a rare disease as one with a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 in the United States. There are hundreds of different cancers that are rare including:
Gall Bladder Cancer
All Pediatric Cancers
More than half of all cancers are classified as “rare.“ These cancers combined together affect millions of people and the number of cases has been steadily increasing.
Research on rare cancers is drastically underfunded and attract fewer research dollars than more common cancers, like breast and lung cancer. This results in fewer treatment options for rare cancer patients. Research on finding cures for rare cancers could yield to treatment of other more prevalent forms of cancer, making the need for research funding important for all cancer patients.
You can help this vital cause by supporting the Creeper Trail Ride to End Cancer.
The Penny F. Garrett Sarcoma Foundation is 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2010 to raise awareness and much-needed funding for sarcoma and all other rare cancers research.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It is located in central Houston on the Texas Medical Center campus.
MD Anderson was created in 1941 as part of The University of Texas System. The institution is one of the nation’s original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Act of 1971 and is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers today.
In 2011, MD Anderson marked its 70-year anniversary and welcomed Ronald DePinho, M.D., as the fourth full-time president in the institution’s history.
U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey ranked MD Anderson as the top hospital in the nation for cancer care in 2012. It has achieved this highest ranking nine times in the past 11 years and has been one of the top two hospitals for cancer care since the magazine began its annual survey in 1990.
Thanks to generous donors, MD Anderson concluded Making Cancer History®: The Campaign to Transform Cancer Care in 2011, raising $1.215 billion. The funds support a variety of key initiatives related to cancer research, patient care, education and prevention.
Since 1944, about 900,000 patients have turned to MD Anderson for cancer care in the form of targeted therapies, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and proton therapy, immunotherapy, or combinations of these and other treatments. The multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer was pioneered at MD Anderson. This brings together teams of experts across disciplines to collaborate on the best treatment plan for patients. And because MD Anderson’s experts focus solely on cancer, they’re renowned for treating all types of cancer, including rare or uncommon diseases.
In Fiscal Year 2011, MD Anderson provided care for more than 108,000 patients. Of those, about 34,000 were new patients. About one-third of patients come to Houston from outside Texas, seeking the knowledge-based care that has made MD Anderson so widely respected. There were nearly 10,000 registrants on clinical trials exploring novel therapies and diagnostic tests in FY11, making it the largest such program in the nation.
MD Anderson is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center with its own Emergency Center, which manages acute pain and emergent events that affect its patients. In FY11, more than 21,000 people were treated there and about 10,000 of those patients were admitted to the hospital for further observation and treatment.
The Institute for Cancer Care Excellence is helping MD Anderson lead the way in developing an improved cancer care model through studies that determine the best methods to deliver care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable and patient-centered.
National organizations recognize MD Anderson for these and other qualities. The Joint Commission, a nonprofit hospital accreditation group, reaccredited MD Anderson in 2011. The institution’s radiation oncology practice was accredited in 2011 by the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. In 2010,
MD Anderson was redesignated with Magnet Nursing Services Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an honor it first received in 2001.
At MD Anderson, important scientific knowledge gained in the laboratory is rapidly translated to clinical care. Overall, MD Anderson’s research program is considered one of the most productive efforts in the world focused on cancer.
In FY11, MD Anderson invested more than $623 million in research, an increase of about 40% in the past five years. The institution ranks first in the number of research grants awarded and total amount of grant funds given by the NCI and holds 11 NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants in the following cancers: bladder, brain, head and neck, leukemia, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, myeloma, ovarian, prostate and uterine.
Creation of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science has expanded MD Anderson’s research endeavors. The institute’s goal is to identify and validate new cancer targets, convert the scientific knowledge into new cancer drugs, and advance the novel agents into innovative clinical trials through a streamlined collaboration between academic medicine and the biotechnology industry.
The new Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy is an international center of clinical excellence focusing on using the latest advances in genetic information to develop safe, more effective treatments for patients on a case-by-case basis.
The McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer comprises seven translational research centers focused on genomics, proteomics, screening, diagnostic imaging and drug development. They include the Cancer Metastasis Research Center, Center for Cancer Immunology Research, Robert J. Kleberg and Helen C. Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers, Proton Therapy Center, Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research, Center for Targeted Therapy and Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAs.
In the Institute for Basic Science, researchers work to better understand the makeup of healthy human cells, how they function under normal conditions and what happens when cancer develops. This knowledge feeds directly into clinical research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
In FY11, more than 6,800 trainees, including physicians, scientists, nurses and allied health professionals, took part in MD Anderson educational programs. About 250 students attended the institution’s School of Health Professions, which offers bachelor's degrees in eight allied health disciplines.
More than 1,100 clinical residents and fellows come to MD Anderson each year to receive specialized training in the investigation and treatment of cancer. More than 500 graduate students are working on advanced degrees at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, which MD Anderson operates with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The institution’s laboratories provide training for more than 1,600 research trainees.
Thousands more participate in continuing education and distance learning opportunities sponsored by MD Anderson, sharing knowledge around the globe. The institution also provides public education programs to teach healthy people and at-risk populations about cancer symptoms and risk factors, offering information that can help them make critical health care decisions.
MD Anderson continues to set the standard in cancer prevention research and the translation of new knowledge into innovative, multidisciplinary care for patients, survivors and people at average or elevated risk of developing cancer.
The Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences is dedicated to eradicating cancer through pioneering research in the roles that biologic, genetic, environmental, behavioral and social factors play in cancer development and investigations of behavioral, surgical, medical and social interventions to prevent or reduce cancer risk.
Through the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment, the division is investing in promising new research directions and integrating basic research and clinical studies to accelerate their translation from the clinic to the community.
The Cancer Prevention Center provides cancer risk assessments, screening exams based on genetics, age and gender, and personalized risk-reduction strategies, including chemoprevention.
MD Anderson employs more than 18,000 people, including more than 1,500 faculty. A volunteer corps of about 1,100 contributed 200,064 hours of service in FY11, equal to 96 full-time employees.
All are dedicated to MD Anderson’s core values of caring, integrity and discovery. Together they work toward fulfilling the MD Anderson mission of eliminating cancer as a major health threat.
MD Anderson has been recognized by the American Association of Retired Persons as a top employer for workers 50 and older and by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer for helping reduce cancer risks in the workplace.
With employees working in more than 50 buildings in the Greater Houston area and in central Texas, MD Anderson is the largest freestanding cancer center in the world. MD Anderson’s facilities in the TMC cover nearly 15 million square feet and feature the latest equipment and facilities to support growing needs in outpatient and inpatient care, research, prevention and education.
Recently completed construction projects include two new research buildings on MD Anderson’s South Campus, the addition of nine floors that can accommodate more than 300 new inpatient beds in the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital on the North Campus and a 25-floor building on the Mid Campus to support current office space and future growth needs.
In late 2011, MD Anderson broke ground on the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building for Personalized Cancer Care. The 12-floor, 615,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in August 2014.
In addition to its main campus in the TMC and two research campuses in Bastrop County, Texas, MD Anderson has developed a number of local, national and international locations:
Regional care centers
• Greater Houston area: Bay Area (Nassau Bay), Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands
• Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center (Gilbert, Ariz.)
• MD Anderson Radiation Treatment Center at American Hospital (Istanbul, Turkey)
• MD Anderson Radiation Treatment Center at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital (Albuquerque, N.M.)
• MD Anderson Cancer Center-Orlando (Fla.)
• Centro Oncológico MD Anderson International España (Madrid, Spain)
For more information about MD Anderson, visit www.mdanderson.org or call 877-MDA-6789.
Dr. Robert Benjamin
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is one the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers. For six of the past eight years, M. D. Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in the "America's Best Hospitals" survey published in U.S. News & World Report. M. D. Anderson is focused on research on causes, treatments, and prevention of cancer, with the stated mission of "Making Cancer History." In 2009, more than 11,000 patients participated in therapeutic clinical research exploring novel treatments, making it the largest program of its kind in the United States.
Robert S. Benjamin, M.D.
Dr. Benjamin is the Chairman of the Sarcoma Medical Oncology Department at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Under Dr. Benjamin, the Sarcoma Center has become one of the premier treatment and research centers in the nation dedicated solely to the management of soft-tissue and bone tumors. His team at the Sarcoma Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to the disease, providing the expertise of medical, surgical and radiation oncologist as well as pathologists and rehabilitation therapists for the benefit of each patient.
Dr. Benjamin has led groundbreaking research that has become standard treatment in the case of sarcomas and many other cancers, including multimodality treatment of soft-tissue sarcoma. He pioneered continuous infusion of Adriamycin and demonstrated its decreased cardiac toxicity, combination chemotherapy as a limb salvage regimen and the use of metal prostheses to replace diseased bones. Dr. Benjamin is active with M. D. Anderson's Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program, exploring a wide range of new anti-cancer agents and approaches. He is among the most prolific writers at M. D. Anderson, authoring more than 300 scientific articles. He was awarded the 2008 Nobility in Science Award from the Sarcoma Foundation of America.