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President’s Perspective: Improving the Landscape of Health Care

President’s Perspective: Improving the Landscape of Health Care

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When I was a cardiothoracic surgeon at Stanford, I would often see patients suffering from cardiomyopathy as a direct result of a drug called Adriamycin. The drug was a common chemotherapeutic agent and it was effective: it cured the cancer. Unfortunately, it left in its wake patients with heart failure who frequently needed heart transplantation.

The toxicities of cancer-killing modalities are well known. Radiation, chemotherapy, even specialized surgical routes are notorious for leaving collateral damage. The price tag could be as straightforward as the loss of healthy cells or as unanticipated as the inability to have children.

In this issue of Pulse, you’ll read about fertility specialists here in the Texas Medical Center and how they’re working to provide childbearing options to couples affected by cancer. It’s a collaborative effort and part of the ongoing development of less toxic cancer treatments taking place on our campus every day. Be it proton beam therapy, applied genomics research, or the promise of immunotherapy, these innovative treatments will likely transform the field of oncology.

As the largest medical complex in the world, we are committed to finding novel ways to improve the landscape of health care. In addition to our cover story, this month’s issue features stories about our involvement with the American Heart Association, the power of equine therapy, concerns about our country’s opioid epidemic and more. Because if there is anyone who will engage the whole of Houston in a commitment to heart health, or make meaningful strides in a Parkinson’s patient’s recovery, or reduce the weight of a cancer diagnosis, it’s the 56 institutions that make up the Texas Medical Center.

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