President’s Perspective

The Eliminate Cancer Initiative


William F. McKeon is the president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. William F. McKeon, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center (photo: Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle)
By William F. McKeon | August 30, 2018

Throughout history, civilization has struggled to cope with cancer.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to identify and document the disease around 3000 B.C., according to the American Cancer Society. Interestingly, Egyptian writings describe cancer as a condition for which “there is no treatment.” More than 2,500 years later, the Greek physician Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, used the terms “carcinos” and “carcinoma” to describe cancer cells that form and expand like the legs of a crab.

Cancer begins when abnormal cells start to divide uncontrollably. Over time, the term “cancer,” which is the name given to a collection of related diseases, became a universal word used to describe the spread of a potentially deadly disease in any part of the body.

But the term has come to mean so much more. For many, “cancer” is associated with other terms: “fear” and “anxiety,” but also “strength” and “perseverance.” The term resonates around the globe.

Each day we are making great strides in understanding cancer and developing new therapies to combat or eliminate the disease. However, time is our enemy. The number of new cancer cases per year worldwide is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030, according to the National Institutes of Health.

I recently co-hosted a meeting of some of the top scientists from around the world. Together, we are developing a technology platform that will allow cancer patients and researchers to share data and participate in clinical trials to accelerate the discovery of new cancer therapies. In May 2017, Australian philanthropists Andrew and Nicola Forrest allocated more than $50 million to launch the Eliminate Cancer Initiative (ECI) as a convener across the global cancer community.

The Eliminate Cancer Initiative is designed to remove barriers and enable synergy across academia, philanthropy, private industry and government to accelerate progress toward fighting a disease that has affected so many.

I am excited to join forces with my friend Andrew Forrest and the leadership of ECI to connect patients and researchers throughout the world to eradicate cancer. Perhaps one day another word will be associated with cancer: “cure.”

William F. McKeon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Texas Medical Center




Social Posts

profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

#VAResearchNewsBrief: The American College of Physicians @acpinternists released 4 guidance statements on #breastcancer screening for average-risk women. A researcher from the @VAMinneapolis was part of the guideline committee. @VeteransHealth #VAResearch https://t.co/vR1SDnsteD https://t.co/HHj4DPD7cI

7 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

@MethodistHosp

@glenda_webb_ @TeamCJCorrea @astros @OrbitAstros Thanks, Glenda, for sharing this great photo!

7 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

The underwater dive memorial, called “Circle of Heroes,” will eventually feature 24 concrete statues representing the men and women in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy https://t.co/VOvuck7S6s via @MiamiHerald

9 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

As researchers work to create therapies to target #AML, safety is one of the critical challenges, according to our Dr. Elias Jabbour: https://t.co/S0Wggy1zlD @TargetedOnc #leusm #endcancer

9 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

An afternoon swim is a great way to help your kids stay active during the summer months. Make sure they are safe in the water with these tips from Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt. https://t.co/pVyiG4Jlk3 #swimming #pediatrics

9 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHpromotion: Join @UTexasSPH @ProfKimBaker, DrPH, at the #BlackMaternalHealth Summit in Houston on Aug 29 for #BlackMaternalMentalHeal…

9 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @NBTStweets: “We feel an obligation because this has happened in our family…So this is our way to pay it forward…We feel an obligation t…

9 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

Take a warm bath 1-2 hours before bedtime to get better sleep, @UTHealth researchers find: https://t.co/Bi53wLDvwU

10 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

How our #prehab program is helping patients improve strength, endurance and functional capacity ahead of #cancer treatment: https://t.co/eKBYtRtWN5 @DrNgoHuang #endcancer https://t.co/1YQ2YeRYqA

10 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

Our Dr. Farhad Ravandi says combining CAR-Ts and BiTEs could “potentially be very interesting and very effective.” #immunotherapy #endcancer https://t.co/Jo7t9JwP9h

10 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Meet the Army Doctor Who Will Spend Seven Months at the International Space Station https://t.co/0FpePtBHWV via @MilitaryOfficer

11 hours ago
profile_image

CHI St. Luke's Health

@CHI_StLukes

Last year, Baylor St. Luke’s became the first in Texas to use the #PulseRider, an innovative device used to treat wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms. And now, our team is one of the first to use WEB, a new device in the treatment of complex #BrainAneurysms: https://t.co/QxomC5ne3w https://t.co/kzOvdKt9zO

12 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

Deadly fungal disease may be linked to climate change, study suggests: https://t.co/TKlCyiWWxW

12 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @Brad_Carpenter: How did I not know this little jewel existed on our @UHouston campus?? Get out and explore your campus today. #CoogLead…

13 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

@MethodistHosp

@elephande Thank you for sharing your comment with us. Houston Methodist strives to deliver the highest quality, service and care to all our patients. We would like to discuss this issue with you. Please call 713.441.4100 or visit https://t.co/wPtazimDiv

13 hours ago