The Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center is a “matrix” cancer center, which builds on the research strengths of UT Southwestern Medical Center and a broad network of scientific and clinical partners to develop new cancer insights and treatments. As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in North Texas, the Simmons Cancer Center is an incubator for cancer discovery in the region and a leader in research and patient care nationwide.
Five highly collaborative, multidisciplinary scientific programs — Development and Cancer, Cancer Cell Networks, Chemistry and Cancer, Experimental Therapeutics of Cancer, and Population Science and Cancer Control — form the backbone of the center’s basic and translational research. Scientific endeavors are aided by the Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office and six Cancer Center-supported Shared Resources, as well as an array of core facilities supported by UT Southwestern.
The scientific programs, with more than 225 members, work hand-in-hand with the Cancer Center’s disease-oriented teams. Each of these teams focuses on a major type or area of cancer and is instrumental in shaping and conveying basic and translational findings for use in patient care.
A formal research affiliation with the University of Texas School of Public Health Dallas Regional Campus enhances the Cancer Center’s expertise in conducting public health research. Clinical trials — including dozens testing new cancer treatments as well as strategies for screening and prevention — are conducted at UT Southwestern and partner sites across Dallas/Fort Worth.
UT Southwestern’s Cancer Biology Graduate Program, a Ph.D.-granting program that crosses the Simmons Cancer Center’s many interdisciplinary bridges, includes 67 faculty trainers and more than 30 full-time students. The program provides a broad knowledge base to foster the development and discoveries of tomorrow’s cancer scientists. In addition, funding from the Cancer Center and Cancer Biology NCI T32, Physician Scientist Oncology NCI T32, and training grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas provide support for more than two dozen graduate and postdoctoral positions as well as 13 summer undergraduate research fellows.
The university also supports ACGME-approved training programs in medical oncology and hematology (four per year), pediatric hematology/oncology (four per year), and gynecologic oncology (one per year). The Division of Surgical Oncology supports two one-year breast oncology fellowships, and the Department of Radiation Oncology offers residencies in radiation oncology and medical physics as well as other training programs.
The Simmons Cancer Center’s cutting-edge science impacts patients throughout North Texas. Patient care is provided at UT Southwestern clinical facilities including:
- The William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, which opened in 2014 and has an entire floor devoted to oncology, including a 32-bed, state-of-the-art bone marrow transplantation unit;
- The 152-bed Zale Lipshy University Hospital, known as a premier referral center for neurological care, including the treatment of brain and spinal malignancies;
- The Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinics, which provide a central location for oncology services and related outpatient care;
- A new, three-story radiation oncology facility, which consolidates a full spectrum of radiation treatment technology at one site on campus;
- UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth, which provides early cancer detection and survivorship services in Tarrant and surrounding rural counties and houses the UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center – Fort Worth, which provides chemotherapy, cancer imaging, and other services, plus access to clinical trials.
Partner sites include:
- The 862-bed, state-of-the-art Parkland Hospital, Dallas County’s safety-net hospital and the primary teaching institution for UT Southwestern;
- The Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health, the university’s primary pediatric teaching hospital.
The Simmons Cancer Center serves a racially, ethnically, geographically, and socioeconomically diverse population of nearly 7 million people in 12 North Texas counties. Lung, hepatocellular, kidney, and breast cancers are major challenges in the region.