Mays Cancer Center receives grants, continued support from American Cancer Society

Contact: Eileen Teves, 210-450-7239,

SAN ANTONIO (June 13, 2022) – In late April, American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, two check donations in the amounts of $480,000 for an institutional research grant and $65,000 for cancer support grants.

Both checks were presented by American Cancer Society CEO Dr. Karen E. Knudsen during a recent visit to the Mays Cancer Center, which included meeting with researchers and touring the facility. The visit was an opportunity to strengthen the continuous partnership between the two organizations and to further support cancer research and access to care.

“Together with the American Cancer Society, we are able to decrease the burden of cancer in our community,” said Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP, executive director of the Mays Cancer Center. “Our partnership with ACS is paramount to our mission. Through a myriad of efforts, which include patient support, cancer screenings and advocacy, we can work closely with ACS to fight cancer across San Antonio, South Texas and beyond.”

The institutional research grant was awarded to Robin Leach, PhD, professor for the Department of Cell System and Anatomy and associate director for education at Mays Cancer Center, will fund early investigators while inviting new innovative researchers who bring greater cultural and ethnic diversity to the field of research.

Through the years, ACS has assisted the Mays Cancer Center by providing patients with transportation and lodging. This collaboration helps patients stay on schedule for treatments and allows the cancer center to deliver direct assistance without gaps between receiving care.

In an effort to address health disparities in the Latino community, the Mays Cancer Center has taken steps to tackle the issue of rising cancer cases by recruiting more Latinos for clinical trials. These steps involve improving patient-provider communication, increasing awareness and gaining the community’s trust.

“Reducing health disparities is critical to the American Cancer Society’s mission of improving the lives of cancer patients and their families,” said Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, CEO of American Cancer Society. “Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer. We want to continue our collaboration with UT Health San Antonio by working to prevent health disparities in Latinos and high-risk populations.”

Recognized by the National Cancer Institute, Mays Cancer Center is an NCI-Designated Cancer Center because it meets rigorous standards for transdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research focused on developing new and better approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.  The cancer center also plays a significant role in education and training future researchers.

For more information about the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, visit


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