MD Anderson President: ‘There’s Never Been a Moment Like This in Oncology’

NEW ORLEANS — Peter WT Pisters, president of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, said his hospital’s partnership with Ochsner Health comes at a time of unprecedented breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment.

“There’s never been a moment in time like this in oncology,” he told a crowd assembled for a June 22 press conference at the the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner’s main campus in Jefferson Parish. “Through science, through research, through the molecular understanding of cancer, we’re in an era right now like no other.”

Pisters cited CAR T therapy, a promising type of immunotherapy, as an example. Ochsner doctors are among those using the relatively new treatment with success.

- Sponsors -

“Just 15 years ago, at an event like this, people would be saying to each other, ‘Why is it that the immune system doesn’t recognize the first cancer cell? Why can’t we program the immune system to fight cancer?,’” said Pisters. “Well, the good news now is that we can.”

Pisters said the emergence of artificial intelligence is going to be another game changer.

“We’re all going to remember the first time that we used chat GPT,” he said. “It’s like the first time you used a browser and you realized, ‘My life is changing.’ When you use artificial intelligence with medicine, and with oncology care, amazing things are going to happen. The way we deliver care will change. The way we do diagnostics will change. The way we document what we do will change in ways that none of us can even imagine. So the next 10 years are going to be incredible because of research and the changes that are happening in cancer therapeutics.”

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

Pisters told the crowd that their new colleagues in Houston were just as excited about this new partnership that will bring MD Anderson-endorsed care to patients throughout the region.

“I speak for my 24,000 teammates at MD Anderson who are cheering right now in Houston as we send out a simultaneous message to our workforce announcing this partnership,” he said. “I know that people will be watching us from around the country and from around the world as they see partnerships like this that really represent what is best in America.”

At the event, Ochsner and MD Anderson announced plans to create the Ochsner MD Anderson Cancer Center at seven Ochsner campuses in Louisiana.

- Sponsors -

Ochsner is the largest health system in Louisiana and the state’s largest private employer. MD Anderson is a comprehensive cancer center based in Houston and with partners worldwide.

As a result of this new partnership, which has been in the works for three years, Ochsner will be the only provider in Louisiana with a cancer program based on MD Anderson’s standards and treatment plans. Financial details of the partnership are confidential, but it “will be a full clinical and operational integration of the delivery of cancer care,” according to Brian Moore, medical director of the new endeavor. He said the seven sites are co-branded locations that have a “fully integrated cancer program based on MD Anderson’s standards of care and treatment plans.”

Each member of the new center’s team of cancer physicians has been certified by MD Anderson to clinically practice as part of the co-branded Ochsner MD Anderson cancer program. Appointed physicians can become adjunct members of MD Anderson faculty.

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter