By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UT Health RGV is expanding its healthcare offerings in South Texas with a new Cancer and Surgery Center, with oncology advisory services provided by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — a world leader in cancer care and research.

The center is part of the phase 1 development of UTRGV’s McAllen Academic Medical Campus on the newly acquired 38 acres, located on the south side of Pecan Boulevard between Jackson and McColl roads within the 495 Commerce Center development.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the Cancer and Surgery Center helps to address an underserved healthcare need in the region.

“This is a pivotal moment in our commitment to expand healthcare services in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, and beyond,” Bailey said. “We look forward to engaging with MD Anderson’s advisory services to develop and launch our cancer program.

“I would like to thank Senator Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa for his dedication and support of this important project,” Bailey added.

Hinojosa, Texas senator for District 20, said the new Cancer and Surgery Center is an important addition to the region.

“We will keep working to secure the partnerships and investments necessary so that in the future our patients in South Texas will have access to top-notch facilities and world-class doctors,” he said. “Working together, we can beat cancer.”


The 100,000-square-foot Cancer and Surgery Center includes the cancer center, which will provide much-needed access to underserved specialties and clinical services in medical, radiation, and surgical oncology, as well as clinical research across those areas. The surgery center will include outpatient surgery and imaging spaces to support the continuity of care for patients through the full spectrum of their care journey.

Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2022, with completion in Spring 2024.

Dr. Michael Hocker, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, said the new complex is a game-changer for the people of the region. The Rio Grande Valley has higher rates of many cancers, and many are advanced at initial detection.

“Unfortunately, most everyone has had a family member or friend who has been affected by cancer,” Hocker said. “Soon, we’ll have a center in our backyard that will provide first-rate cancer care from diagnosis through treatment. The complex also will provide more opportunities to expand the important cancer research already being conducted by our School of Medicine.”


MD Anderson will provide advisory services, specifically in the areas of:

    • Cancer program clinical operations.
    • Recruitment of key physicians and staff in the areas of medical, radiation, and surgical oncology.
    • Virtual care services include disease site consultations, tumor boards, second opinions, and virtual support.
    • Multidisciplinary clinical planning.
    • Space, facilities, and equipment programming and design.
    • Education for patients and staff.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.