The Cancer Therapy & Research Center, or CTRC, is a part of UT Medicine San Antonio – the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center. The CTRC is one of the nation's premier cancer centers and first opened its doors in 1974 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing the community with outpatient radiation therapy. More than four decades later, CTRC continues to serve – in a vastly expanded capacity – residents of San Antonio and South Texas, as well as patients from across the U.S., northern Mexico and other countries around the globe.
The organization got its start in 1972 as the Radiation Therapy & Research Foundation of South Texas. Two years later, it opened its doors as the Cancer Therapy & Research Center on a two-acre tract adjacent to Methodist Hospital. Adding medical oncology (chemotherapy) to the treatment offerings, the facility soon needed room to expand and obtained rights from the San Antonio Medical Foundation to 14 acres at the corner of Wurzbach and Floyd Curl drives.
Over the years the new campus, which opened in 1995, grew incrementally to include the interconnected Burton and Miriam Grossman Building, the Roger and Cherry Zeller Building, and the Urschel Tower, plus a 550-car parking garage. As the square footage grew, so did the services offered, the expertise of the staff, and the affiliations that further broadened CTRC's scope.
Since its inception CTRC had collaborated in cancer treatment and prevention research with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In 1991, the National Cancer Institute (a part of the National Institutes of Health) began funding the two institutions (in a collaboration know at that time as the San Antonio Cancer Institute or "SACI") as a designated cancer center. The institute today maintains the prestigious designation as an NCI cancer center and is working toward reinstatement of comprehensive status. The latter was withheld in 2001 with suggestions from NCI to focus more on translational research and population sciences. In 1991, CTRC launched its Institute for Drug Development. The IDD's mission is to develop new treatments for patients with cancer through integration of research programs of excellence in the translational and clinical sciences.
On December 17, 2007, the CTRC became a center of the UT Health Science Center through authorization of The University of Texas System Board of Regents. The San Antonio Cancer Institute name was discontinued. The CTRC at the UT Health Science Center maintains the prestigious NCI cancer center designation and is poised to help more patients than ever choose life over cancer.