Friday, May 17, 2024
  Research, Community, Health

By Heriberto Perez–Zuñiga

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – MAY 17, 2024 – Construction on the $145 million UT Health RGV Cancer and Surgery Center is on track for completion in the last quarter of 2024, with patient access starting in February 2025. 

The project, which is funded primarily by the University of Texas System, will provide expanded offerings in cancer care.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is obtaining consulting services from MD Anderson Cancer Center, a world-renowned leader in cancer care, research, education and prevention.

Dr. Everardo Cobos, chair of the Medicine and Oncology Department at the UTRGV School of Medicine, said the new center will offer cutting-edge treatment options and comprehensive cancer care close to home for Valley residents. 

“We provide care for cancer patients while also being responsible for developing new cancer treatments and conducting research into the various cancers prevalent in our community,” Cobos said.

The UT Health RGV Cancer and Surgery Center will allow research into new cancer treatments to improve patient outcomes for those battling the disease, he said.

“In line with our clinical and research endeavors, we prioritize the education of our physicians, ensuring that our medical students and residents are equipped with the necessary skills to deliver high-quality care to patients in our Valley community,” he said. 


As construction nears completion, cancer care services are continuously being expanded at UT Health RGV, which soon will offer chemotherapy infusions, a critical service that will help close the gap for complete oncological services and treatment for Valley patients. 

Dr. Michael Hocker, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and senior vice president of UT Health RGV, said the UT Health RGV Cancer and Surgery Center marks a significant milestone and investment in advancing healthcare accessibility and outcomes for Rio Grande Valley patients. 

“Countless individuals in our region, regrettably, have witnessed firsthand the impact of cancer on family members, with some even experiencing it themselves,” he said. “It is alarming that our region has some of the highest rates in the country for various types of cancer, including cervical and colorectal cancer.” 

The UT Health RGV Cancer and Surgery Center will serve as a vital resource for those grappling with the disease along the South Texas border.  

“The opening of our cancer center is a significant step in fulfilling our commitment to transforming healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley,” Hocker said. “By providing comprehensive cancer care here in our community, we alleviate the necessity for Valley residents to endure the hardships of traveling outside the region for essential healthcare services.”

“The UT Health RGV Cancer Surgery Center is slated to open in fewer than 300 working days, so South Texas patients can soon receive the much-needed care here at home,” Hocker said.


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.