Press Releases

Latest news happening at each of our Cancer Center locations.

In the News

Mary Bird Perkins will become the first in the nation to use this AI technology                        May 16, 2024

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center on Thursday announced that it has partnered with Gray Oncology Soultions, a Canadian software company that uses AI and data science to enhance and streamline cancer care operations. Through the partnership, Mary Bird Perkins will become the first cancer care organization in the U.S. to deploy a “workload-reducing technology” developed by Gray Oncology Solutions. The software is designed to reduce wait times and administrative tasks.

Louisiana: The State We’re In – Cancer Breakthrough                                                                        February 23, 2024

As the first and only organization in Louisiana offering Adaptive Radiation Therapy through the Elekta Unity treatment system, Mary Bird Perkins offers its patients an unmatched level of precision in cancer care. Recently, Louisiana Public Broadcasting visited the Cancer Center in Baton Rouge to learn more about this game-changing technology and talk to one patient, Micah Davis, who has benefited from this revolutionary program.

‘Barbershop Bashes’ Help Reduce Health Disparities Through Cancer Screening      

Thanks to a three-year, $2.3 million grant partnership from the United Health Foundation, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center will expand its free cancer screening to an additional 4,500 individuals for prostate and colorectal cancer and provide nearly 10,000 people with community outreach and education about specific prostate and colorectal cancer risk factors and prevention. These screenings will take place at community events — such as Barbershop Bashes — that meet people where they are. The grant also will expand diagnosis and treatment support, and survivorship programs.

Mary Bird Perkins expands in Louisiana after buying this Shreveport cancer center         January 23, 2024

Mary Bird Perkins’ expansion into central and north Louisiana marks a significant milestone in its fifty-plus year history and delivers on the organization’s mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer by providing high-quality cancer care close to home. The new partnership is poised to enhance the groundwork laid by MD Clinics by providing additional resources and services, fostering a collaborative approach to providing cancer care that aligns with the shared missions of both organizations. The partnership represents a unified effort to bring more robust cancer care to these regions.

The AI Playbook: How Capital Region companies are utilizing it, and best practices you can use                                                                                                                                                      December 6, 2023

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence in treatment plans – streamlining the scanning process for patients and staff alike. In a special Baton Rouge Business Report feature, Sotirios Stathakis, Dr. Charles M. Smith chief of physics, speaks about the growing importance of AI in healthcare. 

Mary Bird Perkins launching a $10 million radiation program. Here’s how it will work.  December 7, 2023

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s acquisition of this leading-edge equipment underscores its commitment to providing world-class, patient-focused care and solidifies its position at the forefront of cancer treatment innovation. Th Elekta Unity MR-LINAC and adaptive therapy program will allow for real-time imaging during treatment, reduced treatment time and an unmatched level of imaging precision.

Radiation Therapy Options for Early Stage Breast Cancer                            November/December 2023

Radiation remains a crucial component of multi-disciplinary breast cancer care. With modern advances in technology and treatment delivery along with personalized patient care, radiation oncologists, including Rockne Hymel, M.D., radiation oncologist, Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, are able to provide more options for patients. 

Louisiana’s largest cancer center offers new clinical trial for patients battling lymphoma        October 20, 2023         

Mary Bird Perkins has expanded its clinical research offerings with the addition of phase 1 trials – the earliest stage of testing for new therapies in humans, often involving a small number of participants.  While several phase 1 trials are now enrolling Cancer Center patients, the first offering is designed to enhance care for patients diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). 

New AI software making access to treatment faster for cancer patients                    September 26, 2023         

The Cancer Center is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve enhance patient convenience, expedite treatment initiation and improve workflow.  Moving forward, many patients will require one fewer scan, as FDA-approved software, MR-Box, takes a patient’s MRI image and creates an AI-generated CT scan that dosimetrists and radiation therapists can use for treatment delivery and radiation plan calculations.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales boosts radiation offerings                       September 18, 2023         

Elekta Infinity is the newest technology added to the Cancer Center’s growing arsenal of cancer treatment capabilities. Last week, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales began using the Elekta Infinity, a state-of-the-art radiation treatment system aggressively targeting tumors without damaging healthy tissue. This leading-edge technology, which also  reduces the treatment time for patients, is the latest example of the Cancer Center’s investment in high-quality cancer care close to home.

Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Radiation Therapy Effectiveness and Outcomes     September/October 2023              

As the healthcare industry begins to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is leading the way, in a variety of manners, when it comes to implementation. AI has shown great potential in improving the accuracy and efficiency of radiation therapy. Dr. Sotirios Stathakis, PhD, Dr. Charles M. Smith chief of physics, details the benefits of AI on cancer treatment plans.  

Health Equity in Cancer Care: Barriers, Progress, & Solutions                                              July/August 2023              

Over the last three decades, the death rate from cancer has dropped by 32%. This success is primarily due to treatment improvements, prevention and early detection through screening, and access to care. Unfortunately, not everyone has benefitted from these advances. The lack of equity leads to an inadequate opportunity to prevent cancer, find it early, and get proper treatment and follow-up.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales announces new treatment option                  July 20, 2023

The Cancer Center’s Gonzales location is now offering a new radiation treatment option, PLUVICTO, for patients with an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis – prostate-specific membrane antigen-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (PSMA-positive mCRPC). The Cancer Center is the first provider in the region to offer PLUVICTO, which consists of an injection, six total, every six weeks.

Pancreatic Cancer Screening: Why, Who, & How                                                                    May/June 2023

Effective screening starts with identifying a population who is at risk for a disease. Assessing demographics, identifying risk factors, and advancing our understanding of genetic risk are all important for finding those at the highest risk for pancreatic cancer. William Varnado, M.D., medical oncologist, joins Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge to discuss ongoing efforts to improve screening practices. 

Hitting the Target: Precision Comes to Medical Oncology
March/April 2023

With rising interest in personalized medicine, broadly speaking, medical oncologists have been eager to embrace more precise approaches to enhance both the efficacy and safety profile of cancer treatments. Victor Lin, M.D., Ph.D., medical director, clinical research and genetics, joins Healthcare Journal of New Orleans and Baton Rouge to discuss the growing role of precision medicine in cancer care.

‘Do Great Things’: Voss encourages young women in Natchez to pursue STEM careers
March 19, 2023

In recognition of International Day of Women and Girls in STEM, team members from the Cancer Center’s Natchez and Covington locations met with local students to discuss careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the growing opportunities for young women across these fields. 

Opelousas General, Mary Bird Perkins join forces to address area’s high mortality rate
January 10, 2023

With a focus on improving rural access to leading-edge cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins and Opelousas General Health System have teamed up to provide enhanced early detection, prevention and treatment services for Acadiana residents in a comfortable and convenient environment. St. Landry Parish currently ranks among the highest parishes in the state when it comes to cancer mortality rate, and both organizations aim to improve that statistic through the use of Mary Bird Perkins’ vast resources and 100 percent dedication to cancer care.

Incoming Mary Bird Perkins CEO envisions expansion of rural cancer care, clinical research
December 22, 2022

After several years serving as the Cancer Center’s chief operating officer and Dr. Charles M. Smith chief of physics, Jonas Fontenot, Ph.D., M.B.A., transitions to the role of president and CEO this week. With an emphasis on research and continuing to recruit the best in the cancer field and expanding its footprint across the Gulf South, Dr. Fontenot also remains committed to the Cancer Center’s mission to improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer.

Houma cancer center starts construction on $4 million expansion. Here’s what’s in store
December 5, 2022

Our strength is in providing the highest level of care. Now, Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is announcing an expansion and renovation totaling more than $4 million to advance cancer care in the Bayou Region. When construction is complete in fall 2023, patients will have access to more semi-private infusion bays and exam rooms, the latest cancer treatment technology and many support services. 

Mary Bird Perkins receives $2 million grant for North Baton Rouge cancer care 
September 29, 2022

Mary Bird Perkins is among seven institutions nationwide to receive a $2 million grant aimed at creating equitable cancer care resources in underserved communities. The grant, provided through the Merck Foundation, will focus on enhancing patient access, removing barriers and improving overall care and health outcomes in North Baton Rouge. Through the five-year grant, the Cancer Center aims to serve more than 1,700 disadvantaged residents and ultimately produce better practices across the Cancer Center’s entire network.  

Cancer Center offers free health screenings for Monroe residents
September 19, 2022

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center held its inaugural Live Well Delta community health event, which allowed residents from across the 12-parish Delta region access to a range of healthcare services, including free and convenient cancer screenings. 

Healing space created for cancer patients at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington
August 12, 2022

The serene and calming environment inside the Image Recovery Room, powered by Chevron, provides patients with a wide range of facial and cosmetology offerings.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center unveils new mobile medical unit
August 9, 2022

This new $1 million mobile unit, the organization’s third, was made possible with support from the state of Louisiana. The mobile unit will allow Mary Bird Perkins to offer additional cancer screenings in communities across 34 parishes and counties in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi.

Mary Bird Perkins expands clinic research, adds genetic services
August 3, 2022

With research and genetics fueling the future of cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is proud to announce that the organization’s expanded clinical research program and its full offering of genetic services are now available to residents across the region. Through Mary Bird Perkins’ enhanced clinical research, a greater number of trials are now available to more people. At the same time, the Cancer Center has opened a genetic services clinic—a much-needed asset that will help bolster cancer prevention and precision medicine strategies.  

The Doctor Is In
July 21, 2022

Dr. Faizan Malik’s passion for treating patients is fueled by the loss of a close friend, coupled with a drive and purpose to enhance cancer care across southeast Louisiana. Dr. Malik has been practicing for over 13 and has been at our Covington location since 2020. We are thankful to have him and his expertise as part of our team!

Dr. Malik is a medical oncologist with Northshore Oncology Associates, practicing at the Cancer Center.

Patients could get life-saving care quicker thanks to new legislation
May 20, 2022

A senate bill working its way through the Louisiana House of Representatives aims to end some of the burdensome delays cancer patients face as they navigate a diagnosis. Waiting for prior authorization for tests and scans can create unnecessary obstacles to care, leading to anxiety for patients and providers alike.

New bill could prevent unnecessary delays for cancer patients across Louisiana
May 18, 2022

A bill working its way through the Louisiana Legislature would minimize some of the obstacles patients are faced with when receiving a cancer diagnosis. Doctors with a proven track record of ordering necessary scans and tests would be allowed to bypass the prior authorization process in some cases, allowing patients to receive answers and care more expeditiously, which could lead to better outcomes.

Patients get screened for cancer for free at event in downtown Baton Rouge
May 14, 2022

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s annual Live Well Baton Rouge event featured free cancer screenings, fitness demos and healthy cooking segments in downtown Baton Rouge. Residents were able to take charge of their health by taking advantage of early detection and prevention resources.

New food pantry to serve cancer patients as treatment costs rise
April 21, 2022

Since 2019, patients at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington facing financial challenges have had access to a wide variety of nutritious foods, both fresh and frozen, through the therapeutic food pantry. 

Everything you need to know about the history of Gonzales. City celebrating 100 years with birthday party                                                                                                                                            April 18, 2022

As the city of Gonzales prepares to look back on and celebrate 100 years since its founding, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has played a pivotal role in providing treatment to Ascension Parish for more than 15 years, during a time of robust growth and innovation across the area.

Natchez Cancer Center Completes Its Million Dollar Renovation
February 28, 2022

 The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is the first in the area that has new high-tech equipment that helps treat cancer patients.

How Having Our Own High-Resolution Avatar Could Transform Healthcare—in Cancer Clinics and in Space
January 18, 2022

“Louisiana has some of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation, so the need to advance care is critical in our state and beyond,” Fontenot said. “Megan’s and Nousha’s work is key in the rapidly-growing science of precision medicine, which offers unprecedented opportunities to use increasingly detailed information to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. It’s the future of cancer care, and they are playing a critical role in advancing this area of study within radiation oncology, which will ultimately produce better outcomes and save more lives.”

The Long Road to Recovery: A Snapshot of Cancer Screening in the U.S.
January 5, 2022

Early in the first U.S. COVID-19 surge of 2020, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Norman Sharpless warned that the pandemic could, over time, have substantial consequences for cancer outcomes. The NCI’s initial modeling suggested that delayed or missed cancer screening and treatment for breast and colorectal cancers could, during the next decade, account for an approximate 1 percent increase in deaths (i.e., an additional 10,000 deaths) from these two cancers.

Mary Bird Perkins, BR General agreement leads to additional hiring, talk of further expansion
January 5, 2022 

A new agreement between Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has led to the hiring of about 20 physicians and patient care staffers and both parties expect that relationship will expand.

“This is just the beginning,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, president and CEO, Baton Rouge General. “We look forward to working with Mary Bird Perkins and expanding that relationship geographically.”

Baton Rouge General, Mary Bird Perkins announce partnership
January 5, 2022

The new partnership agreement enables BRG, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and MBPCC to leverage resources, according to the organizations’ announcement. The entities will remain independent but will collaborate on clinical trials, nutrition, rehabilitation, support groups and medical oncology, and connect patients with enhanced treatment options.

Mission Report

Press Contact


Communications Director

P: (225) 215-1290 | C: (225) 978-9934 | F: (225) 215-1387