Newswise — The New Mexico Senate “Lobos” tip off against the House of Representatives “Aggies” on Wednesday, March 1, at Santa Fe High School. The hotly-contested game is a fun event for those on the court, on the bench and in the stands. But everyone knows that the real opponent is cancer.

The annual game is an important source of private donations for The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. Over the past six years, it has raised more than $100,000. “The proceeds help us to deliver the cutting-edge, compassionate care that all New Mexicans deserve,” says Cheryl Willman, MD, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center Director & CEO. This year, the American Cancer Society expects more than 1,000 New Mexicans to receive a diagnosis of cancer and nearly 3,700 to die from it.

The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of the state of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the state. It is tasked with ensuring that all New Mexicans have access to world-class cancer care and benefit from advances in cancer research. The UNM Cancer Center raises money for cancer research and treatment from national and state grant programs and from private donations.

For the annual Hoops 4 Hope game, the legislature divides into the Senate and House teams instead of along party lines. This division gives the legislators a chance to know people from the other party. The House has won a total of 13 games, but the Senate has won the last three in a row. Last year’s game ended 32-29 in a double overtime thriller.

 About the Hoops 4 Hope GameThe “Hoops 4 Hope” legislative basketball game will be played Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the Santa Fe High School Gymnasium, 2100 Yucca Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. Organizers will announce coaches closer to game time. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted and greatly appreciated. All proceeds benefit the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Questions may be addressed to the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center Development Office at 505-272-4443 or email [email protected].

For a video of interviews and highlights from the 2014 game, visit

About the UNM Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius. Its 125 board-certified oncology specialty physicians include cancer surgeons in every specialty (abdominal, thoracic, bone and soft tissue, neurosurgery, genitourinary, gynecology, and head and neck cancers), adult and pediatric hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists. They, along with more than 500 other cancer healthcare professionals (nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, navigators, psychologists and social workers), provided cancer care for nearly 60 percent of the adults and children in New Mexico affected by cancer. They treated 11,249 patients in 84,875 ambulatory clinic visits in addition to in-patient hospitalizations at UNM Hospital. These patients came from every county in the State. More than 12 percent of these patients participated in cancer clinical trials testing new cancer treatments and 35 percent of patients participated in other clinical research studies, including tests of novel cancer prevention strategies and cancer genome sequencing. The 130 cancer research scientists affiliated with the UNMCCC were awarded almost $60 million in federal and private grants and contracts for cancer research projects and published 301 high quality publications. Promoting economic development, they filed more than 30 new patents in FY16, and since 2010, have launched 11 new biotechnology start-up companies. Scientists associated with the UNMCCC Cancer Control & Disparities have conducted more than 60 statewide community-based cancer education, prevention, screening, and behavioral intervention studies involving more than 10,000 New Mexicans. Finally, the physicians, scientists and staff have provided education and training experiences to more than 230 high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowship students in cancer research and cancer health care delivery. Learn more at