Behind the Scenes of Comprehensive Cancer Care
Chances are you haven’t given much thought to what goes on at The Regional Cancer Center, unless you’ve needed cancer care. And when you or someone you love does, what goes on here may be all you think about.
Either way, you should know that it is extraordinary for a community our size to have the comprehensive and sophisticated services that are available at RCC. Fueling that engine, the depth and breadth of our program behind the scenes may surprise you.
Data from RCC’s Cancer Registry is used for analysis and planning, both scientifically and administratively. For example, data from 2010 show that the number of new patients to RCC with leukemia surpassed those with colon cancer, making leukemia the fifth most common cancer in patients seen at RCC. This analysis identified a new area of interest for clinical research at RCC.
The medical record of every new patient at RCC is reviewed for a possible match with a clinical trial to bring as many treatment options as possible to patients. Beyond opening trials at RCC, this approach matches patients to trials nationwide -- identifying trials and facilitating patients’ participation in them, at RCC or elsewhere, as needed and desired by each patient. Identifying trials for patients and enrolling them, just begins the process. Research nurses follow trial patients closely, for life, documenting their progress carefully according to trial specifications.
Reliable and consistent Information Technology services are critical to patient services. At RCC the IT team is ultimately responsible for protecting patient health information, for the software that powers radiation treatment planning, the accuracy of radiation therapy delivery, chemotherapy dose calculations and drug interaction models. The Electronic Medical Record system for patients at RCC is one of the most advanced in the area. Cancer programs from other parts of the country have visited RCC to gain insight into its success embracing EMR.
As doctors learn about the latest tests for identifying cancer types, the RCC lab keeps pace with related trends, logistics and outside lab partners to facilitate quality testing. Provision of advanced cancer testing and treatment requires reliable and sophisticated laboratory services. According to the Personalized Medicine Coalition a 34% reduction in chemotherapy use would occur if women with breast cancer receive a genetic test prior to treatment.* RCC is actively participating in this movement.
RCC’s pharmacy is the connection between science and safe delivery of treatment. One-third of new drugs approved by the FDA in 2012 are for cancer*, an indication of the rapid pace of opportunity and change in a climate requiring attention to every detail. Dispensing, mixing, dilution and administration of drugs involve significant coordination and continuing education. Drug expense and waste management are additional and important issues of pharmacy management that require ongoing vigilance.
*A run-up of new drug approvals in the last two weeks of the year pushed the FDA’s record to 39 new drug sanctions in 2012, almost twice the number approved just two years ago and the highest figure the agency has seen since 1996, when 53 new molecular entities crossed the finish line. One-third of these new drugs approved in the last 12 months are for cancer, underscoring the big investment being made in oncology as an improved understanding of the genetics involved in the disease is opening the door to new treatments--some of which are coming down the pipeline at a relatively rapid pace. http://bit.ly/XeoJip
Comprehensive care for cancer and blood disorders
- Individualized Treatment Plans
- Clinical Trials
- Palliative and Supportive Care
- Nutritional Guidance
- Social Services
- Nurses Certified in Oncology
- On Site Pharmacy
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Genetic Testing
- Cutting Edge Delivery of Radiation Therapy
- Financial Counseling
- Support Groups for Patients and Families