Years ago, cancer treatment consisted of a few doctors’ visits with recommendations for a limited number of treatment options. Today, our knowledge of cancer has grown more sophisticated, and our treatments more targeted and safe.
Now when oncologists discuss cancer management, they bring a whole compendium of treatment options.
Here at Hoag, our oncology experts have formed an exciting alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center that will provide Orange County’s cancer patients with the best care and access to the latest innovations in treatment.
At present, Hoag and USC have formed a partnership to enhance both medical centers’ abilities to help patients.
This does not mean Hoag cancer patients will have to drive to Los Angeles for treatment. On the contrary, what this partnership hopes to achieve are far fewer cars on the 405. An estimated 18 percent of Orange County cancer patients have been leaving the area for the academic institutions of L.A. With this partnership, they will be able to stay closer to home to receive that cutting-edge care.
This partnership is a reflection of what is happening in cancer care nationwide, with academic institutions reaching out to local hospitals to bring the best of their research and expertise directly to the patients who need it.
While Hoag already offers the best there is, with this partnership we will also offer the best of what is yet to be: Science is only beginning to understand the molecular and genomic basis for malignancy and personalized care. As those become available clinically, it’s going to take the expertise of many different providers to use these new innovative discoveries to enhance clinical care.
It is our hope to move cancer care to a more disease-side focus, with multiple physicians and subspecialists lending their expertise to go beyond the standard of care to a more personalized and dynamic specialty-care model.
For example, people with liver cancer need to be evaluated for many different treatments, some of which need to be managed by a panel of experts. When the best course of action is a liver transplant, a Hoag patient will have access to the surgeons and experts at USC who can provide that complex treatment.
This Hoag-USC cancer partnership will also help identify high-risk populations in a variety of cancers, encourage appropriate screenings and then offer patients not only standard therapies but also access to clinical trials and experimental therapeutics.
This partnership will allow the care patients receive from subspecialists to be monitored by their own oncologists, with communication constantly flowing among all providers of care.
Because, ultimately, this cancer care model is about the patient.
- Dr. Burton Eisenberg is the executive medical director for Hoag Family Cancer Institute.
To view the original Orange County Register article, please click here.