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Hoag Opens Orange County's Only Comprehensive Sarcoma Program

Categories: Press Room

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 31, 2015 – Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announced the launch of Orange County’s first comprehensive Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program for those battling this rare and complex form of cancer.

The Hoag Sarcoma Program, in alliance with Keck Medicine of USC, is led by Program Director Nader Nassif, M.D., fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in orthopedic oncology, and Burton Eisenberg, M.D., Executive Medical Director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute, Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and Professor of Clinical Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of USC, a board-certified surgical oncologist with specialty in sarcoma. To complete this multidisciplinary team, they partner with a variety of subspecialists between Hoag and Keck Medicine of USC, including radiation oncologist Peter Chen, M.D., medical oncologists Dilruba Haque, M.D. and James Hu, M.D., surgical oncologist William Tseng, M.D., as well as specialized bone and soft tissue pathologists and radiologists Janet Stallman, M.D. and John Lieu, M.D. The Hoag Sarcoma Program also provides a dedicated clinical nurse navigator, Lori Berberet, R.N., M.S.N., a unique and valuable asset to cancer care.

“Sarcomas are a rarity, so it’s important to be treated by doctors with the experience and knowledge to approach these complicated cancers,” Dr. Nassif said. “Patients need expert care and a team approach, which the Hoag Sarcoma Program offers.”

Sarcoma is a family of cancers that develops from the connective tissue of the body, including bone, muscle, blood vessels, nerves and fibrous tissues. There are over 70 subtypes of sarcoma, which means sarcoma can occur anywhere in the body; however, it often develops in the extremities. Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are rare. According to American Cancer Society, roughly 12,000 individuals will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015.

Because of the rarity and complexity of the disease, only the largest academic cancer centers in the country offer clinical trials in sarcoma, but thanks to Hoag’s alliance with Keck Medicine of USC, Orange County sarcoma patients don’t have to travel far to get access to the most cutting-edge treatment available.

“We are able to bring that national quality of care to a regional setting,” Nassif said. “There are no other hospitals in Orange County that have the resources and training to do what we are doing.”


Hoag Family Cancer Institute and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed an alliance to expand cancer care for Orange County residents. This new relationship aligns Orange County’s highest volume community cancer program with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the nation’s premier NCI-designated academic cancer centers. The alliance, jointly led by Burton Eisenberg, M.D., Executive Medical Director for Hoag Family Cancer Institute, Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and Professor of Clinical Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, Director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center will enhance a variety of comprehensive site-specific tumor programs such as brain cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, gynecologic cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, prostate and bladder cancer and sarcoma, as well as expand access to leading-edge clinical research trials, only available at academic centers.


Hoag is an approximately $1 billion nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 25,000 inpatients and 369,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals, six health centers, and seven urgent care centers. Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which has served Orange County since 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010, are designated Magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences,women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute. In 2013, Hoag entered into an alliance with St. Joseph Health to further expand health care services in the Orange County community, known as St. Joseph Hoag Health. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report Metro Edition. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County’s most preferred hospital for the past 19 consecutive years and, for an unprecedented 19 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.