Precision Medicine in a Community Setting
How Grandview’s new Cancer Center is changing the face of local cancer treatments.
Jennifer De Los Santos, MD, Cancer Center Director & Chairman, Radiation Oncology, discusses the new Cancer Center.
Grandview is a new hospital, and the Cancer Center just began doing treatments June 11. What are the patient advantages to having such a new facility to visit?
The Grandview Cancer Center is a state-of-the-art facility with the latest technologic advances in radiation therapy and drug therapeutics including targeted and immune therapies. In addition to initiating a team approach to individualized cancer care with interdisciplinary clinics, we will be building a significant research platform to offer cutting edge treatments that may not be available off of a study. All of this will be very conveniently located off the 280 corridor in a beautiful new building where patients will have easy access and parking.
When you mention ‘interdisciplinary clinics’, what does that mean for patients?
An interdisciplinary clinic is a clinic where newly diagnosed cancer patients are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists at the time of diagnosis to create a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan. As an example, many breast cancer patients have options regarding equally effective care paths. This coordinated approach allows patients to see their entire team upfront and allows them to receive a well-designed treatment plan that takes into consideration all of the different options of care.
What benefits come from the Cancer Center’s relationship to the surrounding medical community?
Grandview is one of the fastest-growing hospitals in the Southeast, with an increasing number of specialists and primary care physicians serving on staff. The Cancer Center is well-positioned to therefore serve a large portion of the community. Additionally, its location on the 280 corridor and convenient parking out front provide easy access to this high-level care.
Tell us about the doctors and staff in the new clinic and what advantages they bring to patients.
We are fortunate to have a talented team of experienced surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists in the Grandview Cancer Center. In addition, we have built a team of experienced professionals that work alongside our physicians to deliver care, including nurses, nurse practitioners, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, physicists, nutritionists, and spiritual counselors. Future services will be added for more comprehensive supportive care and will include genetic counselors, pain management physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, lymphedema specialists, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. This comprehensive team approach is important to delivering high-level care and ensuring the patients are completely supported through therapy and into survivorship.
What are some elements of the Center that are part of the latest technology in treating cancer?
The Center is equipped with a Varian True Beam linear accelerator and a treatment table that moves 6 degrees to more accurately align patients for millimeter precise treatment. We also have a large bore PET-CT that will be used for both diagnostic scans and radiation treatment planning.
What drove you to dedicate your talent and passion into the Cancer Center, and where do you see it in 10 years?
The opportunity to build a center that focused the best parts of a private facility with an academic practice was a challenge I was ready to take on when the opportunity presented itself last year. The exciting part is being able to shape Grandview Cancer Center into something new to the community, and new to Birmingham. Grandview will offer the highest level of precision medicine and interdisciplinary care along with supportive care teams that help address the multitude of physical, psychological, social, and emotional issues that patients face through their journey. Developing a team of experts to deliver this care and making it the standard for patient care is our vision and goal.