Providence Cancer Center achieves key milestones in 2012

Promising research, excellent clinical care, compassionate support to those we serve

At Providence Cancer Center, we recently celebrated our 20-year anniversary of providing the highest standards of compassionate care for our cancer patients and their families. We’re privileged to continue expanding our knowledge, treatments and services to better serve our patients and their families.

Every day we learn and apply additional knowledge about treating and preventing cancer, and our patients are always at the forefront of what we do. We believe our patients are the core member of their health care team, and our goal always is to provide them with the best multidisciplinary team of scientists, doctors, nurses, specialists, support groups and more – all in one convenient location.

Targeted therapies, clinical trials, and the most current proven techniques in cancer surgery and radiation therapy all translate into exceptional care for our patients and communities. Our team of scientists conducts world-class research with special emphasis in immunotherapy, we provide compassionate care to our patients with cancer, and we provide important outreach and support to patients and their families.

As a member of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program, a network of 30 prestigious cancer centers demonstrating excellence in cancer care, research and community outreach, Providence Cancer Center offers the latest in state-of-the-art cancer research and care.

We’re privileged to have many key community partners – all of whom are dedicated to helping raise awareness, funding, new treatments, new research, and education/screening opportunities for those we serve. Providence Foundations-Oregon, for example, raised more than $4.7 million in 2012 to support clinical care, research and education/outreach for the patients and families we serve. We are deeply grateful to our committed donors who helped us achieve many important advances in 2012.

There is so much to be proud of in terms of Providence Cancer Center accomplishments in 2012.
In our clinical programs, we improved and expanded our abilities to provide exceptional care to our patients with cancer, including:

  • Thoracic oncology – Provides specialized care to patients with lung and other chest cancers. Advances include improvements in surgical outcomes, operation of a dedicated lung cancer clinic, and protocols that are underway to begin screening for lung cancer in 2013.
  • Breast cancer and breast health – Achieved important accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, and improved our breast registry to allow for better clinical follow up and for new research projects
  • Melanoma – Launched our multidisciplinary melanoma tumor board and expanded hope for patients with metastatic melanoma (more details in “research” section below).
  • Oral, head and neck cancers – Opened Providence Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Clinic dedicated to helping patients with benign and malignant tumors of the oral cavity, tongue, pharynx, larynx, nose, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands and thyroid gland, as well as tumors at the skull base. Multidisciplinary treatment team includes physicians, dentists, nurses, speech pathologists, audiologists, nutritionists and social workers.
  • Palliative oncology care program significantly increased hospice, advance directive and other palliative care measures to keep end-of-life patients at home in hospice instead of in the hospital.

Our world-class research scientists and clinicians in the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute are developing new immunotherapy agents and protocols for the treatment of multiple cancers. Patients at Providence Cancer Center have priority access to these exciting discoveries developed by our team of researchers.

Recent research accomplishments include:

  • The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Cancer Center is one of 10 leading research institutions, and the only U.S. site west of the Mississippi River, selected by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to form the International Immuno-Oncology Network. The global collaboration focuses on helping the body’s own immune system fight cancer.
  • Providence Cancer Center scientists made important advances in developing new therapies for patients with advanced melanoma, using radiotherapy and interleukin 2. A phase II clinical trial was opened for patients with metastatic melanoma.
  • In 2012 Providence Cancer Center began enrolling patients in the national Cancer Prevention Study-3, a historic nationwide effort to help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.
  • Providence Pathology and Diagnostic Laboratories helped detect tumor-driver mutations and tumor pathways that will respond well to certain drugs. The labs perform or coordinate tests for several molecular targets in multiple tumor types, including breast, colon, lung and hematologic malignancies.

Another important priority for Providence Cancer Center is to provide education and outreach to the communities we serve about cancer screening, prevention and treatment, particularly to those who are underserved. View highlights of our education and outreach achievements.

In short, we’re privileged to work every day with dedicated, exceptional teams of experts whose life’s work is to help prevent and treat cancer and to discover new pathways for hope. Most of all, we’re honored to work with our cancer patients and their families who inspire us every day with their unwavering strength, courage and commitment in the fight against cancer.

Walter Urba, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of cancer research Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center

Calvin Harrison
Executive director, Providence Cancer Center