KU, Kansas City cancer centers combine forces for outpatient care center

The KU Cancer Center and Kansas City Cancer Center have announced they will combine operations, creating an outpatient cancer care organization. The partnership will expand opportunities for advanced cancer research and Phase I clinical research trials and support the efforts of National Cancer Institute designation. Current and future patients will have greater access to 50 hematologists, oncologists and radiation oncologists at 12 locations, offering the most comprehensive cancer care in the region.

The partnership will unite two premier cancer centers, combining the area’s leading community-based oncology program with the area’s premier academic medical center to create an unprecedented approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship for patients in the region and a national model for cancer care delivery.

Just as the KU Cancer Center will continue serving patients through its multidisciplinary approach in an academic medical center setting, Kansas City Cancer Center will have the same group of physicians and medical staff available to their patients at the same community-based locations and community hospitals where they currently serve patients. Other highlights of the partnership:

• Kansas City Cancer Center non-physician staff will join, and its facilities will become part of, KU Hospital.

• Kansas City Cancer Center physicians will become members of the KU Physicians and faculty of the KU School of Medicine, specifically in the departments of internal medicine, radiation oncology and pathology and laboratory medicine.

• U.S. Oncology will remain part of the operation by providing some proprietary products and will collaborate on research. Patients of the KU Cancer Center will have additional access to research projects through U.S. Oncology.

Leaders of all organizations involved see the proposed combination as an opportunity to provide greater access to customized, comprehensive, patient-centered care, by integrating unprecedented access to physicians and leading-edge technology. The vision of the KU Cancer Center and Kansas City Cancer Center is to partner as national leaders in patient care and support the KU Cancer Center’s education and research missions, to contribute to the elimination of the cancer burden by achieving and maintaining National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center designation.

“The partnership of two premier cancer centers further makes Kansas City a destination for cancer patients throughout the Midwest with options for treatment locations, technologies and sub-specialists,” said Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of the KU Hospital. “Together, as national leaders in patient care, this partnership further strengthens both organizations’ approach of treating the whole person with the most effective therapies in a patient-centered environment.”

Kansas City Cancer Center and the KU Cancer Center have collaborated on cancer care before. In 2007, they combined their blood and marrow transplant program into the KU Cancer Center. Through this collaboration, patients from across the region have benefitted from remarkable clinical outcomes.

“We knew from the beginning of our association in blood and marrow transplants that both organizations shared the same focus on patient-centered care,” said Mark Myron, president of Kansas City Cancer Center. “This collaborating organization will be able to provide seamless care in a variety of locations and will be a major step forward for cancer research both locally and nationally.”

“This new combined organization will enable a comprehensive, state-of-the-art approach to cancer care throughout our region that will be designed, coordinated and implemented by some of our nation’s finest cancer physicians and nurses,” said Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center. “Whether it is an initial encounter with a community-based oncologist, referral for a specialized surgical procedure, or evaluation for enrollment in the latest Phase I clinical research trial, the KU Cancer Center is committed to offering world-class care to cancer patients throughout our region and to developing the next generation of cancer therapies.”

“This is the kind of collaboration across state lines and across organizations that is needed to realize the potential of Kansas City as a national center for biomedical research. We are just as excited about the immediate benefits as the long-term impact of this partnership,” said Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center.

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