OHSU Cancer Institute Earns Recognition for Excellence

03/12/08  Portland, Ore.

OHSU Cancer Institute recognized for complex and rare cancer research and patient care

The Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute today was awarded the newly-created prestigious national Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers from Regence BlueCross BlueShield Association in 10 vital cancer areas.
Joining in the blue awards previously are: OHSU Bone Marrow Transplant Program for the Adult Autologous and Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant Program and the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Program, both a part of the OHSU Cancer Institute, as well as the OHSU bariatric surgery program.

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers were named by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon in strategic collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and with input from a panel of leading clinicians and professional organizations. Complex and rare cancers comprise approximately 15 percent of new cancer cases each year, making it difficult for patients to locate and research facilities with oncologists or surgical teams that are experienced in treating these specific malignancies.

Designation as a Blue Distinction Center means that the OHSU Cancer Institute's overall experience and aggregate data met demanding criteria established by expert clinicians' and leading medical societies' recommendations. It also means that the OHSU Cancer Institute offers patients a full range of cancer care services including inpatient care, surgery and cancer rehabilitation. The OHSU Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center between Sacramento and Seattle.

“This is an honor that clearly demonstrates the comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, state-of-the art cancer care that the OHSU Cancer Institute offers each and every patient that comes to us. We are proud to have earned this distinction, but most of all we are proud that we can serve our patients with the highest level of research, expertise, care and compassion,” said Brian Druker, M.D., the director of the OHSU Cancer Institute, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at the OHSU Cancer Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Among other selection criteria, the OHSU Cancer Institute met the following thresholds necessary to be named as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers: has multidisciplinary team input, including sub-specialty trained teams for complex and rare cancers and demonstrated depth of expertise across cancer disciplines in medicine, surgery, radiation oncology, pathology and radiology; demonstrates ongoing quality management and improvement programs for cancer care; demonstrates an ongoing commitment to using clinical data registries and providing access to appropriate clinical research for complex and rare cancers; and demonstrates sufficient volume of experience in treating rare and complex cancers.

Each year cancer institute clinicians oversee more than 3,500 inpatient admissions and 35,200 outpatient visits. Multidisciplinary teams of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, social workers and nutritionists create a customized treatment plan for adult and pediatric patients.

About the OHSU Cancer Institute
The OHSU Cancer Institute comprises some 300 researchers and more than 200 open clinical trials conducted at the OHSU Cancer Institute. It is the region’s primary hub for cancer clinical trials. The institute has four research programs: cancer biology; hematologic malignancies; solid tumors; and cancer control, prevention and population science. Many clinical trials have led to important advances in prostate, breast and colon cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and other malignancies. The institute is known worldwide for leadership in molecularly targeted therapies, including the most celebrated cancer discovery in a generation: the drug Gleevec, developed by Druker at the OHSU Cancer Institute.

About the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
The Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Doernbecher Children's Hospital is the only pediatric transplant center in Oregon accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and the National Marrow Donor Program. Since its inception, the program has provided care for more than 300 pediatric patients in Oregon, Washington and other states. The program focuses on multidisciplinary, family-centered care for children with cancers and non-malignant diseases that can be treated with bone marrow transplantation. Physicians and scientists of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program foster strong research collaborations at the local level with the OHSU Cancer Institute, as well as at the national and international level.

About the OHSU Adult Autologous and Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant Program
The OHSU Adult Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program performed its first autologous transplant in January of 1990. OHSU has performed a total of 1350 transplants through the end December of 2007. The program is part of  the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program, which is a collaborative clinical program with Legacy Health System that offers all types of blood and marrow transplantation to patients throughout the region. The program has developed a comprehensive continuous quality improvement program that tracks patient outcomes, clinical care process improvement, and customer satisfaction of both patients and referring physicians. The program is accredited by Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and is a National Marrow Donor Program transplant center

About the OHSU Bariatric Program
OHSU is a nationally recognized academic center for the surgical treatment of obesity, leading a multicenter research program established by the National Institutes of Health.  The OHSU bariatric program offers the full range of currently available operations for obesity as well as investigational procedures. In addition, patients who have experienced complications from operations done in the past may receive evaluation and treatment at the OHSU bariatric surgery center. The center brings together devoted specialists involved in the care of patients with severe obesity and its multiple and related conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and impaired quality of life, among many others.  

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with 12,400 employees. OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.