NCI Community Cancer Centers Program Work to be Extended

The Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and the National Cancer Institute will extend their relationship to bring the latest cancer treatment and research to the region.

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, selected the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion to continue to participate in its national network of community cancer centers for two more years. The LCRP has been a member of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program since the program’s inception in 2007 and was awarded $796,000 to fund participation in the NCCCP network for the program’s next two years. This feat has only been accomplished by a handful of cancer programs nationwide.

“Our participation in the NCCCP has been a benefit to cancer patients in Savannah and the region as well as patients from across the country who have come here for treatment,” said SJC President & CEO Paul P. Hinchey. “It has not only allowed us to be on the cutting edge of treatments, strategies and clinical trials but it has allowed our patients to stay near their families and support systems during treatment instead of having to travel to distant centers.”

The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals working to expand cancer research, enhance access to cancer care, and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals in urban, suburban and rural areas, with an emphasis on underserved populations. The majority of U.S. cancer patients are diagnosed with and treated for the disease in their local communities, where they can remain closer to home rather than commute to major academic medical centers. The NCCCP network has served approximately 53,000 new cancer cases each year.

Since 2007 the LCRP has seen a 40 percent increase in new cancer patients, which LCRP Medical Director Howard A. Zaren, M.D., attributes to the partnership with the NCI. “With the help of the NCCCP, the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion has truly become a destination for cancer care,” Zaren said, who serves as Principal Investigator for the NCCCP. “Physicians in Savannah and around the region know they can refer their patients here for the latest treatments and the patients want to come here for all their treatment under one roof.”

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