Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cancer Network Launched

The University of California Davis Cancer Center is launching the UC Davis Cancer Care Network to unite five hospital-based cancer centers throughout Northern and Central California. This is the first specialty-care network for UC Davis and the first devoted to cancer care for a public institution that will use telemedicine technology. The centers provide quality patient care in a community setting according to Scott Christensen, a UC Davis Associate Professor of Hematology and Oncology, and now serving as Medical Director for the new organization.

In addition to the UC Davis Cancer Center in Sacramento and satellite clinics in midtown Sacramento, Rocklin, and Elk Grove, network members are Fremont-Rideout Cancer Center in Marysville, Mercy Cancer Center in Merced, Regional Cancer Center at Valley Care in Pleasanton, and Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee. Discussions with additional cancer centers are ongoing.

The network is establishing “virtual tumor boards” to be funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation with additional support from participating facilities. The system operates by having all network sites linked through state-of-the-art telemedicine technology, which gives oncologists and others involved in cancer care convenient opportunities to meet via real-time video-conferencing, share medical information, and reach consensus on patient treatment plans.

These virtual sessions will also evaluate appropriate clinical trials opportunities, identify patients who should be referred to UC Davis for specialty care, and provide education sessions on the latest advances in cancer treatment.

“Establishing the Cancer Care Network and expanding our hospital partnerships supports our role as the leading tertiary care provider in the region and we look forward to expanding these partnerships,” said Ann Madden Rice, Chief Executive Officer for UC Davis Medical Center.