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First Dedicated Cancer Hospital Coming to North Texas


DALLAS, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With goals of reducing cancer to a chronic disease and ultimately finding a cure, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas will formally announce on September 26 that it is developing North Texas' first dedicated cancer hospital along with a new outpatient cancer center that will be the largest in Texas. The new 450,000-square-foot cancer center is scheduled to open in 2011, and construction of the dedicated cancer hospital will begin in 2010 with completion scheduled for 2013.

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"When completed in 2013, it will be our goal to be a nationally and internationally renowned cancer care destination, building on Baylor Dallas' commitment to providing advanced cancer treatments and leading the charge of improvement in cancer care through research," said Joel T. Allison, president of Baylor Health Care System.

The outpatient cancer center and inpatient cancer hospital are a $350 million investment.

"Baylor Dallas has historically been the leader in cancer care in North Texas, and we feel a great responsibility to offer the best cancer care in the country," said John B. McWhorter, the hospital's president, and senior vice president at Baylor Health Care System.

The outpatient cancer center will provide a full range of cancer-related services, including physician offices, radiation, chemotherapy, pain management and complementary medicine, such as massage therapy and support groups. The inpatient cancer hospital will be built as an expansion of the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas and will feature 120 beds.

"We're entering a new era in cancer care at Baylor Dallas," said Marvin Stone, M.D., medical oncologist and chief of oncology on the medical staff at Baylor Dallas. Dr. Stone is also the director of the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, which he opened in 1976.

"We've made enormous progress during the past 32 years, but now we're ready to rise to the next level, paralleling the striking advancements we've seen in the field," he said.

Breakthroughs in Cancer Care

The new cancer center will allow for a more comprehensive personalized medicine program, including areas of research such as targeted therapy. Targeted therapy allows physicians to analyze a patient's genes and determine what type of treatment will work best for that particular patient.

"These approaches will move the entire field forward, and we're already applying them in certain kinds of leukemia, lymphoma, breast, lung and colon cancer," said Dr. Stone. "There's going to be a tremendous increase in our ability to make more accurate diagnoses and target therapy in individual patients. These approaches will be more effective and produce fewer side effects."

Beyond targeted therapy, the new cancer center will allow clinicians to engage in further cancer research, focusing on breakthroughs that directly affect patients, whether through a more accurate diagnosis, a faster recovery or a more effective treatment. In addition, clinical trial participation will be expanded beyond the more than 150 trials already offered to patients.

Compassionate, Convenient Care

Based on feedback from patients, families, physicians and staff, the new cancer center is designed to transform patients' experiences from the moment they walk through the door. The patient-centered facility is designed to anticipate patient needs throughout the continuum of care. From patient navigators providing support throughout the journey to a coffee bar with free Wi-Fi access, the center will provide compassionate, convenient care for the whole patient.

Caring for patients and families has always played a large role in cancer care at Baylor. Expansion of the Cvetco Patient Education Center at the new center, which currently includes a robust number of support groups, activities, and educational resources, will add more complementary medicine programs. Massage, acupuncture, music, art and support groups will all play a role in care provided at the cancer center.

Number of Cancer Patients Grows

Baylor conducted a thorough analysis of national cancer rates, as well as regional and local needs in planning the new cancer center and cancer hospital. The incidence rates of a number of types of cancer, including liver, kidney and thyroid, continue to rise, according to the National Cancer Institute. In Texas, 97,281 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2008, according to the Texas Cancer Registry. In Dallas County, 8,451 new cancer cases are expected in 2008 - up by 100 cases from 2007.

Furthermore, the aging of baby boomers will swell the number of cancer patients and survivors 55 percent nationwide by 2020, according to a 2007 study from the Association of American Medical Colleges' Center for Workforce Studies. Researchers based their analysis on data from the National Cancer Institute. While about one in 26 Americans today have had cancer, by 2020 roughly one in 19 will have been diagnosed with the disease.

About Baylor Dallas

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a 1002-bed not-for-profit academic hospital, is a major patient care and research center in the southwest. The nationally acclaimed medical center serves as flagship hospital for Baylor Health Care System and has earned Magnet status for "Excellence in Nursing Services" from the American Nurses Credentialing Center -- the organization's highest level of recognition. In addition to its Level 1 trauma center, Baylor Dallas is also home to many nationally ranked centers of excellence including transplant, cardiovascular services, orthopedics, oncology, digestive diseases, neurosciences and gynecology. In 2008, U.S. News & World Report recognized Baylor Dallas in five specialty areas for the 16th consecutive year in its "America's Best Hospitals" guide.

SOURCE Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
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