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Space Coast Cancer Center Selects Via Oncology™ Pathways to Advance Evidence-Based Cancer Care

Seven-Physician Oncology Practice in Florida to Use Via Oncology Pathways to Ensure the Best Treatment for Each Patient Based on State and Stage of Disease

Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) April 27, 2010 -- Via Oncology™, a subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), announced that Space Coast Cancer Center (SCCC), Titusville, Fla., has selected Via Oncology Pathways. The Pathways are evidence-based clinical algorithms that standardize best-practice cancer treatments, optimize patient outcomes, and promote efficient resource utilization. SCCC oncologists will use the Pathways Portal™, a Web-based application for real-time decision support, to apply the Pathways at the point of care and select and implement the best cancer treatment for each individual patient.

SCCC decided to implement pathways as a medically appropriate, dynamic and sustainable strategy to improve quality, decrease potential toxicity and side effects, and moderate the costs of cancer care. They considered four alternatives for pathways. SCCC determined that Via Oncology Pathways are the most consistent with their mission to provide the highest quality, evidence-based cancer care.

"We didn't see the other alternatives as true pathways leading to one best course of treatment but more like general guidelines," said Richard M. Levine, M.S., M.D., president, Space Coast Cancer Center (SCCC). "In addition, we have confidence in Via Oncology because it has a well-established process in place to update the Pathways on a regular basis, and it has safeguards to avoid pharmaceutical and external business influences."

"Now that healthcare reform is under way, the future belongs to those oncology groups that standardize treatment according to evidence-based best practices," said Kathleen Lokay, president, Via Oncology. "Space Coast Cancer Center is a forward-looking practice committed to continuing quality improvement and sustainable cost control in oncology."

"Dr. Levine is taking the initiative with health plans and payers in Florida to advance pathways as the optimal approach to address the unnecessary variability and uneven quality in cancer treatment," said Peter Ellis, M.D., medical director of Via Oncology and deputy director of clinical services at UPMC Cancer Centers. "This is the way forward to value-based cancer care."

Via Oncology Pathways are the product of five years of development and refinement by the oncologists at UPMC. Every quarter, 15 disease-specific committees of academic and community-based physicians convene to review and revise the Pathways based on their independent evaluation of the most recent medical literature. Focusing on Phase III peer-reviewed studies, the disease experts on each committee define the single best treatment for each state and stage of disease according to a hierarchy of efficacy, toxicity and cost.

If the data show that one treatment is superior in terms of efficacy, it is the Via Oncology Pathway choice. If more than one treatment shows comparable efficacy, then the least toxic treatment becomes the Via Oncology Pathway choice. If more than one treatment shows comparable efficacy and toxicity, then the costs to the patient, payer and provider are considered in order to manage the costs of cancer care without compromising quality. Via Oncology Pathways cover the majority of patient presentations resulting in 75 percent to 85 percent adherence to the Pathways.

The Pathways Portal, a Web-based software application, delivers the Pathways to physicians in an interactive decision support tool at the point of care. Physicians create a unique profile for each patient that drives the system's decision support engine to the recommended Pathways therapy. Physicians have the option to choose a different therapy. The system provides an option for oncologists to go off-pathway and document their clinical decisions. The Pathways Portal also has an interface to SCCC's electronic medical record (EMR) system for efficient data sharing.

About Space Coast Cancer Center

Serving the residents of Brevard County, Fla. since 1983, Space Coast Cancer Center (SCCC) is one of the premier hematology/oncology practices in the area. Our physicians see patients in each of four office locations, and SCCC offers a full range of diagnostic laboratory studies and comprehensive outpatient chemotherapy, biologic therapy, and immune therapy infusion services. We provide state-of-the-art radiation therapy utilizing the Varian Trilogy Linac as well as American College of Radiology accredited CAT scan and PET/CT diagnostic imaging services. SCCC conducts onsite clinical trials in collaboration with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Shands Cancer Center, and the National Cancer Institute through the Clinical Trials Support Unit. For more information, visit or call 321-268-4200.

About Via Oncology

Via Oncology, LLC, a subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), is the cancer value management solution for oncologists, health systems and payers. Via Oncology Pathways are the only treatment algorithms for cancer that are comprehensive, clinically precise, rigorously developed, and expertly managed. With the Pathways Portal™, a Web-based decision support system, oncologists select a single best treatment for each individual patient based on state and stage of disease. Consistent, evidence-based care, excellent outcomes and sustainable cost management -- that's the Via Oncology solution. Learn more at

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