Cancer Centers

The Best Local and National Cancer Centers
Here we discuss with you the value of cancer centers and their role in your treatment. Cancer centers allow access to medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, both of which can have a role in treating cancers. I feel it is important to briefly review the history of chemotherapy so you are more comfortable with this particular aspect of treatment. After this brief review, I discuss the role of local cancer centers and when a second opinion is needed. The overwhelming majority of treatment is performed at the local community cancer centers and second opinions are recommended in complex cases. I provide a short list of Top-ranked national cancer centers where a valuable second opinion can be obtained. You can contact these Top-ranked National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers by using this link to set up your appointment: www.cancer.gov/researchandfunding/extramural/cancercenters.
The Board Certified Medical and Radiation Oncologists at cancer centers provide additional medical care for patients with malignancies (cancer); no surgery is done at local cancer centers. Medical doctors work closely with Dr. Iddings to give additional treatments including chemotherapy and radiation either before or after surgery (in selected patients) to help cure cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are rarely given in the hospital setting. Below is a brief description of the history and how medical oncologists give chemotherapy.
Medical Oncologists and Chemotherapy:
Medical oncologists use chemotherapy, an anticancer drug, to treat cancerous cells in the body. Chemotherapy has been used for many years and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used to fight a specific cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat.
The history of chemotherapy started with scientists examining the effects of military weapons. Today it is a race to cure rather than a race to kill. The history of chemotherapy is based largely on western scientific methods and the desire to eliminate cancer. In the 1940-1950’s folic acid (a vitamin important for DNA development) was found to block certain aspects of cancer growth and was able to start remission in some blood cancers. It took ten years to discover that a related version of these chemical agents would be the first to cure solid tumors. More recently, DNA inhibitors were found to improve survival when used in combination with surgery. New technologies and discoveries continued throughout the 1970s and into today’s research. One example of chemotherapy are the agents derived from plant-based drugs or derivatives. Plant alkaloids were found to attack cancer at a certain stage. Various forms of plant alkaloids are used in chemotherapy medications. Such alkaloids include vinca alkaloids derived from the periwinkle plant. Another type of alkaloid is the taxanes, which stem from the Pacific Yew tree. One thing is for sure, cancer cell death results from taking chemotherapy medications derived from plant alkaloids. There are many specific different types of chemotherapy that can be used to help cure your cancer; their mechanisms of action are generally based on inhibiting some natural chemical reactions that occur in your body. Are there “Green treatments”? No matter where chemical compound of chemotherapy originates from, there is no such thing as green chemotherapy, really. We (your doctors) choose treatment regimens based on what is best for you, and pharmaceutical companies develop drugs to attack cancer. For additional information on chemotherapy click on this link www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/chemotherapy-and-you.
In conclusion, chemotherapy has allowed cancer survival rates to increase over time. The success rates of chemotherapy in some types of cancers have been very significant. There are ongoing clinical trials that are designed to provide answers to unanswered questions. I encourage patients to enroll in such clinical trials because it is these clinical trials that have taken science significantly closer to finding a cure. Having knowledge about the history of chemotherapy will help you through your journey. Keep a journal and stay organized by keeping a copy of all consoles and tests have been performed. Finally, keep in contact with Dr. Iddings and your medical oncologist to continually explore all the options available and continually reevaluate to determine the best course of action to cure your cancer.
How is chemotherapy given? Chemotherapy can be given:Intravenously (IV)

By mouth in the form of a pill

With a shot (injection)

By intrathecal and intraventricular injection

 

Many types of chemotherapy can be given at home. Through instruction, you and your family members can learn how to administer chemotherapy in pill form or by injection with small syringes and needles similar to those that people with diabetes use for insulin. In some cases, a nurse will administer chemotherapy in an outpatient clinic. In other cases, it may be necessary to go to the hospital for treatment.
Chemotherapy is typically given in cycles. A cycle, which is a treatment followed by a period of rest, can last 1 or more days, but is usually 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks long. A course of chemotherapy is made up of multiple cycles. Each course is different, but generally consists of four to six cycles.It may take a relatively short period of time to receive some chemotherapy drugs, while others take hours. It all depends on the treatment regimen your doctor recommends.If your chemotherapy is given through an IV, we may suggest an implanted venous Port-a-Cath®. Ports are surgically placed in a large vein near the heart and can stay in place for long periods of time, so you will not have to have smaller catheters repeatedly placed in your arm veins. Some ports can be used as the IV access when obtaining CT’s while other ports are not able to be used for the high pressure injections that are needed during a CT.  No matter what type of port that you have it will need to be flushed periodically in order to maintain proper function.  The port can be removed when treatment is finished or maintained for additional use as desired; this is an individual personal decision.
Local Cancer Centers
The Great Lakes Cancer Institute (GLCI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the McLaren Health Care Corporation. Its premise is to facilitate the integration of evidenced-based oncology research with state-of-the-art cancer treatment and deliver newly discovered treatment options to physicians and patients in communities throughout Michigan. By conducting important research and connecting researchers with local providers, they enhance existing knowledge of cancer and translate research findings to patient care more quickly. They are located at 4100 Beecher Rd. Flint, MI 48532 and appointments can be made by calling (810) 342-3800.
McLaren offers a complete radiation oncology service and has made a commitment to bring a new type of radiation therapy to the community and region. This new revolutionary type of radiation therapy is called proton beam radiation therapy. Proton beam therapy has been called “the next great leap forward in radiation oncology” and “the most technologically-advanced method of treating solid, non-metastasized tumors.” For many patients, proton therapy offers them hope for the first time. Yet, due to cost and complexity, it has remained a rare treatment option, with only nine proton beam therapy centers in the United States. Starting in December of 2012, McLaren will improve those treatment options for patients in Michigan and surrounding areas by opening the first…and only…Proton Therapy Center in Michigan.
McLaren chose to make the $65 million investment in this technology after intense research and investigation into the value of treatment for patients. This research led to a partnership with ProTom International, a Texas-based health care technology company which has developed the latest generation of proton therapy. Called the Radiance 330, this advanced technology offers even better clinical outcomes. Upon its opening late in 2012, the McLaren facility will initially be the only facility in the world with this specialized functionality.
Proton Therapy is generating huge excitement in the Michigan medical community, and the excitement is well-founded. Unlike traditional x-ray radiation, proton beam therapy creates a beam of charged protons to target and destroy a more precise, defined area of cancerous cells. Radiation energy is delivered precisely at the defined site of the tumor, not along the path through the body as with standard radiation. This means that proton therapy spares significantly more surrounding healthy tissue and organs and produces fewer side effects for patients. Proton therapy also allows physicians to penetrate deeper tumors because higher levels of radiation can be used without fear of impact on surrounding healthy tissue.
The Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute stands on the combined strength of Genesys Regional Medical Center and Hurley Medical Center. It is a partnership, completely focused on patient care of unsurpassed excellence. From aggressive prevention programs and early detection services to the application of leading edge diagnostics and treatment techniques, the Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute infuses hope into the heart of our community. This cancer center is located at 302 Kensington in Flint, MI 48503; the toll free number is (888)-762-8657.Positive outcomes require the best. Starting with a team of highly qualified physicians coupled with an outstanding technical and professional staff, the best has been assembled right here in our own backyard and work closely with Dr. Iddings. For thousands of cancer patients in our area, this wonderful news promises millions of brighter tomorrows.
State-of-the-Art EquipmentThe Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute offers the latest collection of cancer fighting equipment available. Everything from information and cancer management systems to the most advanced computer-driven therapy techniques, the Institute provides physicians with the widest range of complex cancer fighting options, enabling treatment with pinpoint accuracy. Everything we do is born out of helping patients feel better faster.Other important aspects of GHCI are the clinical trials that are undertaken. These are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer.
Why are there clinical trials?A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. Studies are done with cancer patients to find out whether promising approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are safe and effective. Here are lists of different clinical trials. Click here to see a complete list of our clinical trials: ghci.org
• Treatment trials test new treatments (like a new cancer drug, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments, or new methods such as gene therapy).
• Cancer control trials look at measures to combat side-effects of cancer treatment.
• Prevention trials test new approaches, such as medicines, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of a certain type of cancer.
• Screening trials test the best way to find cancer, especially in its early stages.
• Quality of Life trials (also called Supportive Care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients.
Best mid-west and National Cancer Centers
Why Choose MD Anderson?
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Houston, Texas

1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 91Houston, Texas 77030

Main: 713-792-6161

Toll Free: 1-877-632-6789 (1-877-MDA-6789)

The decision about where to be treated for cancer is one of the most important you will make, especially if it means traveling far from home. MD Anderson (in Texas) is one hospital that offers everything you need—decades of experience, a singular focus on cancer, teams of world-class professionals and a deep commitment to the best possible outcome. For more than 60 years, MD Anderson has been at the forefront of exploring new ways to prevent and treat cancer, and patients come from all over the world to receive proven and breakthrough treatments and care. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked us as the top hospital for cancer care, a distinction that we have received six times in the past eight years.
Every year, they serve patients from more than 90 countries—making their comfort a top priority. Our professionals will do everything they can to make you feel at home so you and your family can focus on your treatment. They try to support you at every step of your journey: from preparing for your travel to Houston, throughout your treatment at our facility, to your return home and follow-up care. This cost money and your insurance will not cover the cost of your travel or hotel. Patients typically have anywhere from $2000 to $5000 minimum invested in the second opinion consult. The treatment plan that is designed for you by MD Anderson is often given at local cancer centers here in Michigan.We invite you to learn more about MD Anderson and why thousands of patients from around the world have entrusted their cancer care to us. Visit MD Anderson at: mdanderson.org.
  Why Choose Memorial Sloan-Kettering?
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

New York, New York

1275 York AvenueNew York, New York 10065

General: 212-639-2000

This is another world-class hospital that offers everything you need and more. This is located in downtown Manhattan in NY. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, their sole focus is cancer, and it has been for more than a century. The doctors have unparalleled expertise in diagnosing and treating all types of cancer, and they use the latest technology and the most innovative, advanced therapies to increase the chances of a cure. The close collaboration between our doctors and our research scientists also means that new drugs and therapies developed in the laboratory can be moved quickly to the bedside, offering patients improved treatment option. We also recognize that each patient is unique and each type of cancer is different — the best treatment for one patient may not be right for another. So you can rest assured that the treatment recommended at Memorial Sloan-Kettering will be the best one for you. And while we are best known for our leading-edge cancer therapies, we take particular pride in the compassion and dedication of our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff.
We are proud of our designation as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center. In this section, you will find information about our expertise in diagnosing, treating, and caring for cancer patients. We have a unified approach to cancer care, with teams of doctors who work together to guide each patient through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. We have a team devoted to diagnosing and treating breast cancer, another focuses on colorectal cancer, yet another concentrates on brain tumors, and so on. These teams have a depth and breadth of experience that is unsurpassed. Using this approach, the treatment plans reflect the combined expertise of many doctors — surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists. This approach also ensures that patients who need several different therapies to treat their cancer will receive the ideal combination.We invite you to learn more about Memorial Sloan-Kettering and why thousands of patients from around the world have entrusted their cancer care to us. Visit them at: mskcc.org
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is one of 11 agencies that compose the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This the Federal Government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. The NCI disseminates new information from research and also is required to assess the incorporation of state-of-the-art cancer treatments into clinical practice. The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.Here is a list of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, they develop and translate scientific knowledge from promising laboratory discoveries into new treatments for cancer patients. They are at the forefront of NCI-supported efforts at universities and cancer research centers across the United States. Find a center near you and learn about their research capabilities and patient services. Visit cancer.gov to learn more and for a comprehensive list of all NCI-designated cancer centers.
Here are the Midwest NCI- designated cancer centers I recommend:

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Detroit, Michigan

4100 John RDetroit, Michigan 48201

Main: 313-576-8670

Scheduling an Appointment: 1-800-527-6266 (1-800-KARMANOS)

 

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

Rochester, Minnesota

200 First Street SW

Rochester, MN 55905

Main: 507-284-2511

Oncology Appointments: 507-284-4137

International Services: 507-284-8884

 

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Ann Arbor, Michigan

1500 East Medical Center Drive

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Main: 734-936-1831

 

The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center

Chicago, Illinois

5841 South Maryland Avenue

MC1140

Chicago, Illinois 60637

Pediatric Appointments: 773-702-6808

Adult Appointments: 1-855-702-8222