Cancer Specialists form New Alliance

Posted By Marianas Variety

CCOG/ICC) – Cancer Center of Guam and Island Cancer Center have formed the Pacific Cancer Care Alliance, a new organization that unites cancer care specialists and stakeholders under one name to build teamwork and coordinate care for patients with cancer.

The Pacific Cancer Care Alliance was organized to improve patient care, raise cancer awareness, and deliver integrated, state of the art cancer care.

Island Cancer Center specializes in Radiation Oncology. A new radiation oncologist, Dr. Kin-Sing Au, recently arrived to join the center.

Cancer Center of Guam specializes in Medical Oncology, or drug therapy, which includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy and genetic targeted therapy, as well as all hematologic problems. The center is directed by Dr. Samuel Friedman.While both cancer centers will remain independent entities, together they have big plans for the alliance improving timing and efficiency for scheduling and treatment of patients, attracting additional resources locally, and supporting local non-profits involved in cancer awareness and prevention.

“Cancer care is very complex and each patient’s treatment plan is necessarily different and needs individualization” said Dr. Sam Friedman, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at the Cancer Center of Guam. “A patient’s cancer treatment plan may include any combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and newer modalities of immunotherapy and specific genetic therapy. Our goal is better directed, efficient and coordinated care for less stress to the patient and their families ... leading to better outcomes.”

Benefits of the alliance have already been recognized. In August when the Cancer Center of Guam experienced an unexpected disruption in their supply of chemotherapy drugs, the Island Cancer Center quickly volunteered to help them find a new, reliable supplier.

Innovation

“This alliance is a new innovation on Guam in how we deliver patient care” said Dr. John Rosoff, co-founder of the Island Cancer Center. “We’re erasing unnecessary borders between our clinics. CCOG recently moved to Guam Medical Plaza, adjacent to where ICC is located. This will simplify transportation issues for patients and coordination and consultation between specialists. And we are working with local non-profits involved in education and patient services as we all have an important part in a patient’s treatment journey. Similar cancer care alliances exist in Seattle and several other US cities renowned for cancer care.”

Creating an alliance establishes common goals for changing and improving care, working as a team to recruit other needed specialists, and providing a more robust support system for patients such as counselors, patient navigators, financial assistance and cancer screening programs.

Also, the alliance will incorporate top centers in the U.S. and worldwide to provide the best possible care where each specific cancer type is optimally treated.

“The alliance gives us the opportunity to be stronger and better,” Rosoff continued. “We each have our connections to other specialists, researchers, and universities. A partnership gives us the chance to better leverage the resources available to us to bring better cancer care to the people of Guam. We’ve all had friends and family affected by cancer, so that’s what really matters to all of us.”

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