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Texas Health Dallas honored for lung cancer care

🕐 4 min read

DALLAS, SAN CARLOS, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE)—May 6, 2015—The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation has awarded Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas the official designation as a Community Hospital Center of Excellence. The ALCF Centers of Excellence award, given on Wednesday, recognizes community hospitals for their individualized care and treatment of lung cancer patients.

“Right now 80 percent of all cancer patients are treated at community hospitals,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a stage 3B lung cancer survivor and ALCF founder. “Our multi-disciplinary, patient-centric Centers of Excellence Program raises the bar on the standard of care for lung cancer patients.”

As a Community Hospital Center of Excellence, Texas Health Dallas is implementing the standard of care required in the ALCF’s Centers of Excellence Program. The program’s hallmark standard ensures all patients receive genomic testing to monitor for specific disease states and to determine potential options for precision medicine and targeted treatment. Additional standards include an individualized approach to care, patient access to new diagnostic tools and therapeutic techniques, and an emphasis on early detection and patient follow-up.

The goal of the screening program is to identify individuals who might be at an increased risk for lung cancer. Participants must be:

• Between 50-75 years old to meet criteria

• Current smoker or former smoker

• Has quit for less than 15 years

• Has a 30 pack-year smoking history (calculated by physician)

“We offer each of our patients an individualized approach to their cancer treatment, with the goal of providing the right treatment for the right person at the right time,” said Dr. Pat Fulgham, medical director of Oncology at Texas Health Dallas. “We are honored to be recognized with this Center of Excellence designation and dedicated to advancing precision medicine and targeted treatment options for lung cancer patients and their families.”

Texas Health Dallas follows the ALCF’s successful pilot program at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. Preliminary metrics from the 2013 pilot program highlight that patient outcomes improved dramatically during the pilot stage’s first year.

• 100 percent of pilot program patients received molecular testing

• The time from diagnosis to treatment improved 77 percent, from a national average of 45 days down to 10 days

• 62 percent of program patients underwent tumor board review

• 100 percent patient satisfaction

• 26 percent of treated patients were diagnosed at stage 2B or lower

While the understanding of lung cancer’s diagnosis and treatment has improved, additional work needs to be done. In 2015 alone, more than 221,200 new lung cancer cases will be identified in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates more than 158,000 Americans will die of the disease.

• Lung cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. It accounts for 27 percent of all cancer deaths and is the second leading cause of death in the U.S.

• Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in every ethnic group. Since 1987, it has killed more women every year than breast cancer.

• The five-year lung cancer survival rate has changed little in nearly 40 years – from 12 percent in 1970 to 17 percent today.

• This staggering loss of life has gone unnoticed for too long. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation mission is to change that prognosis.

• The ALCF funds clinical research that leads to life-saving discoveries and treatments and provides critical support services and educational programs to empower patients and create hope.

“We are thrilled about this affiliation with a great foundation,” said Dr. Haskell Kirkpatrick, lung cancer specialist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas. “Our goals are the same, providing quality care for our patients with lung cancer through early detection, research and a comprehensive multi-disciplined approach to care.”

“The ALCF is focused on initiatives that empower patients to take a seat at the table wherever discussions are being made about their care,” added Addario. “We are committed to improving the standard of care and believe genomic testing and targeted therapy is the future of lung cancer treatment and the pathway to increasing the survival rate for all lung cancer patients.”

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. More information is available at 1-877-THR-WELL or www.TexasHealth.org.

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