NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 7, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 20 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Cancer Center ProfileCancer Center Profile

University of Virginia Cancer Center
Director: Dr. Michael J. Weber • 1300 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22908 • Phone: 1-800-223-9173 • Web site: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/cancer/

Background
What drives the University of Virginia (UVA) Cancer Center is its vision of a collaborative approach to translational research and to the delivery of multi-specialty, patient-centered care. The UVA Cancer Center initiated multi-specialty, patient-centered clinics and began linking them to strong basic science programs in 1987, when it achieved status as an NCI-designated Cancer Center. The cancer center is an integral part of the University of Virginia campus, and draws on the intellectual and technical resources of this distinguished institution. The combination of broad resources, a patient-centered architecture of care, and a collaborative environment provides the foundation for developing and delivering the next generation of personalized, patient-centered cancer treatments.

Research Activities
With more than 200 researchers from 22 different academic departments, the UVA Cancer Center is working to uncover the molecular basis of cancer and to speed research from the laboratory to the patient bedside. From the center's inception, a major research strength has been its expertise in cell signaling and related areas of cell regulation. UVA Cancer Center researchers have been pioneers in uncovering molecules responsible for malignant behavior and demonstrating that these molecules can be targets for new cancer therapies, underpinning the center's strong program in immunotherapy and cancer vaccines.

Patient Care Specialties
A leader in patient care in Virginia and surrounding regions, the UVA Cancer Center records an average of 41,000 outpatient visits annually. With Virginia's only dedicated, comprehensive breast center, with specialty onsite surgical/radiology services, the UVA Cancer Center is also recognized for expertise in gynecologic malignancies, head and neck cancer, hematologic malignancies, hepatobiliary cancer, melanoma, and neuro-oncology, and has pioneered the use of tomotherapy in radiation oncology. The emphasis in clinical care is to put patients at the center of a network of specialists and provide care which is integrated, technologically advanced, and compassionate. A new state-of-the-art, 150,000-square-foot outpatient building directly across from the main hospital and close to the cancer center research laboratories, is slated for completion in 2011. It will house integrated patient treatments, services, diagnostics, and clinical trials under one roof.

An architectural rendering of the UVA Cancer Center's future outpatient facility, which is currently under construction.

Other Notable Programs
The UVA Cancer Center's community outreach program provided leadership in establishing Virginia's first Cancer Control plan in 2002, and the center continues to be active in its implementation. Because one-third of its patients travel 100 miles or more to get treatment at UVA, the center is developing partnerships and programs with clinical practices throughout Virginia, especially in Appalachia. The digital mobile mammography unit brings healthcare to thousands of underserved individuals across the state. UVA Cancer Center patients rely heavily on a strong palliative care program and a growing program in integrative medicine that combines rigorous science with non-traditional approaches that directly address pain, anxiety, fatigue, nutrition, and insomnia reported by many cancer patients.