Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute Honored for Excellence in the Care and Treatment of Lung Cancer Patients

Posted by Kassy Perry

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Awards Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute with Designation as a Community Hospital Center of Excellence Award

SAN CARLOS, Calif. and Spartanburg, SC (June 29, 2015) –Today the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) awarded Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute (Gibbs), South Carolina, the official designation as a Community Hospital Center of Excellence. The ALCF Centers of Excellence award 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, Gibbs 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.

“We are excited to join forces with the ALCF in addressing lung cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship,” said Gibbs Cancer Center Director and President, Dr. Timothy Yeatman. “Incorporating a multi-disciplinary care approach with next-generation DNA sequencing to finding the best treatment options for patients, including leading edge clinical trials, is the key to improve the overall survival and quality of life for patients.”

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)

“Since the early 2000’s, we have offered an array of services for lung cancer, including clinical research, to bring the newest treatments to the Upstate community,” said Dr. Caio Rocha Lima, medical oncologist at Gibbs. “Our lung cancer team welcomes the ALCF designation as a Center of Excellence and will continue to focus our attention on excellence in lung cancer care through research and personalized medicine.”

Gibbs 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.

“By using molecular testing and the latest diagnostic imaging, our team of experts focuses on targeting the treatment specifically for each patient, and maximizing their chance of survivorship,” said Dr. Christophe Nguyen, surgical oncologist at Gibbs.

“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.”

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

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. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised nearly $25 million for lung cancer research and related programs.

About Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is a nationally recognized cancer treatment and research facility associated with the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center program and the Medical University of South Carolina. Named for benefactors Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs and with locations in Spartanburg, Gaffney and Greer, Gibbs is a proven leader in providing effective cancer treatment through advanced technology, professional expertise and an exceptional level of personalized care. Gibbs’ oncology program, which also includes the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, has been recognized by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as offering high-quality cancer care. In 2012, Gibbs joined forces with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System to expand world-class oncology services and clinical research in the Upstate. In 2013, the Gibbs expanded its research efforts by opening a 7,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility at Pelham Medical Center.