Magazine article Medical Economics

Yale Cancer Center

Magazine article Medical Economics

Yale Cancer Center

Article excerpt

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

An all-inclusive approach to care, a tradition of pioneering research, and quick responsiveness to patients' needs make the Yale Comprehensive Section of Gynecologic Oncology a Clinical Center of Excellence.

Founded in 1979, the section today includes five faculty members and a budget of $6 million. The number of new and returning patients treated has grown from 2,050 in 2003 to 8,300 in 2008. Yale has been designated a leading cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

The center is well known for its surgically aggressive approach to treatment, says Thomas Rutherford, MD, PhD, associate professor and section chief. That is partially because of its frequent use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatment prior to surgery leads to shorter hospital stays, a decreased need for blood transfusions, and better outcomes.

The fact that patients can receive both chemotherapy and surgery within the center sets it apart, according to Rutherford. "We don't just operate and then send the patient to medical oncology," he says. "If the patient has a problem with any aspect of their treatment, we're right here for them."

Yale physicians also treat benign and pre-malignant tumors, as well as gestational trophoblastic disease and soft-tissue tumors of the pelvis.

Research- particularly in the early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer- has long been a key part of the section. Under the direction of Peter Schwartz, MD, the department pioneered the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in 1979. …

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