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Scripps Health Joins MD Anderson Cancer Network

August 30, 2016 1:19 p.m.

Scripps Health Joins MD Anderson Cancer Network


Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO, Scripps Health

Related Story: Scripps Health Joins MD Anderson Cancer Network


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

The University of Texas cancer center has a logo. There is a line through the word cancer. Of visual indication that the center's mission is to eliminate the disease. The cancer center has a international reputation as a leader in cancer treatment and now it has for the new partnership in San Diego. Scripps Health system has announced an agreement with the center and will begin using MD Anderson treatment and research protocols. Joining me is Chris Van Gorder CEO of Scripps Health. It is estimated more than one-hitter 70,000 people in California are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. What you think this partnership will mean for cancer patients?
I think this is very important. I was meeting with the president of the California Hospital Association and I mentioned that we were going to hold a press conference announcing this partnership and he said you do new -- you do realize that cancer has now overtaken cardiac diseases as the number-one killer in the state of California. So we have a agent population and cancer is going to become even more prevalent. We already care for about 30 for % of the patients with cancer in this community. We are the largest if not the largest provider of healthcare for cancer patients in this community. Cancer -- the advances of cancer research and treatment protocols, chemotherapy, radiation, or advancing so quickly it is impossible for any physician or anyone organization to keep up the latest state-of-the-art treatments
Will there be an actual physical center established in San Diego or will the partnership work at of existing scripts facilities?
We have a facility across the street from the hospital that we actually overbuilt intentionally with the intention of ultimately building a cancer center at that site. We are going to work with MD Anderson and build out that site and then her goal of this point is to have another win in the South . We have ideas and in place located in our plan is to have a northern comprehensive site.
So does this mean that we should sit in San Diego who are in -- interested in the rolling in a clinical trial will no longer need to travel to Houston to do that what
That is our goal. Ronald DePinho without here and he said the goal is to keep patients close to home. Those clinical trials will be extended to patients here are point that doesn't mean that every clinical trial will be here. I don't think there's any cancer center in the United States that offers every single clinical trial . One thing that Ronald DePinho was telling me is that 2 to 3% of patients with cancer that could benefit from a clinical trial actually have access to clinical trials in the United States. Their goal in our goal is to make sure that if we have a patient that could benefit from a clinical trial, they get that at Scripps and if they can't that a patient will be referred to UCLA or MD Anderson in Houston. We want to make sure that the patient did access to the best and latest clinical trials and research available. That is what this relationship with MD Anderson will do with us.
What does that mean how will treatment of cancer at Scripps change what
I think that is an excellent question. MD Anderson and probably some of the major cancer centers do this is taking a multidisciplinary approach to cancer different than when it used to be. They would tell you what is the best therapy or go to a search or something like that. Anybody that is diagnosed with cancer in this program that cancer patient will be brought to a board and those will be jointly with the physicians in Houston and here in San Diego and you will have radiation therapist, imaging specialist, surgeons, subspecialty physicians looking at that one individual case and together deciding which is the best protocol for that patient to follow. That is very different in the way cancer is treated in other parts of the 19th.
Does -- this partnership has the cancer center in San Diego -- by the National Cancer Institute. They pointed out that while MD Anderson has that designation scripts will for quite some time, is that correct?
We may go for designation or might not. We are already the largest care provider for cancer in this community already. Just because you have designation doesn't mean you have all the clinical trials. We now have access to the more than 1000 close at 2000 clinical trials that MD Anderson offers. Nobody is going to be curfews.
Is this a partnership an attempt to compete with Morris? People might ask why not partner with somebody in your own backyard.
It would've been nice to be able to do that but no one has ever approaches. This came to was through Michael who was with -- is on the board of visitors and he was aware that MD Anderson was planning to develop a national network of cancer centers to work with them so that they can expand their clinical trials and expand the great care that they do there in Houston. Having said that, by the time we were approached by UCSD we were almost under this transaction in it would've been very unethical for us to stop with MD Anderson .
Now that the deal is final what is next?
Right now I will start a national search for the head of the Scripps and MD Anderson center. There is a list of about 80 things that we are going to start doing with MD Anderson so that we can start applying their clinical protocols and their practices here at Scripps. I will start working on the facility itself and we have access immediately to the clinical protocols so already patients will start to see better care at Scripps. Thing that we are to have great care and as it rolls out in the next few months it will be years that you will see a great change in the way we deliver cancer care at Scripps.
I have been speaking with Chris Van Gorder. Thank you very much.
Thank you.