Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN) provides physicians and their patient’s access to a full-range of capabilities that includes diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, pharmaceuticals, clinical trials and supportive services. With six locations, CCCN takes pride in its community-based, out-patient care. Due to intense treatments, cancer patients need community-based services that are close to home. Patient’s can go to one of the six locations – in almost every corner of the Las Vegas Valley – and receive all their treatments in one day.
Improved Radiation Treatments
CCCN is the only community-based cancer treatment center in Southern Nevada affiliated with University of Southern California (USC) and U.S. Oncology, the parent company of CCCN. U.S. Oncology is the nation’s largest healthcare services network devoted exclusively to cancer treatment and research.
Two radiation therapy methods used at all of CCSN’s locations are Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). “Radiation is an established protocol for the treatment of cancer. In the past, less precise equipment aimed radiation not only at the tumor but the surrounding tissue,” said Dr. James Sanchez, president of CCCN. When radiation hits normal tissue, it causes severe damage. IGRT is used to identify the precise localization of a patient’s treatment area because tumors move between treatments. IMRT is a non-invasive technology that uses computer-generated images and treatment planning to deliver tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors.
The northwest facility of CCCN has a machine unique to Nevada. The Phillip’s PET/CT combination scanner is only used in three locations west of the Mississippi – CCCN is one of those locations. The machine provides two- and three-dimensional images of the body, highlighting tumors. It provides the most accurate information about the location, size and shape of a tumor, and gives physicians a detailed map to use in developing treatment plans.
CCCN offers patients the opportunity to receive investigational drugs – those not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). “Trial drugs give our doctors more options,” said Sanchez. “We can select the proper treatments for each patient’s unique case.” Oncologists and researchers manage the use and investigations of these drugs in order to discover new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat different types of cancer.
The methods for creating and maintaining medical records have not kept pace with the rest of the world’s technology. Most records are still kept in physical files and must be mailed or faxed to other locations when needed. “U.S. Oncology felt so strongly about the need to keep records electronically instead of the traditional paper form that they bought a program called IKnowMed,” said Sanchez. “IKnowMed allows us [oncologists] to access any records at any location and communicate with various parts of the office.” According to Sanchez, maintaining patient records in an electronic format is one of the most important things a medical office can accomplish.
CCCN is progressive in its research efforts to treat cancer. With more than 83 percent of cancer care delivered at the community level, clinics must offer more advanced care to treat and reduce the spread of cancer.