(KUTV) Dixie Regional Medical Center will soon host Intermountain’s first free-standing, comprehensive cancer center.
“It’s the future of medicine and we’re right here in St. George leading the way,” says Gary Stone, Operations Officer at Intermountain Healthcare and administrator at Intermountain Precision Medicine and Cancer Center.
The new center will be a home for research and a place patients receive care. It will be filled with science and technology that is advancing the care of cancer close to home.
“We will have radiation oncology, medical oncology, all of the components of treatment and Stanford University, Precision Medicine, and the Translational Science Center,” says Stone.
Translational science is a major part of today’s research. It’s using Intermountain’s huge biorepository of over 4-million tissue samples to advance research and treatment.
“Any specimen that’s been collected since the mid-70’s has been stored and saved, and what’s really unusual is we know the health histories associated with those samples,” says Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, executive director of Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare.
The translational science center will look at the DNA of these tissue samples in hopes of revealing specific disease patterns.
“Possible genetic traits or what we call biomarkers that will lead us to maybe know how to manage these patients better and provide them better treatment in the future,” says Helaman Escobar, director of Translational Science at Intermountain Precision Genomics.
If a biomarker is found, researchers can look back at how these patients were treated and how they responded to various treatments. Then, if someone today is diagnosed with the same biomarker, the hope is that doctors will know right away what treatments will and won’t work.
“The answers for how we treat patients in the future are actually locked away in these samples of the past,” says Dr. Nadauld.
The cancer center is expected to be completed during fall of 2018.