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Yuan Chang
Patrick S. Moore

UPMC Media Relations

Hillman Cancer Center Marks First-Year Anniversary By Celebrating Major Accomplishments

PITTSBURGH, October 9, 2003 One year ago today, the Hillman Cancer Center was officially dedicated at UPMC Shadyside as leaders from around the region gathered to celebrate its grand opening as a state-of-the-art cancer center, new home for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and hub of the UPMC Cancer Centers network. Today, patients, faculty, staff and volunteers at the Hillman Cancer Center celebrate major achievements in patient care and research and the centers emergence as a vital force in shaping the economic future and health of the region over the past year. The celebration will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Hillman Cancer Center ground floor atrium. Media are welcome to attend.

Clinical Care Highlights

During a relatively short period of time since its opening, the Hillman Cancer Center has been able to treat an ever increasing number of patients based on the availability and growth of its clinical care services.

  • Approximately 5,100 new patients were cared for by physicians at the Hillman Cancer Center during the past year. These patients represent only a portion of the 31,473 total physician visits to the center, and the 12,500 newly diagnosed patients treated at UPMC Cancer Centers throughout the region.
  • Physicians at the Hillman Cancer Center recruited 1,166 patients into therapeutic clinical studies of new and innovative cancer therapies, representing a nearly three-fold increase in recruitments during the previous year. These patients were among a total of 4,366 patients enrolled in therapeutic, screening and prevention trials designed to save lives and improve the quality of life for all patients.
  • Major renovations totaling $15 million were completed at UPMC Shadyside for the creation of the Mary Hillman Jennings Radiation Oncology Center. The center offers state-of-the-art treatments such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), cyberknife radiosurgery and brachytherapy, and is connected to the Hillman Cancer Center via a pedestrian bridge.
  • Thirty-four outpatient stem cell transplantations were performed during the past year, representing a nearly two-fold increase from last year.
  • Seven hundred sixty-five people attended the Hillman Cancer Centers new community education series, A Reason to Hope, that focused on the latest advances in cancer research and treatment. The series is being expanded this fall to several additional sites within the UPMC Cancer Centers network.
  • UPMC Cancer Centers became the nations leading provider of IMRT, a state-of-the-art procedure that delivers high doses of radiation precisely to tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Approximately 500 patients received IMRT treatment in the last year, compared to 100 in the previous year. In the coming year, more than 1,000 patients are expected to receive IMRT treatment.
  • The UPMC Cancer Centers network opened new facilities in St. Clair and Latrobe and announced plans for similar centers in Moon, Beaver and Natrona Heights. These new facilities are connected to the Hillman Cancer Center via a telecommunications network that provides access to IMRT, which is not typically available in community settings.

Research Highlights

The Hillman Cancer Center has enabled UPCI to recruit renowned investigators, increasing the prestige of its programs and ability to secure funding and compete for top research awards

  • Investigators at the Hillman Cancer Center received $148 million in research funding from the government, foundations and corporations, including almost $115 million from the National Institutes of Health.
  • UPCI researchers Yuan Chang, M.D., and Patrick S. Moore, M.D., M.P.H., were awarded the General Motors Foundations Charles S. Mott Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in cancer research. The husband-and-wife team were honored with the Mott Prize for their discovery of Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which causes Kaposis sarcoma the most common malignancy occurring in AIDS patients.
  • The Hillman Cancer Center enabled UPCI to recruit 25 new faculty members from major institutions across the country during the past year, this is in addition to the 51 recruited during the past three years since plans for the center were announced.
  • The Hillman Cancer Center hosted its first international symposium on cancer research that attracted experts from around the world, including internationally renowned researchers such as Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt, Ph.D., from the London Research Institute.
  • UPCI was one of six cancer centers in the country awarded a grant for $5.6 million from the National Cancer Institute to develop a community model for enhancing patient participation in early phase clinical trials. Clinicians at the Hillman Cancer Center are working closely with community oncologists at three UPMC Cancer Centers locations in Jefferson, Latrobe and Wexford.

Economic Development Highlights

Stimulating the growth of new biotech companies and attracting new talent to the region, the Hillman Cancer Center continues to make a significant impact on the regional economy through its network of UPMC Cancer Centers.

  • UPCI launched a new company, ImmunoSite, Inc., that signed more than $1 million in new contracts in its first year. ImmunoSite, based on the work of UPCI researchers Theresa Whiteside, Ph.D., and Elaine Elder, Sc.D., provides monitoring services to support clinical development of vaccines, immunotherapies and pharmaceuticals.
  • The Hillman Cancer Center spurred a $250 million investment to redevelop the Baum/Centre Avenue corridor in Shadyside including several hotels, retail developments and renovations to existing properties.
  • UPMC Cancer Centers established D3 Advanced Radiation Planning Services, a highly successful radiation oncology service company that provides centralized treatment planning services to UPMC Cancer Centers as well as numerous hospitals and freestanding institutions around the country.
  • The Courtyard Marriott in Shadyside on Centre Avenue opened its doors in August, serving many of the families of patients at UPMC Shadyside and the Hillman Cancer Center, and the many scientists and physicians visiting the center.

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