Patients with rare cancers – and limited treatments – will now have significantly expanded options. Greenville Health System’s Rare Tumor Center is the nation’s first center dedicated exclusively to the treatment and research of rare cancers.
Microwave Ablation is an FDA-cleared method of using focused heat to ablate lesions in the body. One or more probes are placed directly into a lesion, and then emit microwave energy from their tips.
Ambulatory Infusion Center
The Ambulatory Infusion Center (AIC) uses advanced technology and expert staff to deliver the full spectrum of infusion therapies for adult patients who do not require hospitalization. Located at the GHS Cancer Institute on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, AIC provides cancer patients access to the latest cancer research protocols, including National Cancer Institute clinical trials.
Scope of Care
Treatment at AIC can range from a brief injection to a full day transfusion. A variety of critical features enables the center to deliver high quality care:
• An all-R.N. chemotherapy-certified nursing staff
• Comfortable treatment chairs
• Private infusion area, if needed
• Access to GHS resources, including on-site lab, pharmacist and other support services
AIC offers a full array of infusion therapies, including:
• Blood product transfusions
• PICC line placement
• Chemotherapy administration
• Biological response modifier injections
• Monoclonal-antibody therapy
• Therapeutic phlebotomy
The AIC is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call (864) 455-6743.
Chemotherapy is one treatment modality for treating cancer. Chemotherapy entails the administration of anti-cancer medications. Patients may take these drugs before surgery, with radiation treatment, or by themselves. The type of chemotherapy varies by the type of cancer. Our team of oncology specialists guide the patient and family through the diagnosis and treatment appropriate for their cancer.
Prior to scheduling an appointment you will need to be referred by your oncologist. For more information, please call the GHS Cancer Institute general information line at (864) 455-5862.
Our physician director, Suzanne Fanning, DO, is board certified in hematology/oncology and is a member of the highly skilled GHS oncology team. The Hematology Center of Excellence provides hematology services for a variety of hematologic disorders in addition to the management of hematologic malignancies. These disorders include:
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Coagulative disorders like hemophilia
Some of the treatments for these disorders include chemotherapy, apheresis, and in some hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplant.
In addition, therapeutic apheresis procedures are adjunctive treatment for patients with hematological, neuromuscular, renal, rheumatological and autoimmune disorders.
Human Performance Lab
The Greenville Health System’s Human Performance Laboratory – expected to open in January 2014 – is the first HPL in the nation to be fully embedded into a cancer research and treatment program.
The HPL, which already is working with a limited number of patients on a pilot basis, is a collaborative effort between GHS and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. While its initial focus is on cancer survivor patients in the GHS Cancer Institute, the lab will ultimately serve all GHS clinical populations.
Human performance labs traditionally have been the province of elite athletes who use the state-of-the-art analysis to improve performance. This the first time that a HPL will be used by a cancer institute to measure the changes in post-treatment cancer survivors — from whole body function all the way down the cellular level — in an effort to improve patient health and outcomes. The 1,000-square-foot lab, based at the GHS Cancer Institute, will measure cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, body composition and metabolic fitness down to the mitochondrial level.
The inpatient oncology unit, located on the fourth floor of Greenville Memorial Hospital, consists of 50 private rooms for patients. Patients and their families are cared for by oncology nurses and other staff. Nurses and other staff must undergo special education and advanced certification to stay abreast of the advancing technology in the care and treatment of various types of cancer. To keep abreast of all the new technologies and services for cancer patients, staff members actively seek out educational opportunities. Many of these programs are offered on-site to nursing and the community.
Other staff members who also care for cancer patients on the oncology unit and at GHS include:
Mental Health Services
Outcomes Management Department
Caregiver Support Group
Clinical laboratory testing plays a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including cancer. Laboratory tests are provided to patients in connection with their chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.
Advances in laboratory testing are continually occurring to enhance the early detection of many types of cancer. Along with detecting cancer, these tests will monitor the response of the therapy given and determine effective treatment options for the patient.
Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT)
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exposes the body’s physiologic changes, revealing both normal and abnormal tissue activity (tumors), while Computed Tomography (CT) reveals the detailed structure of the anatomy where the activity is taking place. This integrated information enhances the physician’s ability to detect and localize cancer at earlier stages, as well as to better define the stage of the tumor. Currently, integrated PET and CT scans are being used for breast, esophageal, cervical, melanoma, lymphoma, lung, colorectal, head and neck and ovarian cancers.
Oncology pharmacy services include comprehensive patient education, continuity of care, convenience and access to a pharmacist specializing in cancer and treatment. The services provided include mixing of chemotherapy products, providing take home prescriptions in some offices and filling clinical trial prescriptions. The pharmacists providing these services are specially trained to support cancer patients being cared for by the GHS Cancer Institute. The pharmacists provide support to both physicians and nurses, allowing them to perform more complicated therapies in the outpatient setting rather than in the hospital. This results in reduced health care costs as well as improved patient satisfaction.
The pharmacy, through the development of drug usage protocols, helps lower costs and improves patient care. Oncology pharmacy services are ultimately for the patients’ benefit to ensure the patients will be much more satisfied with the overall cancer treatment experience.
Radiation oncology is the treatment of tumors with highly focused and targeted energy (radiation). There are many ways that radiation can be delivered, including linear accelerator, gamma knife and implanted material. The method chosen is a decision made by the patient and the cancer team and depends on the type of cancer a patient has, the extent of the cancer and the cancer’s location. Our board certified radiation oncologists are skilled in all the standard and emerging treatments to meet the needs of cancer patients.
The STAR Tumor Ablation System is a new treatment that targets pain in cancer patients with metastatic spinal tumors. The STAR treatment is most beneficial for patients with radio-resistant tumors, recurrent pain after radiation therapy, posterior vertebral body metastatic tumors, or with localized pain and symptoms that are preventing palliative radiation; also, those who have reached their maximum radiation dose limit and cannot undergo other palliative treatments due to current systemic treatments in which myelosuppression is of concern.
The surgical oncology division at Greenville Health System is committed to the care of patients with cancer and to providing the newest treatment available. This commitment is exemplified by the collaboration between physicians involved in the daily care of cancer patients. The surgical oncology division is also dedicated to research and education, which benefit both patients and families.
The division includes surgeons with fellowship training in several fields, including surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, breast surgery and endocrine surgery. Our surgeons’ emphasis on personalized and comprehensive cancer treatment has established the GHS surgical oncology department as the region’s leading choice for cancer surgery and care, drawing patients from Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and areas throughout the Southeast.
The GHS Cancer Institute meets and exceeds standards for specific nationally recognized quality measures as indicated by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Click here to view our 2012 report for breast, colon and rectal cancers.