Donald L. (Skip) Trump, MD, FACP, is CEO and executive director of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. Prior to joining Inova in 2015, Dr. Trump played leadership roles at nationally designated cancer institutes in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Durham, North Carolina and Madison, Wisconsin. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine and has a particular clinical and research interest in genitourinary cancers, especially prostate cancer. Read Dr. Trump’s profile.
We are excited to be building a specialized cancer center at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. I have long believed that specialized cancer centers stand out for their excellent care and that outstanding care leads to improved outcomes for patients. Published research supports this point, and a new study enhances that argument.
A study of almost 1 million patients published in December in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found patients with prostate, lung, breast and colorectal cancers treated at dedicated cancer centers live longer than those treated at community hospitals.
The differences were substantial: For all cancer types combined, the death rate in the first year was 28 percent at community hospitals compared to 18 percent at the cancer centers included in the study.
Inova Schar Cancer Institute: Coordination and Collaboration
What makes dedicated cancer centers so successful in treating patients? I believe interdisciplinary care and integration are the most important features. We cancer specialists work together in teams to create comprehensive, coordinated treatment plans to help patients live longer.
Such integration is hard to achieve in any hospital setting, but hospitals that have made a commitment to integrated care – such as the dedicated centers in this study – do it better. In the average hospital, specialists are often located physically far from one another. That makes coordination and communication more difficult.
At the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, our specialists will be located in close proximity to one another to allow for excellent coordination, collaboration and patient/family-centered care. Each member of those coordinated treatment teams brings a unique perspective and knowledge to patient care.
Advanced Cancer Care and Research
Last February, we acquired a new campus that will be the home of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute’s new cancer care facility. That facility will be designed to facilitate interdisciplinary, disease-specific cancer care, so that experts who treat a certain type of cancer will all see patients in one area of the building. All breast cancer caregivers will be located in one clinical area, for instance, while prostate cancer providers will be in another. That design will allow for even greater coordination between physicians, researchers, social workers, dietitians and other experts.
In the meantime, we continue to emphasize coordination in our existing facilities. We value excellent communication between patients and all members of the medical team and are developing a distinctive approach for personalized care on par with other top cancer centers around the nation. Cancer patients throughout the region should be aware of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute.
Learn more about the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, an international center for advanced cancer care and research.