POTTSTOWN, Pa., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Pottstown Memorial Medical Center will enhance their oncology program to include access to cutting-edge cancer research by affiliating with Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, hospital officials announced yesterday at a news conference held at PMMC. The affiliation creating the Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center establishes PMMC as a member of Fox Chase Network. Fox Chase Network is a select group of 19 community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey working cooperatively with Fox Chase Cancer Center to provide the latest in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment to people in their own communities. "Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has a tradition of providing excellent care to people in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties," said John Buckley, president and chief executive officer. "The affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer Center can only enhance our cancer services by enabling us to offer our patients access to the latest in cancer prevention, research and treatment. The leadership role we have taken in developing this relationship will bring the highest quality cancer care to people of this region." "By participating in joint clinical studies, Pottstown Memorial and other Fox Chase Network hospitals can help Fox Chase physicians build on the foundation of cancer research and translate our findings more quickly into treatment advances that benefit patients," said Dr. Paul F. Engstrom, medical director of Fox Chase Network and senior vice president of population science at Fox Chase Cancer Center. According to Dr. Patrick Colarusso, medical director of Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center, patients often face a disturbing dilemma as cancer treatment becomes more complex: the most advanced therapies may be available only at comprehensive cancer centers located far from home. "Through Fox Chase Cancer Center, Pottstown Memorial physicians can offer their patients access to more than 100 investigational treatment protocols, including the latest chemoprevention studies, that otherwise would not be available," Colarusso pointed out. These research protocols, also known as clinical trials, are state-of-the- art studies using drugs, radiation, surgery or other therapies. There are many kinds of trials, ranging from diagnosis to ways to prevent cancer. Clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute are available only through certain approved research centers and their affiliates, such as PMMC. PMMC also will have ties to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network through its affiliation with Fox Chase, an NCCN founding member, Engstrom said. "The NCCN is a national alliance of 17 of the nation's leading cancer centers including Fox Chase, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to develop and institute standards, guidelines and systems assuring high quality, cost-effective cancer care," Engstrom explained. NCCN centers offer services ranging from cancer prevention and screening to the very latest in cancer treatment. Patients have access to these centers through national managed care contracts between NCCN and self-insured employers and existing managed cancer networks. The mission of the NCCN includes developing practice standards; promoting cost containment and quality-assurance programs; advocating the highest quality cancer care by educating the consumer, the payer and the provider about the role of research-based cancer centers in the care, treatment and cure of cancer patients; and promoting cancer prevention, early diagnosis and screening programs. Pottstown Memorial Medical Center is a 295-bed, non-profit, community hospital located in western Montgomery County. PMMC's Medical Staff includes over 250 physicians and offers specialists in over 30 clinical areas. A full- range of services is offered including cancer, emergency care, medical/surgical care, progressive care, and many specialty care centers including maternity & women's health, transitional care, cardiac, psychiatric, renal care, cancer, home care, occupational medicine, work recovery, and community health education and outreach. PMMC is owned by Pottstown Healthcare Corporation (PHC) which also owns Coventry, Berks and Limerick Family Care as well as Coventry Pediatrics, and the Pottstown Scanning and Treatment Center. As an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, Fox Chase Cancer Center's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs. Also based at Fox Chase is the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, a toll- free telephone service providing cancer information to people in New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania. CONTACT: Debra Bennis, Manager, Community Relations & Marketing of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, 610-327-7464, or Julia Goplerud of Fox Chase Cancer Center, 215-728-3656.
SOURCE Fox Chase Cancer Center