CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The Southern Utah community is invited to help the Intermountain Cancer Center St. George “outsmart cancer” by joining Dixie Regional Medical Center for the “Virtual Jubilee of Trees 2020.” The event will support cancer care and the HerediGene: Population Study.
St. George has a long history of excellent cancer care. The first Intermountain Dixie Regional Cancer Center was opened in St. George in 1985 to treat downwinders – people from the Southwest who were affected by radiation exposure from the nuclear test sites in Nevada during the 1950s.
At the time, it was the smallest fully accredited cancer center in the United States. Since 1985, the Intermountain Cancer Center St. George has grown to become a world-class research and treatment center offering the most advanced cancer care available.
“The St. George Cancer Center has been in its new location for almost two years now,” said Derrick Haslem, M.D., director of cancer services for Intermountain Healthcare. “This beautiful building located on the Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center Campus represents our community’s and Intermountain’s fight against cancer. We are incredibly grateful for the community support that helped make this cancer center a reality.”
Within the red sandstone-colored walls of the St. George Cancer Center, there’s a lot of supportive, initiative-driven cancer care and research happening. A collaborative team of physicians and caregivers are committed to providing comprehensive and convenient cancer services personalized for each patient.
“We are always seeking to improve patient care,” Haslem said. “We are currently finding ways for patients to have chemotherapy and immunotherapies in the comfort of their own homes. We are also filling the gap between hospital care and home care for cancer patients. A partnership with Intermountain Home Care as well as virtual visits with oncologists are making subacute cancer care possible to do within the home.”
Intermountain cancer services are also currently piloting wearable wrist devices to monitor vital signs and physiological data of cancer patients to detect trouble with potential treatment side effects. Reducing side effects and fighting cancer is what targeted cancer therapy, Intermountain Precision Genomics and the St. George Cancer Center are doing as they continue to outsmart cancer.
The HerediGene: Population Study is seeking to outsmart cancer by gathering knowledge. By analyzing genetics and DNA, Intermountain scientists are looking for known disease-causing gene mutations that often indicate a higher risk for certain diseases like cancer or heart disease. When it’s known what diseases a person may be more prone to develop, medical professionals can create personalized action and treatment plans to help prevent those diseases from occurring and catch them at an earlier, more treatable stage.
“The HerediGene: Population Study is the largest population study ever attempted from a single population,” said Lincoln Nadauld, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of Intermountain Precision Health & Genomics. “Already in the first 10,000 of genomes analyzed, we’ve discovered hundreds of disease-causing genes. The HerediGene: Population Study is an exciting and ambitious initiative that will be world-changing.”
The study aims to discover new connections between genetics and human disease. By studying the genes of 500,000 participants over five years, Intermountain scientists will better understand the human genome and improve their ability to detect, treat and prevent diseases such as breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease. The HerediGene: Population Study will lead to new treatment options and hope for future generations of families susceptible to diseases such as cancer.
“Another benefit to this study is a greater understanding of how to prescribe medications,” Nadauld said. “Knowing exactly which medication will react the best with a patient’s DNA will be invaluable in cancer treatment and also for mental health patients. The amount of helpful data collected from the HerediGene: Population Study will be enormous. Supercomputers will be needed to store and mine all the data, making the St. George Cancer Center one of the largest repositories of data worldwide.”
Life-changing research and cancer care is happening at the St. George Cancer Center. Attend the Virtual Jubilee of Trees 2020 to support cancer care and the HerediGene: Population Study.
The Virtual Jubilee of Trees 2020 will be held Nov. 19-21. Visit the Dixie Regional Medical Center website to register or make a donation.
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