Coachella Valley residents who have a cancer diagnosis will now have access to expanded services without having to travel outside of the desert.

Eisenhower Health and UC San Diego Health signed a five-year affiliation agreement to expand cancer services for residents of Coachella Valley beginning this month, hospital leaders announced Thursday.

Patients of Eisenhower Health will now have enhanced access to world-class cancer care, both at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center and at UC San Diego Health with Eisenhower now a member of the UC San Diego Health Cancer Network.

The collaboration will blend high-quality patient care available from both organizations while expanding the services available from the multidisciplinary team from Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health into the southeastern California region. The new services will be offered at Eisenhower so patients benefit from the same advanced, innovative health care they would expect from UC San Diego Health but without needing to travel to San Diego.

Cancer Services Expand In Coachella Valley

G. Aubrey Serfling

“This alliance with UC San Diego Health is bringing leading-edge science to the desert, making dramatic new capabilities available locally — capabilities for which cancer patients used to have to leave town,” said G. Aubrey Serfling, president and CEO of  Eisenhower Health said in a prepared statement. “It also gives patients another level of confidence that they’re getting the best care here in the desert as well as streamlined access to highly specialized care that’s only available at UC San Diego Health, should they need it.”

“Our team of physicians and researchers at UC San Diego Health are not only conducting cancer research, they are leading the way in developing and delivering the latest therapies available to people with cancer,” Patty Maysent, CEO of UC San Diego Health said in a prepared statement. “By joining efforts with Eisenhower Medical Center, we can reach more people in Southern California so they too can benefit from the subspecialty expertise and access to immunotherapy as well as genomic and personalized medicine.”

Eisenhower already offers a range of state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options for patients at the Lucy Curci Cancer Center, its six oncology clinics, the Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center, five infusion sites, BIGHORN Radiation Oncology Center and clinical trials office.

One of only 49 National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and one of only five in Southern California, UC San Diego Health is an academic health system, conducting more than 300 interventional trials that are often unavailable anywhere else, including 40 investigational immunotherapies and stem cell-based approaches. In addition, experts from UC San Diego Health will provide monthly blood and marrow transplant clinic, genetic counseling, and access to other specialties as needed.

“Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center patients will now have access to these cancer clinical trials locally, which is something we couldn’t do without a university partner,”Serfling said. “Immunotherapy, precision medicine — this is the new frontier of cancer medicine, and it’s going to be available here at Eisenhower.”

Physicians at Eisenhower will be able to discuss rare and complex cases as well as share expertise during meetings of the Moores Cancer Center’s molecular tumor board. A tumor board is a multidisciplinary conference where complex patient cases and treatment options are discussed in detail by medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists, researchers, geneticists and pathologists.

The affiliation will expand collaborative research opportunities, add telemedicine options and increase opportunities for persons seeking superior cancer treatment. If needed, patients will have access to services offered at UC San Diego Health locations in San Diego. These include highly specialized and advanced diagnostic, imaging, surgical or oncologic services.

UC San Diego Health is comprised of UC San Diego Medical Center, Jacobs Medical Center, Shiley Eye Institute and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, as well as other primary and specialty practices located throughout Southern California. Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health is a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a designation reserved for centers with the highest achievements in cancer research, translational science, clinical care, education and community contributions. Studies show that outcomes at NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers result in superior survival and recovery rates.

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