Partnership Enhances Treatment of Cancer and Other Conditions in Lancaster County

By: Valerie Lauer
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Specialty: 

The synergies created by the joining of Lancaster General Health and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) enable providers throughout the system to work in an environment of close collaboration that benefits patients and physicians alike.

The partnership enhanced a broad spectrum of care on a local level and throughout the nationally recognized Penn Medicine network. The focus on the care of patients with cancer is a particularly shining example.

“LG Health/Penn Medicine was a founding member of the Penn Cancer Network, and the relationship has elevated cancer care throughout Central Pennsylvania for more than 20 years,” says Randall Oyer, MD, Director of Oncology for LG Health. “Since we joined Penn Medicine in 2015, we are able to provide local access to medical advances, clinical trials and oncology services typically found only in academic settings, as well as offer valuable input from our own experiences.”

Focusing In

At the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, LG Health/Penn Medicine annually hosts more than 150 tumor boards — multidisciplinary planning conferences at which providers from Lancaster County and Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia work together to assess patient cases and determine courses of treatment.

LGH-Penn Med Tumor Board 750
At the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, LG Health/Penn Medicine annually hosts more than 150 tumor boards — multidisciplinary planning conferences at which providers from Lancaster County and Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia work together to assess patient cases and determine courses of treatment.

“Tumor boards focus on one specific type of cancer at a time, drawing together experts on specific kinds of tumors, diagnostics, research, innovative treatments and patient management to better guide each case,” Dr. Oyer says. “Penn Medicine physicians attend on-site or remotely, and summaries of recommendations and diagnoses are available after the board via our electronic medical records system.”

These groups have worked closely to enhance the care of conditions such as acute leukemia, pancreatic cancer and brain tumors. Collaboration leverages LG Health/Penn Medicine’s expansive procedural offerings and the expertise of its providers, as well as the advanced capabilities of the Penn Medicine system, to offer patients more leading-edge treatments in customizable care programs.

Building on Mutual Respect

“LG Health/Penn Medicine is a regional leader, with providers who take a highly personalized, holistic approach to oncology and have done so for years,” says Lawrence Shulman, MD, Deputy Director for Clinical Services at the Abramson Cancer Center and Chair of the Cancer Services Line for Penn Medicine. “For example, before we became partners, LG Health already used genomics to direct patient care — something most community hospitals don’t even attempt.”

Targeting cancer on the genetic level enables LG Health/Penn Medicine providers to build treatment plans that take the particular elements of tumors into account to improve outcomes. Advanced laboratory services at Penn Medicine standardize and streamline personalized medicine in Lancaster County.

Penn Medicine is ranked highest in the Philadelphia region and 11th in the nation for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. LG Health’s relationship with Penn Medicine opens local access to Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. Today the Abramson Cancer Center oversees one of the largest clinical trial programs in the country, with more than 200 trials available at any one time. Many of these trials become part of national clinical trial groups, which include thousands of participants. Because of its excellence in clinical trials, the Abramson Cancer Center has been selected to participate in important national clinical trials for such recognized NCI Clinical Trials Network groups as ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, NRG Oncology and Children’s Oncology Group.