About Arizona Cancer Center
The University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) was founded in 1976 as a part of The University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Tucson, Arizona. Shortly after its founding, UACC received its first National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, which classified the facility as a cancer research and treatment center.
UACC has come a long way since its establishment in the 1970s. The treatment center is one of the 47 Comprehensive Cancer Centers across the nation, and the only one with headquarters based in Arizona.
With this prestigious title from the NCI, the primary responsibility of UACC is to conduct research. This research is focused on studying and developing innovative prevention and treatment methods to reduce the burden and mortality of varying forms of cancer—including mesothelioma.
With an abundance of financial resources and specialized treatment equipment and research teams, UACC has emerged as a leading cancer center. The facility is best known for its ability to combine the results from research within its ongoing laboratory, clinical, and population-based studies to deliver maximal benefits to cancer patients.
An extensive focus on research and clinical trials paired with the support from a long list of public and private organizations has enabled UACC to deliver the highest quality of care to patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Arizona Cancer Center Location and Overview
Before deciding on a treatment facility, patients should know that UACC is:
- The only treatment facility in Arizona with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation of a Comprehensive Cancer Center
- A world leader in research on breast, ovarian, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers
- Grounded in four scientific research programs—cancer biology, imaging, prevention and control, and therapeutic development
- Operating one of the biggest Cancer Prevention and Control Programs in the country
- A large and capable cancer center, with 73 research labs and more than 300 specialized physicians and researchers
- Employing the top medical professionals, with 23 of their doctors listed in the 2014 Best Doctors in America database
- Collaborating with 12 colleges, 30 institutions, and 52 departments
- Comprised of 3 clinical care locations and a Research and Administration Headquarters in Tucson, along with a new treatment center in Phoenix
- Engaged in regular cancer-related education and outreach events in the community
The Arizona Cancer Center has 4 clinical care locations in Arizona, 3 in Tucson and 1 in Phoenix:
- The University of Arizona Cancer Center – Orange Grove: 1891 W. Orange Grove Rd. Tucson, AZ (520) 694-8900
- The University of Arizona Cancer Center – North Campus: 3838 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ (520) 694-2873
- The University of Arizona Cancer Center – Radiation Oncology: 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ (520) 694-7236
- The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center: 625 N. 6th St. Phoenix, AZ (602) 406-822
To book an appointment call (520) 694-2873. Administrative staff will be able to tell patients which location they need to visit depending on the nature of their appointment.
Patient Experience at Arizona Cancer Center
With UACC designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients and their families can be assured that the facility will provide the best possible care. UACC understands that cancer care can be a complicated process.
Dr. Savvides, Head of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the center, explains:
Our goal to make it as easy as possible for patients and their support teams to navigate treatment.
Patients can expect to interact with multiple specialists during a single visit at the UACC. Information will be exchanged between these specialists, care options will be discussed and a detailed treatment plan will be presented.
At UACC the goal is to inform patients and their support teams to facilitate a more significant connection to the prescribed treatment and a patients oncology team.
Mesothelioma Program at Arizona Cancer Center
As mesothelioma is a rare and complex condition, it’s essential to choose a hospital that has experience in treating the disease. At UACC, teams within the Southwest Lung Cancer Program at their North Campus in Tucson and the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Clinic at their St. Joseph’s location in Phoenix, are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pleural mesothelioma.
These departments contain teams of specialists dedicated to developing individualized and comprehensive treatment plans. Both teams specialize in treating masses found in the chest cavity, caused by varying forms of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma.
The Southwest Lung Program and Thoracic Clinic treatment teams are made up of thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, oncologists, and radiologists. Collaboration between these specialists ensures that patients have access to all the resources available at UACC.
The goal of these departments is to develop the most innovative, minimally invasive, and effective treatment methods for pleural mesothelioma, esophageal and lung cancer. These efforts are seen through participation in cutting-edge clinical trials and ongoing laboratory research.
Although UACC primarily treats pleural mesothelioma through their Southwest Lung Cancer Program and Multidisciplinary Thoracic Clinic, other departments within their center are fully equipped to address cases of pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Doctors at Arizona Cancer Center
The core team within the Southwest Lung Cancer Program includes Dr. Linda Garland (Director), Dr. James Knepler, and Dr. Afshin Sam.
Of these medical professionals, Dr. Garland holds expertise in mesothelioma.
Dr. Garland has designed and led various clinical trials that have tested emerging treatments for advanced mesothelioma. Additionally, she has collaborated with other scientists to develop innovative means of preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer through the identification of biomarkers (substances attached to cancerous cells that lead to their identification).
Chemotherapy can be effective for some patients but is it associated with limited survival rates in mesothelioma and lung cancer patients. For this reason, Dr. Garland’s research has focused on the study of new therapeutic methods to develop individualistic and effective treatment plans for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Arizona Cancer Center
Treatment for mesothelioma will differentiate between patients depending on the cancer stage, tumor location, and cell type.
If you receive treatment at UACC the following therapy options may be offered:
- Surgery: UACC surgeons may recommend pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) or extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) procedures. These surgeries involve partial or complete removal of the infected lung for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. If a patient qualifies, UACC has the resources to perform these surgeries through minimally invasive techniques.
- Radiation: The radiation oncologists at UACC have state-of-the-art equipment to deliver the most effective treatment for mesothelioma patients. The facility has access to TomoTherapy, which is a machine that can provide precise radiation treatment. The center also uses stereotactic body radiosurgery, which is a way of giving a high dose of radiation to a tumor from different directions with minimal damage to surrounding tissues.
- Chemotherapy: Specialized oncologists at UACC may prescribe chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of mesothelioma. Standard therapies include Alimta, cisplatin, and gemcitabine, but the facility is engaged in ongoing clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new chemotherapy agents.
Clinical Trials and Research at Arizona Cancer Center
UACC is the only facility in Arizona with its Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the NCI. With this prestigious title, the facility is engaged in cutting-edge research and clinical trials aimed at preventing and finding a cure for various forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
UACC has an extensive research portfolio due to its annual funding budget of over $40 million, long list of collaborative research grants, and interdisciplinary programs. With these resources, thoracic surgeon Dr. Daniel was able to perform the first successful extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) in the Southern part of Arizona in 2010. With a specialized staff and an abundance of resources, UACC is usually first to lead clinical trials.
UACC is Southern Arizona’s leading facility for clinical trials of emerging cancer drugs. Currently, the UACC is conducting over 200 clinical trials to find new chemotherapy agents to fight multiple types of cancer.
Phase I clinical trials perform the first stages of the investigation into a new drug’s effectiveness and possible side effects. In the past year and a half since the appointment of Dr. Mahadevan to Director of the Phase I Program, UACC has doubled its Phase I Clinical Trial team and patient enrollment.
We are first in line to get trials from Bristol-Myers Squibb (pharmaceutical company), they trust that we’re going to run the trial well. — Mr. Canamar, Phase I Program lead
Increasing success in Phase I clinical trials at UACC should bring hope to mesothelioma patients as many cases do not respond well to currently available treatment methods.
Arizona Cancer Center Insurance Information
Accepted insurance plans vary between treatment locations at the UACC.
We encourage you to be in touch with the administrative staff at UACC by calling (520) 694-2873 along with your insurance provider to verify coverage.
Seeking Treatment at Arizona Cancer Center
Extensive research and participation in hundreds of clinical trials have allowed UACC to invest in technologically advanced equipment and treatment methods. These factors have attracted the top medical professionals, researchers, and scientists from across the nation, enabling mesothelioma patients to receive the most advanced and multimodal care.
To receive comprehensive treatment for your mesothelioma diagnosis, you can contact the University of Arizona Cancer Center at (520) 694-2873.