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OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon, is rated one of the top cancer treatment centers in the country. Its coordinated and collaborative approach to treatment means mesothelioma patients have many experts advising on their case.

About OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute is located on campus in Portland. It is named after Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Along with his wife, Knight donated $100 million to the center. Knight has since given millions more, including matching a $500 million university fundraising goal.

The institute is currently led by Dr. Brian Druker, whose groundbreaking research discoveries have advanced treatment options for all cancers.

Dr. Druker’s mission statement for Knight Cancer is to “end cancer as we know it.”

The center emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary care for cancer patients. As a result, Knight Cancer has hired hundreds of fellowship-trained, specialized physicians to treat patients and provide insight on cases. The institute treats over 2,000 patients each year.

Knight Cancer is Oregon’s only academic health center. Its presence in the Pacific Northwest is vital for the region as the number of mesothelioma cases in Washington, Oregon and California exceeds the national average.

Overview and Location

Many mesothelioma patients choose OHSU Knight Cancer Institute for the following reasons:

  • The only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Oregon
  • Early pioneers in “personalized cancer medicine” for cancer treatment
  • Coordinated and collaborative mesothelioma treatment involving different specialists
  • Groundbreaking research and clinical trials for mesothelioma and other cancers

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is located at:

3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, Oregon 97239
(503) 494-7999

Patient Experience

All services take place in one place at Knight Cancer. Should a patient require a diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy or support services, they will not have to transfer between various sites to receive care.

A wide range of support services and resources are available at Knight Cancer to patients and their family, including:

  • Acupuncture: To help ease treatment side effects.
  • Animal therapy: Some in-hospital patients can request a visit from a dog or cat during treatment.
  • Classes and community events: Support groups, learning opportunities and a variety of classes are available to patients and their family.
  • Language interpreters: Available in all languages, including sign language.
  • Nutritionists: On-site dieticians to help patients manage cancer effects and to analyze their nutritional status.
  • Rehabilitation: To help patients recover from treatment and to improve overall quality of life.
  • Shops and facilities: A grocer, 24-hour cafe, gift shop and pharmacy are located in the building.
  • Spiritual services: A non-denominational sacred space is located in the building. Patients may also call a chaplain during challenging times.

Knight Cancer also provides social services and resources for financial planning, at-home and palliative care, survivorship and various forms of therapy. The institute offers several knowledge programs, including cancer registries to participate in research and the Patient Education Resource Center.

First Visit

Before your first visit to Knight Cancer, a care representative will contact you to discuss your appointment and answer any questions you may have. They will also confirm your insurance and billing information. If you are undergoing surgery or other treatment, the representative will tell you how to prepare for your procedure and what items to bring with you.

Parking is free for patients and their family members and friends. There is also free valet parking and RV parking available nearby.

Mesothelioma Program

Knight Cancer uses a team-based approach to cancer treatment, including mesothelioma. Specialists in oncology, surgery, radiation, thoracic and pulmonary care, and nurses, nutritionists and other experts all advise on cases.

We start at the DNA, and then we work outward to the whole person. We can offer the most promising therapies for an individual cancer to patients right here in Oregon. — Knight Cancer Institute

Collaboration happens both in person and virtually. For example, doctors meet regularly for “tumor board meetings” to review scans and lab results and collaborate about the best treatment options. Physicians also access Intel’s Collaborative Cancer Cloud, an analytical tool that makes available millions of cancer cases to help them treat their current patients.

Mesothelioma Doctors at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

The mesothelioma program at Knight Cancer currently includes the following doctors:

    • Dr. Mithran S. Sukumar M.D.
    • Dr. Alan Sandler, M.D.
    • Dr. Paul Schipper, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.C.P.
    • Dr. Ted L. Huang M.D.
    • Dr. Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Mesothelioma patients have several treatment options available at Knight Cancer. Whenever possible, doctors offer minimally invasive treatment. In many cases, the medical team will suggest multiple treatments as part of an individualized plan.

Mesothelioma treatment options OHSU Knight Cancer Institute include:

  • Surgery: Video-assisted and robotic surgeries allow for less-invasive procedures. Some patients may be eligible for the lung-sparing pleurectomy with decortication while others may benefit most from extrapleural pneumonectomy.
  • Chemotherapy: A chemotherapy regime is often used in conjunction with surgery to kill cancer cells before and/or after the operation. For some patients, chemotherapy is a palliative treatment.
  • Radiation: Doctors use targeted radiation therapy to apply treatment with precision accuracy. Radiation may be used alongside surgery or as a stand-alone treatment. Your initial visits involve consultation with the radiation specialists and a “simulation visit” to plan how best to administer the radiation.
  • Support Services: Many alternative treatments and support services are available at Knight Cancer, including therapy, exercise classes, support groups, nutrition and spiritual services.

Mesothelioma doctors across the country are accepting new mesothelioma patients now. Our FREE Doctor Match program connects you with a nearby mesothelioma doctor specializing in your exact diagnosis.

Clinical Trials and Research

Research and clinical trials are major components at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. There are currently 2,240 research projects at Knight Cancer involving 1,250 principal investigators.

At Knight Cancer, researchers focus on 4 key areas of cancer study:

  • Cancer biology
  • Blood cancers
  • Solid tumors
  • Cancer prevention

If we understand what drives the growth of cancer, we can target that abnormality with a safe, effective treatment. — Dr. Brian Druker, Director of Knight Cancer.

A research initiative led by Dr. Lisa Coussens is gaining attention as a potential advancement in mesothelioma treatment. By closely observing the role of immune cells in tumor formation, Dr. Coussens learned how to manipulate cell function to make chemotherapy and other treatments more effective. The research is now moving to clinical study.

Insurance Information

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute accepts most major health insurance plans. Patients should check with their insurance provider or the institute to confirm acceptance.

Knight Cancer’s currently accepted health insurance plans include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Aetna
  • CareOregon
  • Cigna
  • First Choice Health
  • Health Net
  • Health Net Federal Services
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Moda
  • MultiPlan
  • Beech Street
  • PHCS Network
  • PHCS Healthy Directions
  • PacificSource
  • Providence Health Plans
  • Providence Exclusive Provider Organization
  • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
  • Samaritan Health Services
  • Three Rivers Provider Network
  • Tuality Health Alliance
  • UnitedHealthcare

Financial assistance through Knight Cancer may be available to patients who meet eligibility criteria. Additionally, the institute’s Financial and Medicaid Services department helps patients apply for state health care coverage and benefits. It also helps patients and their families navigate bill payments and insurance matters.

Seeking Treatment at OHSU Knight Cancer Center

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is designated one of the elite cancer centers in the country and has top mesothelioma doctors on its staff.

Mesothelioma Support Team

Mesothelioma Hope was founded by a team of advocates to educate people about this aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects thousands of people each year. We help give hope to those impacted by mesothelioma.

View 5 References
  1. OHSU, “About Us.” Retrieved from http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/cancer/about-us/. Accessed on May 23rd, 2018.

  2. OHSU, “Billing and Insurance.” Retrieved from http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/for-patients-visitors/billing-insurance/index.cfm. Accessed on May 23rd, 2018.

  3. OHSU, “Getting Cancer Treatment.” Retrieved from http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/cancer/getting-treatment/index.cfm. Accessed on May 23rd, 2018.

  4. OHSU, “Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.” Retrieved from http://www.ohsu.edu/people/lisa-coussens/D58D601145594F00AD104A0BADD0CA46. Accessed on May 23rd, 2018.

  5. OHSU, “Research.” Retrieved from http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/about/index.cfm. Accessed on May 23rd, 2018.

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