Cancer Care

(Re)Writing the Future of Cancer Care

Hackensack Meridian Health offers a comprehensive range of oncology services across seven of our hospitals, including John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. Together, this broad network of services brings together clinical experts, Phase I research, advanced technology focused on positive outcomes in the following cancers: breast, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynecological, head and neck, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, neuro-oncology, skin and sarcoma, hepatobiliary, endocrine and thoracic.

Finding More Cures for Cancer Faster

Patients will now have access to a broader portfolio of hundreds of clinical trials — including phase I trials — that both institutions offer. Together, Hackensack Meridian Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering will enhance the capabilities of each other, offering cancer patients access to more than 1,000 clinical trials that may have otherwise been unattainable. Combined, Memorial Sloan Kettering and John Theurer Cancer Center perform more than 900 bone marrow transplants, the most in the country and second most in the world.

In December, at the site of the forthcoming Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine,Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health announced the Memorial Sloan Kettering–Hackensack Meridian Health 10-year strategic partnership. This partnership brings together two world-class organizations with deep New Jersey roots to foster a single goal: Finding more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest-quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. To achieve this goal, the new Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center–Hackensack Meridian Health partnership will combine both organizations’ unparalleled expertise in all areas of cancer care and research, as well as their commitment to excellence, to accelerate new discoveries and improve the lives of patients they jointly serve, while training a new generation of leaders in the field.

As a result of this partnership, patients will now have access to a broader portfolio of hundreds of clinical trials — including phase I trials — that both institutions offer. Together, Hackensack Meridian Health and Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center will enhance the capabilities of each other, offering cancer patients access to more than 1,000 clinical trials. Combined, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center and John Theurer Cancer Center perform more than 900 bone marrow transplants, one of the largest programs in the world.

According to the American Cancer Society, New Jersey has a higher cancer incidence rate than the national average. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center –Hackensack Meridian Health partnership aims to improve the state of cancer care in New Jersey and beyond by providing support to patients throughout the cancer care continuum, from diagnosis through active treatment and into survivorship. Patients will benefit from greater access to the most innovative concepts and treatments in cancer care, including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and cell-based therapies.

Each organization’s existing sites of care in New Jersey — including Hackensack Meridian Health’s cancer care locations, John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s locations in Basking Ridge, Middletown, and Montvale (opening in 2018) — will be part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center –Hackensack Meridian Health partnership, but each organization will independently own, operate and manage these existing sites.

The initial stages of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center –Hackensack Meridian Health partnership will involve developing joint standards of care to be applied across these existing sites to optimize clinical outcomes for every patient, as well as setting clinical research priorities. Eventually, the two organizations will create a formal joint venture to own and operate new ambulatory care centers in areas of New Jersey they do not yet serve.

Our combined and unparalleled clinical experience, along with our focus on big-data platforms, next-generation analytics and precision medicine, will lead to the best possible outcomes for patients. Together we will develop and implement standardized care management and research protocols for all cancer patients receiving care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health partnership sites.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is deeply committed to New Jersey, having provided cancer care in the state for more than 20 years. Today, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health treat one in five New Jersey residents who are diagnosed with cancer. Combined, we will – annually – serve the most patients with cancer in the region, and many of their combined programs will be among the largest and most respected in the country.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center –Hackensack Meridian Health partnership creates instant convenience. All Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center locations in New Jersey (in Basking Ridge, Middletown and Montvale) and Hackensack Meridian Health locations that offer cancer care will participate in the partnership. Physicians employed by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health — including the Hackensack Division of Regional Cancer Care Associates and physicians who participate in Hackensack Meridian Health’s clinically integrated network — will continue to care for patients at their respective sites.

The partnership will be overseen by an Operating Board made up of representatives from each organization. That board will function with the advice of a formal clinical council, led by internationally recognized experts in all subtypes of cancer from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, John Theurer Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health, as well as a formal executive advisory group comprising institutional leaders in key areas.

In December 2016, Hackensack Meridian Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announced their 10-year partnership to deliver collaborative cancer care to the communities they serve. (From left) John K. Lloyd, FACHE, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health; Sergio A. Giralt, M.D., chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center; Jose Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center; Craig B. Thompson, M.D., president & CEO of Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center; Andre Goy, M.D., MS, chairman and executive director of John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center; Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health; and Andrew Pecora, M.D., FACP, CPE, president of Physician Services Division and chief innovations officer at Hackensack Meridian Health.
Major Collaboration on Cancer Antigens

In December, John Theurer Cancer Center announced a partnership with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, founded by Napster founder Sean Parker, and the Cancer Research Institute for a major collaboration focused on neoantigens, unique cancer markers that researchers believe may hold the key to developing targeted cancer immunotherapies.

In addition to John Theurer Cancer Center, initial tissue samples are expected to be provided by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, UCLA, and the University Hospital of Siena in Italy. The Tumor neoantigEn SeLection Alliance (TESLA) includes 30 of the world’s leading cancer neoantigen research groups from both academia and industry.

Offering Residents a New Healing Outpatient Experience

In September, Jersey Shore University Medical Center held its “Topping Out” celebration for HOPE Tower – a $265 million building development on the hospital’s east campus that will provide a new healing outpatient experience for the community. The ceremony celebrated the placement of the final steel beam on the roof of the 10-story HOPE Tower, scheduled to open early 2018.

The 299,000-square-foot facility began construction in November of 2015, so when the final 2,800-pound structural steel beam was hoisted onto the tower’s skeleton, it meant that the final phase of structural work supporting HOPE Tower had finally been completed. Hospital team members signed the beam with their personal messages of hope and inspiration.

Guided by a patient-centered approach towards care and informed by the latest medical breakthroughs, HOPE Tower expands upon Jersey Shore’s comprehensive services by providing a thoughtful and accessible health care experience. Two floors within HOPE Tower will house a 58,000-square-foot Cancer Care center that will offer comprehensive treatment options, including surgical specialties, medical oncology, advanced radiation therapy and minimally invasive interventional therapies. The new center is designed for Jersey Shore’s multidisciplinary team of specialists who deliver coordinated and compassionate care treating a range of oncological conditions.

Jersey Shore is the region’s only academic university-level teaching center, and HOPE Tower will serve as home to medical education programs, research services and faculty physician offices in medical practice areas including Surgery, Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology. With expert clinicians, a state-of-the-art amphitheater and a high-tech simulation laboratory, HOPE Tower will foster the next generation of medical leaders and provide access to the most promising clinical trials and therapies.

Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, visits with the construction team on the site of HOPE Tower and the new, nine-level parking garage.

In addition to HOPE Tower, a new adjacent nine-level parking garage with 1,583 parking spaces for patients, guests and team members is now open, which has helped with the flow of traffic on campus.

Reaching Milestones in Cancer Care

Southern Ocean Medical Center held an official VIP opening event for the new Cancer Care Center in September. More than 120 guests from local towns, physicians, donors, trustees, leaders and oncology team members gathered to mark the opening with a celebration outside the medical center, and then tours of the infusion and multidisciplinary suites following the formal program. Paul Chung, M.D., participated in the program, as did a patient, touring the capabilities of cancer care in Manahawkin and services close to home.

Mrs. Carol Stillwell, president of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., generously donated $3 million to Riverview Medical Center’s 29,000-square-foot BuildingHOPE oncology expansion project. The donation supports the newly renovated infusion center. The infusion area will officially be named the Larkin-Stillwell-Hansen Infusion Center.
In September of 2016, Southern Ocean Medical Center opened its doors to the new 16,545-square-foot cancer center. Key features include expanding to 20 infusion stations (for chemotherapy treatment), expanded nurse navigator services to guide patients through their journey, specialty physician consultation offices, conference and family supportive care resources, and a multidisciplinary oncology suite.

In November, more than 100 people gathered at Riverview Medical Center to celebrate the grand opening of its new cancer care center for the residents of Red Bank and the surrounding communities. The evening included tours of the new facility combined with a speaking program featuring co-CEOs Bob Garrett, FACHE, and John Lloyd, FACHE, as well as Tim Hogan, FACHE, president of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center, Carol Stillwell, Nancy Mulheren and Steve Scopellite.

November also marked the opening of the new cancer care center at Ocean Medical Center. Patient care transitioned into the spacious new infusion area and the TrueBeamTM linear accelerator suite. This state-of-the-art environment blends advanced capabilities and clinical expertise with a comforting and convenient setting. Final touches, including a new main entrance to the cancer care center, are nearing completion this spring.

Groundbreaking Studies in Blood Cancer Presented at American Society of Hematology Meeting

In December, 17 physicians from John Theurer Cancer Center, including Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., its chairman and director and division chief of lymphoma, presented 46 studies on some of the most cutting-edge research topics in blood cancers at the 2016 American Society of Hematology Meeting. Their data presentations included two late-breaking abstracts, 19 oral sessions and 27 poster discussions. The data presentations at American Society of Hematology bring forward advancements in three critical areas of research at John Theurer Cancer Center: Acute Myeloid Leukemia Novel Therapies, Multiple Myeloma Novel Options and Lymphoma Immunotherapy. Hackensack Meridian Health is deeply committed to accelerating the development of breakthrough therapies to combat blood cancer and help patients and their families manage diseases like multiple myeloma and leukemia. The groundbreaking work that our team presented this year further demonstrates the significant impact that our cancer program is having in the field of hematology

Value-Based Care on the Agenda in Davos

Dr. Goy, chairman of The John Theurer Cancer Center, led a discussion on value-based care at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. His discussion focused particularly on leveraging digital technology to promote behavioral changes toward patients’ engagement in health care, wellness and shared decision-making. He also contributed to a white paper that is being published by the previous Industry Agenda Council on the Future of the Health Care Sector summarizing the causes and origins of the underperformance of health systems, particularly a clear misalignment across stakeholders.

The participation of Dr. Goy in this prestigious international endeavor is a testimony to the forwardness of Hackensack Meridian Health. Our physicians across the board at Hackensack Meridian Health are fully engaged into improving oncology care delivery including using big data and technology to support treatment decisions, research and innovation.