“What are the chances that my best friend of 30 years and I would end up with the exact same kind of cancer – squamous cell carcinoma?” wondered Tracy Hildebrand, of Mesquite, Nevada. “We rarely see each other nowadays because we live in different states, but we are aware of what each other is going through, so we always check in to see how the other is doing. Her support is awesome.”
While her best friend is currently being treated with radiation and chemotherapy, Tracy’s cancer was not fazed by chemotherapy. However, because she is a patient at the Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George, (Utah), the DNA in Tracy’s tumor tissue was analyzed through next generation sequencing. Based on the results, Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, Executive Director of Intermountain Precision Genomics, recommended a form of targeted cancer treatment originally used for kidney cancer, that matched Hildebrand’s DNA.
“I’m so grateful. If I didn’t have genomic testing and these advanced cancer treatments, I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Hildebrand. “Although chemotherapy worked for my friend, it wasn’t working for me.” Sequencing Tracy’s DNA gave doctors a clearer direction to follow in prescribing her treatment, and she is now on a medication that is working for her.
Hildebrand travels from Mesquite to access advanced cancer care in St. George. Tracy’s targeted treatment will continue, but beginning October 2018, advanced cancer care will look different. Amid the spectacular scenery of St. George and the healing environment of the desert, there is a brand new stand-alone Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George. The Cancer Center, located on Intermountain Healthcare’s Medical Center Campus in St. George, will provide a home for oncology and precision health.
The new building will encompass oncology treatment, state-of-the-art radiation oncology, infusion center, imaging department, the Intermountain Precision Genomics™ Clinical Laboratory, Translational Science Center, the Stanford Genome Technology Center, and more.
When cancer patients walk through the doors to the new Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George, they will enter a world dedicated wholly to them. All the research, access to clinical trials, technology, and discoveries that go into patients’ treatment will be under one roof, making care as smooth and seamless as possible. Intermountain Healthcare’s commitment to helping patients live the healthiest lives possible shines through in this new project.
The Grand Re-opening Celebration of the Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Campus and Cancer Center of St. George will commence Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The Piano Guys will perform an hour program, and fireworks will follow. The event is free to the public. Self-guided tours begin at the Women & Newborn Center entrance. Tours run daily September 13-15, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.