UCSF opens new care center for cancer patients

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It may well be the most technologically advanced outpatient cancer center in the country.

On Monday, UCSF will open its doors on the Mission Bay campus tailored to individual treatment, all in one place.

Inside the shiny new building at Mission Bay, the UCSF staff is getting ready to assure a cancer patient "you are not alone."

That's in reference to an inspirational art piece inside the building which was inspired by an actual cancer patient.

Eric Strand is a cancer survivor who got a tour of the UCSF Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building.

"At this place, you look at the views and that will certainly help to make a cancer patient feel like, 'ok, I'm looking forward to finishing this so I can get outside and continue on with my life,'" expressed Strand.

Patients receiving infusion therapy will be surrounded by natural light. Some will have a view of the Warriors' new home across the street.

Patients will appreciate that all the services are done in one single building.

"That's going to make life really, really an improvement for all the patients especially those coming from afar," added Strand.

Here, a new generation of precision medicine will be delivered based on your genetic information.

Most cancers grow or spread because you have a specific gene or protein that contributes to that growth. But if you treat a patient with drugs that block that gene or protein, it would be like starving the cancer.

"All the patients we are seeing and treating, the symptoms we're managing, it's a game changer," said Catherine Mitsuoka, a nurse at the center.

There will now be three radiation machines allowing for more flexibility.

"We can actually move patients from machine to machine to get the right treatment time for them," explained Dr. Mary Feng a radiation oncologist.

Then there are these high tech monitors in different locations, part of the real-time location system. A person is given a device, then sensors all around help track the patient.

"If a patient is here in this bed we can see that they're here, how long they've been here. If the bed is empty then it would be green," explained Laurel Bray-Hanin, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cancer Services.

Perhaps the staff also wants them to know the center opens up the possibility for patients to laugh, learn and love.
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