Sub-Specialized Expertise in the New Home of The James

When you hear the words, “You have cancer,” it can be a devastating and scary time.

Fortunately, the new home of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, opening in December 2014, will offer the community a shift in the way we treat cancer.

“Cancer has changed so much just in the last few years,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James. “It's no longer just what organ type is affected – breast, colon, lung – it's also understanding the molecular basis of the cancer.”

Each inpatient unit in the new James is staffed by sub-specialists who treat just one type of cancer. On those units, while physicians are treating patients, researchers are conducting molecular diagnostics to figure out why one patient’s colon cancer (for example) is different from another patient’s, and how treatments can be tailored to the individual.

“When you have a cancer, what you want to know is that your physician has seen every single presentation, knows every single side effect and really has a bandwidth of experience with your particular type of tumor,” Caligiuri says. “And that's what we do here at The James.”

The 160 cancer physicians at The James have had extensive experience treating the disease in which they specialize, they instruct medical students on treatment methods for that type of cancer, they lecture around the world and they conduct research on that type of cancer.

“On each inpatient unit in the new James, we have a sub-specialized expert in your cancer ready to take on whatever presentation you have,” Caligiuri says. “We've found that not only brings a lot of comfort, but it also brings a lot of hope to the patients.”

To learn more, watch this week’s segment of Toward a Cancer-Free World or subscribe to the OSUCCC – James Blog for future updates about the New James.