San Diego, California - Scripps Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have reached a partnership agreement to create Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, a comprehensive and clinically integrated cancer care program in San Diego that will provide adult cancer patients greater access to the most advanced oncology care available throughout Southern California.

Through this partnership, Scripps MD Anderson is part of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a global collaborative network of hospitals and health care systems dedicated to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer globally. The collaboration allows Scripps to combine its expertise with MD Anderson’s knowledge and capabilities for Southern California, covering eight counties from Santa Barbara to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“MD Anderson is the top-ranked cancer center in America, with unparalleled experience, resources and expertise,” said Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “This exciting new alliance will give Southern Californians easy access to MD Anderson’s proven, research-based approaches to cancer care right here in San Diego. Our partnership builds on Scripps’ history of providing exceptional cancer care to our region and will enable us to offer the best cancer treatment available anywhere, here at Scripps.”

A deeply integrated program

Scripps MD Anderson will be overseen by physician and administrative leaders from both organizations. It will offer patients access to MD Anderson’s world-renowned treatment protocols, standards of care, extensive clinical trials and translational research. Patients also will have access to comprehensive cancer care, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, laboratory and diagnostic imaging, as well as other clinical and support services.

Close collaboration between the two organizations will be a hallmark of the new Scripps MD Anderson. MD Anderson Cancer Center will bring a multidisciplinary approach to local cancer patients and provide a new dimension of innovative care and treatment options. Through joint tumor boards, MD Anderson also will provide opinions for diagnosis and treatment.

The two organizations also will join forces in the recruitment of all future program physicians and allied health staff, many of whom will have access to training and education at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Scripps physicians also will have the opportunity to earn faculty appointments at MD Anderson Cancer Center. A national search will begin soon to hire a medical director to lead the new program.

The program will offer a patient-centered approach to care, with multidisciplinary teams of oncology specialists supporting patients and families in making informed, evidence-based medical decisions. It will also offer an array of patient support services, including genetic counseling, nurse navigation, integrative medicine, palliative care, imaging services and social worker assistance in one convenient, patient-friendly environment.

“We are proud to partner with Scripps and work collaboratively to offer cancer patients in Southern California access to the world’s best possible cancer treatment,” said Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., president, MD Anderson. “Through our Cancer Network, we are working to deliver leading-edge research and groundbreaking clinical advances to patients across the nation. Through these fully integrated partnerships focused on prevention, early detection, research and treatment, we have an opportunity to dramatically reduce the pain and suffering caused by cancer for many and for generations to come.”

Partnering with a powerhouse

Celebrating its 75th anniversary year in 2016, MD Anderson is a global leader in cancer care, research, prevention and education. It was ranked the No. 1 cancer hospital in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” rankings and the leading cancer hospital for nine of the past 10 years. 

MD Anderson is home to the largest cancer clinical trials program in the nation. Last year, more than 9,400 patients were enrolled in trials exploring innovative treatments.

Impact to region

According to Margaret Row, M.D., vice president, clinical operations at MD Anderson’s Cancer Network, Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center will bring significant benefits to the San Diego region.

“Each patient diagnosed with cancer will have the advantage of not only great care from a Scripps physician, but the added benefit of MD Anderson specialists and subspecialists who will be working closely with the Scripps MD Anderson team, sharing decades of subspecialized expertise,” said Row. “We consider Scripps patients to be our patients, and linking these two outstanding programs elevates the standard of care for the entire area.” 

Cancer care at Scripps Health

Since 2008, Scripps Health has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as an integrated network cancer program. The designation shows that Scripps meets the highest possible standards for consistently delivering exceptional patient care throughout the Scripps system.

Scripps Health is a nationally recognized leader in cancer care, providing comprehensive care at its five hospital campuses, radiation therapy centers and various Scripps Clinic locations. Scripps cancer physicians and staff work collaboratively toward cancer prevention, early detection, coordinated treatment and community support services. Scripps is actively involved in leading-edge clinical and translational research.

Scripps offers advanced treatment technologies at its various radiation therapy facilities, as well as the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, the San Diego Gamma Knife Center, and through its minimally invasive surgical program and CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery. Additional resources include specialized breast care centers, infusion clinics, nurse navigators, rehabilitation services, support groups and the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Scripps Health’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is a leader in the treatment of blood cancers and disorders. It is San Diego County’s longest-established blood and marrow transplant program and is the National Marrow Donor Program’s only collection center in San Diego and Imperial counties. The program also serves much of Orange and Riverside counties.