Advancing cancer care every step of the way

The bad news: Four in 10 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. The good news: There have been significant improvements in early detection and improved treatments over the past 25 years, resulting in a 26 percent decrease in overall cancer death rates.

Dr. Salner, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital, said progress has increased exponentially over the past five years, thanks to a better understanding of tumor biology which has led to development of targeted agents that can extend survival in certain patients.

As Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute marked 2015 as a year of significant and unprecedented growth, and the start of participation in clinical trials that are a focal point of charter membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance.

Moreover, Dr. Peter Paul Yu, an internationally respected cancer expert with more than 30 years of experience and leadership in the field, was appointed the physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute.

Yu will work with staff to ensure a single, elevated standard of world-class care for our patients with cancer, right here at Hartford Hospital.

More access to clinical trials for cancer patients

Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) in New York City is known for innovative cancer treatment and research. Now, patients undergoing treatment at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, including Hartford Hospital, have access to those promising and potentially groundbreaking advances in research and treatment without traveling to New York City.

Access to leading-edge clinical trials is part of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance, which brings state-of-the-art standards of care into communities.

MSK clinical trials and research protocols are available to patients treated at any of the five cancer centers that make up the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute – Hartford Hospital, Backus Hospital, Windham Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center.

The trials are open to patients for the treatment of a variety of cancer types, including breast cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as multiple myeloma. Upcoming studies are expected to be opened for patients with colorectal and lung cancer, as well as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“Our goal is to add to our existing portfolio of studies and to offer a comprehensive array of clinical trials for patients with common and uncommon cancers treated at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute,” said Ellen Dornelas, PhD, director of the Cancer Clinical Research Office.