Construction work on San Diego’s latest cancer treatment facility has reached a milestone with the topping out of structural steel work at the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center on the Torrey Pines Mesa in La Jolla.
The 41,000-square-foot center, which broke ground last spring, is being built on an 8-acre parcel at 10670 John Jay Hopkins Drive in La Jolla, Calif. The $43.9 million facility is scheduled to open for patient care by the third quarter of 2012.
DPR Construction is the project’s general contractor. Key subcontractors include FreemanWhite (design-build); Hope Engineering (structural engineering); RBF Consulting (civil engineering); Wimmer Yamada & Caughey (landscape design); University Mechanical (mechanical and plumbing design-build); Dynalectric (electrical design-build); Rossin Steel (structural steel); California Sheet Metal (exterior skin); and Vision Systems (exterior glazing system). DPR is self-performing concrete work and drywall work at the center.
Scripps Radiation Therapy Center will feature some of the most advanced technologies in the world for treating cancer. The facility will include three new, state-of-the art linear accelerators: one TrueBeam STx linear accelerator – which will be the first of its kind in San Diego – and two Clinac linear accelerators, each manufactured by Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, Calif.
The FDA-approved technology can treat cancers anywhere in the body where radiation treatment is indicated. It is particularly well suited to treat especially challenging cases in the brain, spine, lung, liver and prostate, which are surrounded by critical structures. The technology is powerful, fast and flexible, allowing physicians to treat patients with greater precision and in less time than traditional approaches.
The Scripps Radiation Therapy Center will also include a 16-slice CT simulator with 4-D imaging capability, which will enable radiation oncologists to more accurately treat tumors that move, while minimizing the impact on surrounding critical structures. Additionally, the facility will offer a patient education resource library; clinical research space; a healing garden; patient locker and gowning areas; and physician offices. The center is designed with the ability to add two more linear accelerators.
When complete, the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center will have the capacity to treat approximately 1,200 patients annually. The center is expected to draw patients primarily from Scripps’ 23 outpatient centers and five hospital campuses. Most patients will receive care on an outpatient basis. It will consolidate Scripps’ two existing radiation oncology centers, which are now housed at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and Scripps Green Hospital.
The new facility is just the latest development in Scripps’ expanding capabilities in cancer care. In August 2010, construction began on the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in Mira Mesa, which will be San Diego County’s first facility to offer advanced proton therapy to cancer patients. The $200 million proton treatment center is expected to be open for patient care by spring 2013.
In 2011, Scripps Green Hospital earned accreditation in radiation oncology from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ASTRO. Scripps Green is the only civilian hospital in San Diego to earn this distinction and the accreditation will apply to the new facility. Approximately 10 percent of the nation’s radiation treatment sites have received this accreditation.
Scripps has long been a leader in providing cancer care in San Diego. It opened the county’s first blood and marrow transplantation program in 1980 and during the past 30 years, the program’s patient survival rate has doubled. Scripps offers the most comprehensive robotic surgery program in San Diego. And Scripps is the only cancer care provider in San Diego to earn network accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
With more than 300 affiliated physicians, Scripps Cancer Center is a nationally recognized leader in cancer care, providing comprehensive care at its five hospital campuses and various outpatient locations. Scripps Cancer Center seeks to provide the best possible treatment and cutting-edge research trials for patients by coordinating medical expertise in the areas of clinical cancer care, community outreach and clinical, translational and basic research.