A new comprehensive cancer care facility opened its doors today to serve patients from central and south San Diego County. Prebys Cancer Center, located on the campus of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, is part of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, a clinically integrated cancer care program that treats patients throughout San Diego County.
The $59 million Prebys Cancer Center is the second of two regional cancer hubs offered as part of the partnership between Scripps Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The other hub, located on the Torrey Pines Mesa, serves the northern region.
The new outpatient center will offer a wide range of advanced cancer treatments and patient support services. The 40,000-square-foot, four-story facility is named for the late Conrad Prebys, who earlier donated $25 million to support the facility and an endowed medical director position at Scripps MD Anderson.
“The opening of Prebys Cancer Center represents a pivotal step in our journey to provide advanced, individualized cancer care to the residents of San Diego County and the Southern California region,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “Patients will find this to be a truly exceptional facility in every sense, from the sophisticated medical technology and collaborative approach to care, to the comforting environment and personal supportive services we offer.”
Prebys Cancer Center is now open for physician appointments for new and existing patients. Additional patient care services are expected to begin at the new facility in the coming weeks, including radiation therapy and immunotherapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapy infusion.
The new center is equipped with leading-edge radiation therapy technology, including two linear accelerators that deliver external beam radiation treatments with exceptional accuracy. The technology allows doctors to shape the radiation beam so it tightly conforms to each tumor’s unique contours, while its motion management system enables the beam to follow tumors that move as a patient breathes during treatment. Both of these features help to spare normal tissues around the tumor from the damaging effects of radiation.
In addition to offering highly targeted conventional radiation treatments, the linear accelerators can deliver high-dose ablative radiation therapy, an ultraprecise approach that in some cases can be an alternative to surgery. Ablative radiation treatments can be delivered to a wide variety of tumor sites, including the brain, lung, liver and bone.
Prebys Cancer Center also houses a 20-chair infusion center, where chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and other treatments will be administered. The infusion clinic is surrounded by three landscaped terraces, which can be enjoyed either from indoors through floor-to-ceiling windows, or from various outdoor seating areas.
The new facility also contains a physician clinic area with 20 patient exam rooms, two minor surgical procedure rooms and collaboration spaces for treatment planning conferences with patients and their multidisciplinary physician teams. Additionally, it includes a large multipurpose room for health education seminars and other community events, along with offices for physicians, care teams and support staff. A new 140-space parking garage adjoins the center. Prebys Cancer Center is the first new building to be completed as part of Scripps Mercy’s master redevelopment plan.
Prebys Cancer Center offers patients a wide range of support services, starting at the time of a patient’s diagnosis and continuing through completion of treatment and beyond. These include nurse navigation, social work, nutrition services, insurance benefits counseling, pharmacy education, wig and prosthetic fittings and support groups. Also available are services such as physical therapy, genetic counseling, pain management and integrative medicine.
Support services at the new center soon will be permanently consolidated at the nearby Woltman Family College Building, an historic structure at Scripps Mercy San Diego that is expected to open in January 2022, when restoration is completed.
“Prebys Cancer Center is perfectly suited to our multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care, where we bring physicians, caregivers and services around the patient.”Thomas Buchholz, MD, Medical Director of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center
“Prebys Cancer Center is perfectly suited to our multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care, where we bring physicians, caregivers and services around the patient,” said Thomas Buchholz, MD, medical director of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Scripps Clinic radiation oncologist. “Our patients also will have access to novel clinical trials, which aim to advance current standards of care.”
Scripps MD Anderson organizes its physicians in multidisciplinary care teams that are subspecialized by cancer type. Each multidisciplinary care team comprises a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon, pathologist, radiologist and others. Together, they review each patient’s case and decide on a treatment plan to recommend. Scripps MD Anderson physicians have adopted the world-renowned treatment protocols and standards of care developed at MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the leading cancer centers in the nation.
In 2011, Conrad Prebys donated $45 million toward the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. He also made a $10 million donation in 2006 to support construction of the Conrad Prebys Emergency and Trauma Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.
“We are deeply grateful to Conrad Prebys for his leadership and altruism in supporting important health care improvements for the people of San Diego County,” said John Engle, Scripps corporate senior vice president and chief development officer. ”We hope others will follow Conrad’s example and make a philanthropic gift to support the new cancer center. Every donation makes a difference in our patients’ lives.”
Prebys Cancer Center is funded through a combination of philanthropy, borrowing and operating revenue. For more information on ways to support Prebys Cancer Center, visit www.scripps.org/SupportCancerCare.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.