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Markey expands size and scope

As the UK Markey Cancer Center has grown in patient volume, so has the need for new clinical space and for research facilities to further the treatments of tomorrow.

New inpatient space designed to promote healing

Chandler Hospital Pavilion A In December 2017, Markey will open a new dedicated cancer care floor in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A. The inpatient floor includes the Darley Blood & Marrow Transplantation Unit, a 32-bed unit for bone marrow transplant and patients with blood cancers. The floor is also home to the James and Gay Hardymon Patient Care Unit, a 31-bed unit for medical and surgical oncology patients.

To position nurses at the patient’s bedside and reduce the time away from patient care, each patient room has a nurse work station right outside the door.

Additionally, all patient rooms in Pavilion A are private and have the same size and design. Large windows provide natural light and outdoor views, an important factor for patients who may require lengthy inpatient stays.

Patients on this floor will have access to both oncology rehabilitation and integrative medicine.

Precision Medicine Clinic gives patients access to early clinical trials

The new Precision Medicine Clinic is dedicated to providing patients with increased access to novel, early-phase clinical trials. Patients enrolled in these studies will receive their clinical care from a multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff experienced in clinical trials and oncology drug development.

Many of these early phase clinical trials will be investigator-initiated trials from Markey physician-scientists, as well as national clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and Early Therapeutic Clinical Trials Network. Leading-edge trials like these are usually only available to patients treated at NCI-designated cancer centers such as Markey. In addition to UK HealthCare physicians, community physicians from across the Commonwealth will be able to refer patients to Markey for these unique trials and treatment options.

Clinical pharmacologist Jill Kolesar, PharmD, a professor in the UK College of Pharmacy and a nationally known expert in oncology pharmacogenomics and the implementation of clinical trials, serves as director of the Precision Medicine Clinic.

“This center provides trials that aren’t available anywhere else in Kentucky,” Kolesar said. “It truly benefits the entire state by providing access to the newest cancer treatments. Referring community physicians will be able to keep their patients here in Kentucky instead of sending them to other facilities far from home.”

Located on the second floor of UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion H, the center includes two exam rooms and four infusion bays for chemotherapy. Kolesar anticipates the clinic will see up to six patients a day and 300 unique new patients annually.

For more information on the Markey Cancer Center Precision Medicine Clinic, call 859-323-7750.

New research facility will foster innovative research collaboration

In 2015, UK secured funding and broke ground on a special new research facility dedicated to addressing the most pressing health disparities in the state, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and drug abuse. The $265 million facility is scheduled for completion in spring 2018. Half of the funding for the facility is coming from the state of Kentucky; half is coming from university resources, including private gifts.

With Kentucky home to the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality rates in the country, the new facility will provide a place for labs dedicated to the eradication of this devastating disease. It will also focus work and attention on health disparities in Appalachia, a region with some of the most pronounced rates of cancer in the country.

An innovative aspect of the facility’s mission will be to foster multidisciplinary research across numerous fields, including basic and clinical healthcare, public health, behavioral sciences, agriculture outreach and extension, and economics and engineering. Experts from these areas will work collaboratively in close proximity to develop solutions to complex problems such as cancer.

“Markey is distinctly positioned to help solve the cancer problem in Kentucky,” said Markey Director Mark Evers, MD. “Being an NCI-designated cancer center means being a leader in research as well as clinical care and outreach, and this new facility is yet another example of how our work can improve the health of our state.”

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