October 22, 2020

2016-04-01 – The Greenville News

2016 04 01 The_Greenville_News_Fri__Apr_1__2016_ 2

Center

Continued from Page 1A

2012 by Roger Daltrey
and Pete Townshend of
The Who to bring an idea
that has become main-
stream in the United
Kingdom special teen and
young adult cancer facili-
ties to the US, said exec-
utive director Simon Da-
vies.

“The Who have bene-
fited so much over the
years from the support of
teenagers that they want-
ed to do something similar
in the U.S.,” Davies said.
“They could see the ado-
lescents and young adults
in the US. were also suf-
fering the same challenge
of not really fitting into
pediatrics or adult care.”

Encouragement
and support

The centers are de-
signed to allow young pa-
tients to be together and
offer encouragement and
community, according to
TCA.

They feature colorful
spaces and relaxing
atmospheres with musi-
cal instruments, board
games, and other accou-
trements that appeal to
this age group.

“Teens want cool stuff
and activities, like music-
mixing rooms and infu-
sion bays that allow them
to express themselves,”
Crosswell said. “It’s as
much about supportive
care and connection and
the way we communicate
with them so ultimately
their care and outcomes
can be improved.”

The first such facility
in the US. was at UCLA
Medical Center, where
TCA is based, Davies said.
Others have been or are
being established at Me-
morial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center in New
York, Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia and Van-
derbilt University Medi-
cal Center, among other
places.

“The first thing we do
is to provide expert con-
sultancy, working with
the professional staff to
help them develop their
strategy,” Davies said.

Ly]

PHOTOS BY HEIDI HEILBRUNN/STAFF

Noe Vega-Marin, who is part of the The Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Patients, shares a laugh during his appointment with Dr. Hal Crosswell at the St.
Francis Cancer Center on March 15.

Then, he said, they help
the hospital raise the mon-
ey needed to develop a
center, often providing
grants as well, which have
ranged from $100,000 to
$1 million.

Sometimes the centers
are new brick and mortar
buildings, and sometimes
they are special units
within an existing struc-
ture, he said.

Their size depends on
the number of patients,
and models can vary be-
tween inpatient and out-
patient.

First Citizens Bank,
based in Raleigh, NC, is
the official corporate
sponsor for TCA in the
Southeast.

Along with contribut-
ing to TCA and select hos-
pitals that develop special
units, the bank has pro—
duced new TCA ads airing
in the Carolinas and the 16
other states in the bank’s
territory that feature Dal-
trey’s new version of the
Who hit “Let My Love
Open the Door,” recorded
especially for the cam-

Adulr-m mu .mri Young mm
1 in" m Patients

Ron Semi”: SI Franris
AYA Team

41)!

Noe Vega-Marin waits for his appointment at the St. Francis

Cancer Center.

paign.

Improving survival

TCA is working with
about 60 hospitals across
the country, Davies said,
including St. Francis.

Crosswell, who joined
St. Francis in 2012 to de-
velop an adolescent and
young adult cancer pro-

gram, said the next step is
a dedicated unit for this
age group.

“We have all the things
we need to take care of
(this) population in—pa-
tient and out-patient bone
marrow transplant units,
a highly trained research
team that allows us to ac-
cess clinical trials,” he

said. “What we have is
pretty good. But we have
no dedicated adolescent
and young adult inpatient
unit.”

So, with the help of
TCA, St. Francis hopes to
open such a unit in the
next year or two, Cross-
well said.

It will expand both in-
frastructure and equip-
ment, offer a decor tar-
geted to this age group,
and a place where they
can connect socially, he
said.

“We’ve already got ad-
ministrative support.
Now we need to f igure out
how to do it in a responsi-
ble way that’s sustain-
able,” he said. “It’s pretty
exciting.”

Greenville Health Sys-
tem also has an adolescent
and young adult cancer
program, said Dr. Larry
Gluck, medical director
of the GHS Cancer Insti-
tute.

And there are plans to
open a dedicated physical
space as well, he said, al-
though younger adoles-

cents may continue to be
treated in GHS’s newly
expanded Day Hospital.

Davies said TCA cen-
ters also use care models
that have been estab—
lished for teens and young
adults, who often suffer
from complex and diffi-
cult-to-treat cancers.

And the group hopes
that a standardized ap-
proach to caring for these
patients, along with more
clinical trials, will result
in better therapies and
outcomes, because the
survival rate in this age
group for similar cancer
types is worse than in the
pediatric and adult popu-
lations, Crosswell said.

“There is a need for
this specialism to be de-
veloped so we can im-
prove their survival,” Da-
vies said. “We need more

investment and re-
search.”
To learn more about the

organization and to down-
load the single “Let My
Heart Open the Door,” go
to httpsf/teencancer
americaorg .