IHC, Huntsman Cancer Institute team up to fight cancer

Intermountain Health Care and the Huntsman Cancer Institute announced a new partnership in the fight against cancer.

The joint venture will combine the institute’s clinical research capabilities, laboratory and population sciences with IHC’s clinical quality improvement, clinical prevention and early diagnosis.

“This alliance is the fruit of at least six years of discussions,” said Bill Nelson, IHC president and CEO. “In working together, we all recognized that the potential existed to take the collaboration to a higher level.”

Nelson added that he is “tremendously excited” not only by the impact the joint venture will have on cancer care for Utahns and their families, but also the “worldwide fight against this terrible disease.”

In addition to the impact the partnership would have on the state, Nelson said he hopes other agencies outside the state will take notice.

“We hope this new alliance will develop into a national model for the care of the cancer patients,” Nelson said.

By recording and publishing doctors’ analyses and diagnoses, doctors can learn how other doctors treat their patients, and can help them figure out what can work for their own patients, according to Stephen Prescott, executive director of HCI.

“This research partnership will allow studies into improving cancer care that cannot be done anywhere else in the world…HCI’s commitment to studying the molecular and genetic beginnings of cancer, coupled with our unique resources like the Utah population database, will be enhanced by this alliance,” Prescott said.

Doctors will be able to discover risk factors for cancer and have a better collaboration among each other by allowing others to check the evidence, Prescott said.

Although the two are joining together, they will remain competitors in the business elements. The alliance will help create education centers as well as data sharing for research, identifying and implementing best clinical practice standards, contribute to research funding and creating more multidisciplinary clinics and education centers in the major IHC facilities. Later this year, HCI will become an approved IHC health plan facility.

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