SCCA Network News

SCCA Network News, Issue 15 Summer 2012

In this Issue:

The Road Ahead

First and foremost, Ben and I want to thank all of you for all your work and all that you do for your community. You face different challenges but also some similar ones, yet, you continue to remain vigilant to your organizations’ mission of providing the best possible care for your patients. We can say that this is really why we are all part of this Network, ensuring that all our patients are receiving the best quality care and are provided access to the latest innovative treatments.

This year’s Network Summit presentations and topics were geared towards improvements in performance and practices. Launching our clinical performance initiative Network-wide is only the first step. We are confident through this initiative that new opportunities will develop where we can leverage our strength as a Network in various forums. We listened to your feedback on a proposed pilot for a Network Breast Disease Tumor Board and will bring it back to the planning team. We learned how advanced practice professionals are an integral component of an oncology program, and discovered there are immediate needs in training, clarity of their roles  and continued education for this group. Part of the day was spent understanding what the new Commission on Cancer standards mean to all of us; hearing about other patient navigation models and most importantly, discussing how important it is to strengthen the culture of clinical research in each of our organizations. Lastly, we were educated about proton beam therapy and a few of us went on a special tour of the SCCA Proton Center.

The road ahead for the Network will focus on clinical performance measurements, clinical research improvements, survivorship program launch, and Commission on Cancer effort; and ongoing activities continue with education, marketing/co-branding and other components of our affiliation.


Cecilia Zapata, MS
Director, Regional/Global Network and
Physician Educational Outreach

Benjamin E. Greer, MD
Medical Director,
Regional/Global Network

Cost-effective screening for lung cancer

Detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage, and having it surgically removed, a person can expect a five-year survival rate of nearly 70 percent. In contrast, patients with locally advanced or metastatic lung cancer at the time of diagnosis have a five-year survival rate of less than five percent. These statistics come from the results of the National Lung Screening Trial that was published in June 2011.

“This study is important in helping make the argument to health insurance companies that CT screening for lung cancer in high risk individuals is a cost-effective service for policy holders and is in the best interest of the insurance provider, as well as the patient,” says David K. Madtes, MD, director of SCCA’s Lung Cancer Early Detection & Prevention Clinic.

CT screening for lung cancer in high risk individuals is now considered more cost effective than screening for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers, especially when you look at the cost of treating lung cancer and the statistics of surviving the disease when it’s at an advanced stage. 
The American Lung Association now endorses the use of low-dose CT lung cancer screening as well.


When screening detects a problem

If a low-dose CT screening finds something concerning a possible lung cancer, patients will be referred to the SCCA Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Clinic, SCCA’s gateway to rapid diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer. For all other findings, patients will be directed back to their primary care provider. 

If you have patients who are current or previous smokers who meet the high risk criteria, consider encouraging them to take advantage of the Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Program at SCCA.

“The CT concept is in the early stages,” says Madtes, who acknowledges there is ambivalence in the community about it. But he argues that “it’s important to see the value in screening for patients. In the aforementioned trial, the well-designed trial showed that CT screening definitely, clearly saves lives.”
More information about low-dose CT screening for the early detection of lung cancer at SCCA can be found online at or by calling (800) 804-8824.

Multicare Regional Cancer Center

The MultiCare Regional Cancer Center has expanded services for South King County, with both medical oncology and radiation oncology now available in Auburn at 121 N. Division, across the street from Auburn Regional Medical Center. Their comprehensive South King County cancer center offers the latest medical and radiation cancer treatment methods close to home, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy, full-body stereotactic radiosurgery, and image-guided radiation therapy. Patients also have access to a full complement of resources and support services, including nurse navigators, social workers, oncology pharmacists, dieticians, and a resource center.

Their latest affiliation with Gilda’s on the Go, the outreach arm of Gilda’s Club Seattle, will provide new patient support services open to the entire community. And, thanks to the system-wide electronic health record, the patients are connected to the full resources of MultiCare should they require additional care.

For more information, visit

John “Jack” A. Keech, Jr., DO, FACOI

John “Jack” A. Keech, Jr., DO, FACOI is a medical oncologist/hematologist at MultiCare Regional Cancer Center, practicing in the Gig Harbor clinic. He treats patients with all forms of cancer. Dr. Keech has been caring for cancer patients for over 30 years. His focus is on general adult hematology and medical oncology.

Dr. Keech completed his undergraduate work at Bucknell University before earning his medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Keech completed his internship and residency at Metropolitan Hospital and a fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital, both in Philadelphia. Dr. Keech’s work has been published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in which he described one of the first reported cases in the literature of anaplastic large cell lymphoma related to a breast implant capsule. In addition, he has served in a leadership capacity with national and local oncology societies, including his current position on the Board of Trustees with the Washington State Medical Oncology Society (WSMOS).

Network Trials Make the News

Four clinical trials previously open to Network Member institutions were presented at ASCO this year demonstrating that through participation in clinical trials we contribute to the knowledge-base for cancer treatment and advance standards of cancer care. Summaries of the four clinical trials - two investigator-initiated and two pharmaceutical company trials - presented at ASCO and links to the abstracts are provided below.

In addition, an article about a pilot project to assess the feasibility of using PET scans from Network institutions to determine response in clinical trials that features the SCCA Network has been accepted by Magnetic Resonance Imaging for inclusion in an upcoming special issue on aspects of quantitative imaging in clinical trials. The project was funded by a grant from NCI Cancer Imaging Program and lead by Paul Kinahan, PhD, David Mankoff, MD, and Robert Doot, PhD. Results of the pilot project provided data for an ongoing U01 grant funded by NCI. Network Member institutions are invited to participate in the U01 grant. 

Over the spring and early summer, several new clinical trials are opening to accrual.  If your institution is not listed as a performance site and you have interest, the Network office will be pleased to approach the sponsor about adding your institution. We hope not only to participate but also to be high accruers to these studies.

New Clinical Trials

  • Nordion TS-102:  A Phase III Clinical Trial Evaluating TheraSphere® in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma of the Liver who have Failed First Line Chemotherapy (Cascade, Group Health, Skagit Valley)
  • Lilly I4T-MC-JVBT:  Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Phase 2 Study of mFOLFOX6 Chemotherapy Plus Ramucirumab Drug Product (IMC-1121B) versus mFOLFOX6 Plus Placebo for Advanced Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus, Gastroesophageal Junction or Stomach (Bozeman, Cascade, Columbia Basin, Group Health, MultiCare, Olympic, Providence, Skagit Valley Wenatchee)
  • Endocyte EC-FV-06:  A Randomized Double-Blind Phase 3 Trial Comparing EC145 and Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (Pld/Doxil®/Caelyx®) In Combination Versus PLD In Subjects with Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer (Bozeman, Group Health, MultiCare, Providence)
  • Esperance ACT 12601: A Novel LHRH Receptor-Targeted, Membrane-Disrupting Peptide, Plus Paclitaxel Versus Paclitaxel Alone for Refractory or Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: A Phase II Randomized, Multicenter Trial (Columbia Basin, Group Health, MultiCare, Skagit Valley, Wenatchee)
  • Bionomics:  Phase I/II Study of BNC105P in Combination With Everolimus or Following Everolimus For Progressive Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Following Prior Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (Bozeman, Cascade, Columbia Basin, Group Health, Olympic)

Trials at ASCO

  • Open-label Phase III randomized controlled trial comparing taxane-based chemotherapy (Tax) with lapatinib (L) or trastuzumab (T) as first-line therapy for women with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer: Interim Analysis of NCIC CTG MA.31/GSK EGF 108919 – Abstract #LBA671 -
  • Randomized Phase II trial of cisplatin and radiotherapy with or without erlotinib in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck – Abstract 5503 -
  • An updated safety analysis of OCEANS, a randomized, double-blind, Phase III trial of gemcitabine (G) and carboplatin (C) with bevacizumab (BV) or placebo (PL) followed by BV or PL to disease progression in patients with platinum-sensitive (Plat-S) recurrent ovarian cancer – Abstract 5054 -
  • Final results of a Phase II trial of weekly nab-paclitaxel with GM-CSF as chemoimmunotherapy for platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer – Abstract 5082 -