CBCC Named Site for Expanded Breast Cancer Screening
Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Bakersfield has been named the first site in the nation where breast cancer patients can obtain a promising experimental drug through an expanded access program.
Pfizer Inc. is developing the drug, called Palbociclib, which began clinical trials several years ago. CBCC participated in the trial through a research partnership with UCLA.
Five patients from Bakersfield were among 165 people who received the therapy from 2010 to 2012.
The trial went well, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Palbociclib a "breakthrough therapy" designation in 2012. The designation expedites the review and approval of treatments deemed groundbreaking.
Now Pfizer is rolling the drug out again for expanded testing, and Bakersfield is the first market of several where it will be available.
Cancer is abnormal cell growth. Some breast cancers are driven by hormones and others are not. So-called "hormone positive" breast cancer accounts for about 60 percent of stage 4 cancers, or cancers that have spread beyond their point of origin.
The drug works by arresting the ability of hormone-positive cancer cells to divide and multiply.
Oncology Unit Opens at Mercy Hospital Downtown (Video)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Kern County's first inpatient oncology unit was officially unveiled at Mercy Hospital Downtown on Thursday evening.
"A person can come in and receive holistic care in this unit and not have to leave," said Alysia Williams, nurse manager at the oncology unit.
The unit will provide cancer patients with specialized care in one single dedicated area.
Specialized care will be provided using a comprehensive team approach.
"There will be a physician, there will be a nurse, there will be psycho-social support," said Dr. Ravi Patel, director of the cancer program.
Family counseling is also available, if needed.
The unit has six private patient rooms that can accommodate families who wish to stay overnight. A family lounge is also provided.
The unit is expected to start treating the first patients in three to four weeks.
See video HERE.
CBCC Gala Benefits Children with Cancer
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Annual Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center Foundation Gala featured a Mardi Gras-inspired theme with gourmet foods and wine tasting to benefit children with cancer in Kern County.
The event Saturday at the home of doctors Naina and Ravi Patel was a precursor to Monday's golf tournament at the Seven Oaks Country Club.
Money raised from the two events provides transportation for local cancer patients.
"In 2013, we provided complete transportation for more than 1,000 visits to hospitals, including Children's Hospital Central California in Madera, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, City of Hope, and many more," said Dr. Patel.
Click HERE to view the video.