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Bringing Advanced Cancer Care to Topeka and Northeast Kansas

May 10, 2021

Kansas City, Kan.  The University of Kansas Health System has established a new partnership that will expand access to the most advanced cancer care to patients in Topeka and across northeast Kansas. The University of Kansas Cancer Center in partnership with The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus will leverage the expertise from the health system to support research, clinical quality and best practices in cancer care.

The health system in Kansas City, Ardent, the health system’s St. Francis Campus in Topeka and the cancer center formally announced a new cancer care agreement that will bring more access to clinical trials, technology and cancer care expertise to Topeka.

The cancer center has supported the oncology program on the St. Francis Campus for the past 1.5 years. This new agreement elevates that support so that patients in Topeka and surrounding areas have:

  • Greater access to clinical trials as a Masonic Cancer Alliance Major Clinical Research Partner
  • Access to disease site-specific cancer experts through multidisciplinary cancer conferences
  • Oncology expertise focused on nationally recognized safety and clinical outcomes

Support services teams in Topeka and Kansas City, including radiology, lab and pathology, clinical research, nursing, quality and pharmacy, can now share clinical best practices to ensure patients always receive the highest quality community cancer care.

“Through this expanded relationship, our physicians and clinicians will work even more closely together. By collaborating and learning from each other, we can develop best practices that will help us grow our community oncology program in Topeka,” says Terry Tsue, MD, vice president and physician in chief of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “Together, we can help cancer patients stay as close to home as possible for their care.”

“The cancer care team at The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus already has a reputation for providing compassionate, high-quality care,” says Steve Anderson, CEO of the St. Francis Campus. “Now, through this expanded partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center in Kansas City, the team in Topeka will have access to more technology and care resources. The partnership also strengthens our recruiting efforts as we bring more cancer specialists to Topeka.”

Through a new joint venture board, the health system in Kansas City, the St. Francis Campus and Ardent Health Services have invested in several major cancer care updates on the St. Francis Campus. These include a new linear accelerator, a new PET CT scanner and remodeling the radiation oncology department.

“Through this partnership, we’re able to bring state-of-the-art technology to the St. Francis Campus,” says Shalina Gupta-Burt, MD, medical director of radiation oncology at the St Francis Campus. “Thanks to this new partnership, patients can continue to receive the high-quality, personalized care they expect from the team here with even more advanced care options. We’re also more connected to the team in Kansas City, so patients have streamlined access to specialists and even more advanced care when they need it.”

Oncology Partnership expands Cancer Services to Next Level

The University of Kansas Health System is announcing a new partnership that will expand access to the most advanced cancer care to patients in Topeka and across northeast Kansas.

Narrator - The University of Kansas Cancer Center, in partnership with The University of Kansas Health System, St. Francis Campus. An expanded partnership between The University of Kansas Cancer Center and St. Francis Campus opens the door to a new era of cancer care.

Steve Anderson - We have an increased connection now with a new co-management agreement between The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the St. Francis Campus. This increased connection, this agreement with The University of Kansas Cancer Center means that this is a new era. This is a new era of increased resources being brought here to Topeka that weren't available before. And so the patients, again, who needed to travel further before, can now stay here in Topeka. We're increasing our technologies. We're installing a new linear accelerator, a new PET CT scanner, more clinical trials more physicians here on campus. All this means healthcare closer to home.

Roy Jensen, MD - I think one of the most important things about the partnership with the St. Francis Campus is that it provides a greater level of access to patients in the greater Topeka area to resources within our cancer center and particularly, the ability to be enrolled on clinical trials that the cancer center offers. As the only NCI-designated cancer center within this region, we believe we have a special obligation to make sure that every cancer patient diagnosed within our catchment area has access to world-class expertise in our wonderful clinical research program.

Terry Tsue, MD - Through our relationship, we're able to work closely with not only the physicians, but in radiology, pharmacy, laboratory to bring expertise available on both campuses to really provide the most information, the best decision-making and the best clinical pathway for taking care of those patients on the St. Francis Campus. By collaborating with our best practices together and learning from each other, we really hope to grow a quality Oncology Community Program. So the patients, when they develop cancer in this peak area they can stay close to their home.

Adrian Caracioni, MD- It brings cutting-edge oncology close to home availability of more trials, more resources locally and cuts down on their travel time and stress associated with travel. It's been a nice collaboration to see how they what their flow looks like for their patient flow which is something that's helped us enhance our patient flow here and working together on quality measures which does nothing but benefit patients. So, there's just a lot of networking that's available for our physicians, for our nurses and then the patients themselves benefit from all of those pieces.

Shalina Gupta-Burt, MD - That same ability to provide the state-of-the-art care with the equipment, the latest in research developments will be available at home. So I think that's the biggest strength that this allows us. Oral chemotherapies is an example, is it gonna be easier for us to deliver cancer care if we have more access to oral chemotherapy and such, right? So, the ability to be able to see what KU can offer as a cancer center to what we can offer as a community hospital can be combined. So, I'll be having the best of all worlds. I'm gonna be right here in the community but I will have the access to what everything at a major medical center, NCI-designated cancer center has.

Hope Krebill - The the Masonic Cancer Alliance or the MCA have partnered with St. Francis Campus since 2008. It's been a great partnership. With this major clinical research partner membership level, we're extending even more clinical trials. The major clinical research partner level is a level that allows us to extend additional clinical trials, trials that might not otherwise be open into Topeka. It allows us to extend additional education to partner on additional outreach events and really support the cancer community.

Susan Adams, RN - When my cancer re-presented, I was still being treated here in Topeka, and I was referred over to The University of Kansas Cancer Center to see Dr. Kasi. He specializes in gastrointestinal cancers. So, I've been seeing him ever since on an every-few months basis. I get all of my CT scans and PET scans through him and each visit with him, I also get a new set of labs drawn. So, he's the specialist in my cancer but I'm able to come back to Topeka and get my treatments here and he and Dr. Caracioni and the other providers here in this clinic talk back and forth. They know anytime there's something new with me here they relay that information to Dr. Kasi and likewise, after my visits with him, he relays that information back to this cancer center and it's marvelous. It saves me the time from having to drive over there every two weeks but I'm still getting that specialized care that they're able to provide.

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