The Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center at FirstHealth Moore Regional
Hospital is one of the most complete cancer care programs in North Carolina. With their
specialized knowledge and skills, the cancer care experts associated with the Cancer Center use
the latest and most powerful technology to diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers.
In 2008, the Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer
Center received a three-year approval with commendation
from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American
College of Surgeons. All of the program’s physicians are board
certified and participate in a variety of cancer clinical trials.
Current treatment options at the Community Hospital Comprehensive
Cancer Center include the following:
- IV Chemotherapy
- Oral Chemotherapy
- External Beam Radiation Therapy, which uses a high-energy
X-ray machine called a linear accelerator to direct radiation
to the tumor
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which uses
an advanced computer program to plan a precise dose of
radiation in three dimensions based on individual tumor size,
shape and location
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy, a radiation treatment
that is guided by imaging equipment (such as CT, ultrasound or stereoscopic X-ray) to allow radiation to be
delivered to tumors with more precision than has been
- High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy, a form of internal
radiation therapy that precisely delivers radiation from the
inside out, sparing surrounding healthy tissue and organs and
potentially reducing the need for surgery
- MammoSite, a unique form of brachytherapy that uses a
balloon catheter to deliver radiation internally to the site of a
breast cancer tumor cavity where the likelihood of recurrence
- Biological Therapy, which works with the immune system to
help fight cancer or to control side effects from other cancer
- Monoclonal Antibody, a laboratory-produced molecule that
is engineered to attach to specific defects in cancer cells and
mimic the antibodies that the body produces naturally as part
of the immune system’s response
- Robot-Assisted Surgery with the da Vinci Robotic Surgical
System, which allows surgeons to perform complex prostatectomies
and hysterectomies as minimally invasive procedures
with smaller incisions.
Advanced diagnostic technology
Using highly specific, color-coded PET/CT scans, the
physicians at Moore Regional Hospital are able to detect and
stage tumors earlier, more easily and with more accuracy than
ever before. This detailed information allows for more accurate
monitoring of changes in the cancer as well as more precise
All three FirstHealth hospitals (Moore Regional, Montgomery
Memorial and Richmond Memorial) use digital mammography
to screen for breast cancer. With digital mammography,
high-quality images are displayed on a high-resolution computer
monitor and transmitted and stored like computer files.
With digital mammography, the radiologist uses a special
high-resolution monitor to review the electronic images of the
breast—adjusting the brightness, changing contrast and zooming
in for close-ups of specific areas of interest.
Other available breast cancer detection technology includes:
- Breast MRI, which supplements mammography and ultrasound
for detecting and staging breast cancer
- Stereotactic or X-ray-guided breast biopsy—allows physicians
to use a special computerized mammography machine
to guide them in inserting a needle into a growth to collect a
small sample for analysis (available at both Moore Regional
and Richmond Memorial hospitals)
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy, a procedure in which the sentinel
lymph node (first lymph node or group of nodes reached
by metastasizing cancer cells) is removed and examined to
determine whether cancer cells are present (available at both
Moore Regional and Richmond Memorial hospitals)
Cancers treated at FirstHealth
Moore Regional Hospital
Digestive & Stomach
Head & Neck
Hodgkin’s Disease and
Metastatic (cancer that
has spread from the
Urinary Tract & Bladder
|The Chest Center of the Carolinas
The Chest Center of the Carolinas brings together the
expertise of multiple specialties in the treatment of diseases
of the chest, and assists patients in their treatment plan by
minimizing visits that provide the most advanced care possible.
With the combination of the talents of the specialists into
one center, complex patient care is coordinated in an efficient
and friendly manner without multiple visits.
Board certified thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, medical
oncologists, radiation oncologists and radiologists comprise the
Chest Center team, which focuses on the treatment of lung
cancer as well as esophageal and central thoracic cavity tumors
and benign diseases of the chest.
Inside a meeting of the “Tumor Board”
By Brenda Bouser
Participants in the group that is about to meet—most of
them clad in white coats and arriving from early hospital
rounds—begin to gather before 7 a.m. in the Cancer Classroom
at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
Their number includes medical and radiation oncologists,
surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, internists and
nurses as well as representatives from such auxiliary services
as pharmacy, food and nutrition, Clinical Trials and the
Cancer Registry (data collection department). The people
in the room obviously know each other well, so the mood is
comfortable, almost casual.
Until the serious talk begins.
This is a meeting of Moore Regional’s Oncology Case
Conference or, as it is more commonly known, the Tumor
Board. Lives that have been changed by cancer are discussed
in this gathering. Cases are presented, and treatment options
The meetings, known for their multidisciplinary makeup,
are held the first and third Wednesday of every month.
A smaller group comprised only of medical and radiation
oncologists and representatives from nursing and Clinical
Trials meets the second and fourth Thursday.
A similar multidisciplinary conference happens after
each Chest Center of the Carolinas clinic (see related story
on page 17) on Tuesdays, and various informal discussions
frequently transpire in telephone and person-to-person
Each has a common goal—the best possible approach to
each patient’s cancer care.
“This is evidence that Moore Regional Hospital does
indeed provide the multidisciplinary care that is so much
a part of cancer management today,” says Ellen Willard,
M.D., a medical oncologist and medical director of the Outpatient Cancer Center.
“Basically, you get input from several disciplines to allow
you to develop the best approach to care, using a combination
or a sequence of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc.
The purpose is to review pathology, X-rays and the clinical
picture in the course of making these decisions.”
Because identities are confidential, during Tumor Board
meetings at Moore Regional, patients are referred to only by
age and gender (a 90-year-old woman, a 72-year-old woman)
or by attached ABC identifier (Patient C or Patient E).
After a physician presents the case, noting a medical history
that is often complicated by age and/or other non-related
medical problems, everyone has the chance to weigh in.
By the end of the discussion, the physician presenting the
case will have confirmed, or dismissed, a particular course of
“They work well,” Dr. Willard says of the meetings. “We
all increase our knowledge through them in addition to
making decisions that improve patient care.”
FirstHealth Cancer Specialists
||David G. Allen, M.D.
Training: M.D., Duke University School of Medicine
Internship/Residency: Duke University Medical Center; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
||Charles S. Kuzma, M.D.
Training: M.D., Temple University.
Internship/Residency: Oakland Naval Hospital, Calif.; Naval Medical Center, Calif.
||Todd A. Moore, M.D.
Training: M.D., University of Mississippi
Internship/Residency: University of Texas; University of Mississippi Medical Center; Brown University, R.I.
||Robert A. Pohlmeyer, M.D.
Training: Wright State University School of Medicine, Ohio
Internship/Residency: Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.
||Ellen M. Willard, M.D.
Training: M.D., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Internship/Residency: University of Alabama
||Jeffrey C. Acker, M.D.
Training: M.D., Duke University Medical School,
Internship/Residency: UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
||Stephen C. King, M.D.
Training: M.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Internship/Residency: N.C. Memorial Hospital; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
||Sushma M. Patel, M.D.
Training: M.D., Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Internship/Residency: University of Cincinnati, Ohio