ST. GEORGE — Tracy Hildebrand, of Mesquite, Nevada, wouldn’t have guessed there would be a chance she and her best friend of 30 years would end up with exact same kind of cancer — squamous cell carcinoma – but such was the case.
“We rarely see each other nowadays because we live in different states, but we are aware of what each other is going through,” Hildebrand said, “so we always check in to see how the other is doing. Her support is awesome.”
While her best friend is currently being treated with radiation and chemotherapy, Hildebrand’s cancer was not fazed by chemotherapy. However, because she is a patient at the Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George, the DNA in her tumor tissue was analyzed through next generation sequencing.
Based on the results, Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, executive director of Intermountain Precision Genomics, recommended a form of targeted cancer treatment originally used for kidney cancer that matched Hildebrand’s DNA.
“I’m so grateful,” Hildebrand said. “If I didn’t have genomic testing and these advanced cancer treatments, I probably wouldn’t be here. Although chemotherapy worked for my friend, it wasn’t working for me.”
Sequencing Hildebrand’s DNA gave doctors a clearer direction to follow in prescribing her treatment, and she is now on a medication that is working for her.
Hildebrand travels from Mesquite to access advanced cancer care in St. George, Utah. Her targeted treatment will continue, yet beginning October 2018, advanced cancer care will look different. Amid the spectacular scenery of St. George and the healing environment of the desert, up rises a new standalone Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George. The cancer center, located on Intermountain Healthcare’s Medical Center Campus in St. George, will provide a true home for oncology and precision health.
The new building will encompass oncology treatment, state-of-the-art radiation oncology, infusion center, imaging department, the Intermountain Precision Genomics™ clinical laboratory, Translational Science Center, the Stanford Genome Technology Center and more.
When cancer patients walk through the doors to the new Intermountain Cancer Center of St. George, they will be entering a world dedicated wholly to them. All the research, access to clinical trials, technology and discoveries that go into patients’ treatment will be under one roof, making care as smooth and seamless as possible. Intermountain Healthcare’s commitment to helping patients live the healthiest lives possible shines through in this new project.
The grand reopening of the Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Campus and Cancer Center of St. George celebrates the completion of a major $300 million expansion and the opening of the more than 900,000-square-foot campus.
The public is invited to enjoy “Opening Night” festivities from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. The Piano Guys will perform an hour program, and fireworks will follow. The event is free to the public. Those interested in attending a full-length concert will be pleased to learn the group will be performing at Tuacahn Nov. 8-10.
Opening Night will be held in the new east bowl parking lot on Medical Center Drive. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. In case of inclement weather, this event will be held in the DSU Burns Arena.
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