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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | Last updated: 6:34am

Construction begins on UA cancer center in Phoenix


Regents gave final project approval for $100 million cancer center in December, expected date of completion in early 2015



Construction is currently underway for a new UA cancer treatment center located in downtown Phoenix.

The Arizona Board of Regents gave final approval for the $100 million center in December and the first phase of construction began Tuesday.

“From the development of new cancer treatments to economic development for our state, the establishment of the UACC-Phoenix is a milestone event for the landscape of health care in Arizona,”
ABOR director of public affairs Sarah Harper said in an email.

Harper added that the project will include advantages like research programs, education for an increasing number of students in the health field, an enhanced downtown Phoenix area, new jobs and important research expenditures.

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The new cancer treatment center will offer the highest standard of care for cancer patients and translational research programs, according to Dr. Thomas Brown, chief operating officer and professor of medicine at the UA Cancer Center. The research will be conducted in labs within the Cancer Center, he added. Brown has been overseeing the cancer center project for about three years now.

Brown said he anticipates that in about 10 years the center will be caring for and treating at least 10 percent of cancer patients in the population of Phoenix.

Although the UA has a National Cancer Institute-recognized center, it is the only one in the state, according to Milton Castillo, senior vice president and chief financial officer of business affairs at the UA. Phoenix is the largest city in the nation that does not have a NCI-designated center and the UA always knew it was going to build one, he added.

Castillo said the process began by finding someone to partner with that could provide a good deal.

In the end, the UA partnered with St. Joseph’s Hospital to create a 20-year affiliation agreement where St. Joseph’s leases the newly constructed facility to the university. St. Joe’s Hospital will manage the outpatient cancer-treatment center. The final documents have yet to be signed but the documents should be finalized within the next couple of weeks, Castillo said.

“One of the advantages is that I think it’s going to vastly improve clinical care and cancer research in the state of Arizona,” Castillo said.

The center will be six stories tall, located on about 1.5 acres of land in downtown Phoenix on Fillmore and 7th streets. The center is anticipated to open in early 2015.


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