The Dartmouth Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the northern New England region. Located in Lebanon, New Hampshire, it is affiliated with Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, providing research-based care, advanced technologies, and access to clinical trials to patients from the area.
Dartmouth Cancer Center combines state-of-the-art research with clinical programs that allow physicians and scientists to collaborate in bringing innovative treatments to patient care. The facility boasts more than 200 cancer specialists who work together in multidisciplinary clinical oncology teams. They see approximately 3,700 new patients each year, as well as 18,000 cancer patients receiving ongoing care, offering the latest technology in diagnostics and treatment options. In addition to being an NCI-designated care center, the facility is one of 32 Lead Academic Participating Sites within the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. It also has developed programs specifically meant to deliver advanced cancer care to the region’s remote areas.
Facts about the Dartmouth Cancer Center
The Dartmouth Cancer Center has received numerous awards and recognitions for excellence in care, including being ranked as a High Performing Cancer Hospital by U.S. News & World Report and receiving the Press Ganey 2022 HX Pinnacle of Excellence Award for maintaining consistently high levels of excellence in human experience in medical practice over consecutive years. It was also recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 hospitals and health systems with oncology programs that accelerate innovation, discovery, and greater access to health.
It offers advanced treatments for all forms of cancer, but most frequently treats breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, skin cancer, and lung cancer.
The facility collaborates with regional centers and community hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont to provide care closer to home.
Dartmouth Cancer Center offers patient and family-centered cancer care that includes survivorship support as well as survivor and palliative care.
Dartmouth Cancer Center’s Familial Cancer Program offers comprehensive cancer genetic services including family history analysis, risk assessment, genetic testing and counseling, and prevention recommendations.
The facility serves more than 32,000 patients annually.
The Dartmouth Cancer Center receives $3.1 million per year in core funding from the National Cancer Institute and $50 million from the National Institute of Health, NCI, and other grants and contracts.
The Cancer Center has over 160 open clinical trials, including those that they initiated as well as national, multi-center, and pharmaceutical-funded trials.
Originally known as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the founding of the Dartmouth Cancer Center has its roots in the years when national concern over the lack of funding for cancer care and research was on the rise. Amidst the signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971 and increases in funding, the Director of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital’s Radiation Therapy Department expressed the need for a regional cancer center in Hanover that could serve all of rural northern New England. With funding apparently unavailable Dr. Frank W. Lane met with Norris Cotton, the Republican Senator from New Hampshire, informing him that the region had one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the country but had received almost no federal support for cancer-related activities.
Senator Cotton left the meeting convinced that Hanover, New Hampshire, where the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital was located, needed a regional cancer. Through extensive efforts, he secured $3 million in the 1971 NCI budget for the construction of a new facility to be used for radiation therapy and research, as well as additional funding to strengthen Dartmouth Medical School’s teaching program, and in 1972 the Norris Cotton Cancer Center opened its doors. In 1974 it expanded to include medical oncology, surgical oncology, pediatric oncology, diagnostic radiology, pathology, biomedical engineering, screening, detection, and pharmacology.
In 1978, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center was approved and funded as an NCI-designated Cancer Center, and in 1990 it was designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 1991, both the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and the Cancer Center moved from Hanover to Lebanon.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the Dartmouth Cancer Center
Patients seeking care for cancers including malignant pleural mesothelioma, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and other malignancies receive state-of-the-art personalized care at Dartmouth Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program. The program offers specialized thoracic surgery, state-of-the-art thoracic radiation oncology, the largest interventional pulmonology service in northern New England, and treatment from thoracic medical oncologists. The center offers lung cancer screening and support services, as well as innovative services and techniques including robotic surgery, video-assisted thoracic surgery, MRI-guided LINAC, electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy, rigid bronchoscopy, and spray cryotherapy. Patients also have access to numerous clinical trials exploring innovative treatments for lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.
Dartmouth Cancer Center’s research programs explore four separate program areas: cancer population science, cancer biology and therapeutics, translational engineering in cancer, and immunology and cancer immunotherapy. It is affiliated with the Geisel School of Medicine, and the majority of all peer-reviewed research at the school is dedicated to cancer research and clinical trials. The facility has developed important cancer registries in breast and colon cancer screening and has been active in the establishment of new protocols for health delivery, outcomes, standards of care, and research that have been adopted throughout the nation.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
The Dartmouth Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology team takes a personalized approach to the care of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer. Individual plans are created based on a comprehensive evaluation of each patient’s physical needs as well as their personal goals. Care is provided by thoracic surgeons and medical oncologists, as well as radiation oncologists, cytopathologists, and pulmonologists with deep expertise in their patient’s challenging conditions.
The team is led by thoracic surgeon Dr. David J. Finley and includes thoracic surgeon Dr. Rian M. Hasson and medical oncologist Dr, Konstantin H. Dragnev.
The Dartmouth Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Program offers state-of-the-art care for patients with lung cancer and other thoracic cancers, including mesothelioma.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.