September 28, 2001

VICC cancer treatment available in Clarksville

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Dr. Art Beaudet of Baylor College of Medicine was the keynote speaker at last week's Genetics Symposium. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Physicians from Vanderbilt University’s Department of Radiation Oncology are now providing cancer patients with cutting-edge radiation services at Gateway Health Systems in Clarksville, Tenn. Prior to Sept. 10, those services had been provided by Gateway.

Physicians who wish to refer patients in the northern Tennessee and western Kentucky areas may schedule appointments by calling 931-551-1826.

Gateway CEO Randy Kelley noted the importance of the new physician-services agreement.

“Our relationship with Vanderbilt gives our patients direct, local access to top notch physicians practicing in one of the country’s most highly acclaimed cancer programs,” he said.

Vanderbilt Radiation Oncology is a component of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation indicates Vanderbilt-Ingram’s leadership role in research into cancer causes, development, new treatments and prevention, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community education and outreach.

The Vanderbilt physicians practicing in Clarksville are board-certified in radiation oncology and experienced in the latest techniques and in developing innovative new therapies.

Initially, these services will be provided daily by Dr. Dennis E. Hallahan, professor of Radiation Oncology and chair of the department. Hallahan is also professor of Biomedical Engineering. Board-certified in radiation oncology, Hallahan received his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicag, and completed his residency training radiation oncology, as well as a basic science fellowship in radiation and cellular oncology at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 1998, Hallahan was associate professor of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and a member of the Cancer Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Vanderbilt is recruiting additional radiation oncologists to provide services in Clarksville.

“Many patients must undergo radiation treatments daily for four weeks or more,” Hallahan said. “Being able to have those services delivered close to home by physicians based at a major academic health center and Comprehensive Cancer Center becomes a quality of life issue for patients, some of whom are fatigued by their therapy.”

The medical staff at Gateway is enthusiastic about the prospect of working with the Vanderbilt radiation oncologists, Kelley said. The affiliation will also provide educational opportunities for Gateway physicians and professional staff.