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July 6, 2000

2 groups of cancer specialists merge

2 groups of cancer specialists to merge

Two groups of area cancer specialists are joining forces.

Oncology Hematology Associates (OHA), a specialty practice of 30 oncologists working in 21 locations throughout the tri-state area, intends to join the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), the area's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UPCI has 27 faculty members at Pitt's School of Medicine and 18 community physicians who are medical oncologists. Through this association, UPCI will have more medical oncologists than any other U.S. cancer center.

Under the proposed agreement, OHA would continue its current research endeavors as well as participate in the clinical research projects of UPCI.

Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of Pitt's School of Medicine, said, "UPCI is internationally recognized for its cancer research and is among the top 12 cancer centers nationally with respect to research funding from the NCI. For UPCI, the importance of a strong network of community physicians cannot be overestimated. This component is necessary for clinical research to flourish and to insure that the largest number of patients has access to new treatments as soon as they become available."

Stanley Marks, founder and president of OHA, will assume the additional position of deputy director for medical oncology for UPCI.

In addition to the physicians, OHA employs 260 staff members. OHA currently is managed by US Oncology Network (USON) a national for-profit oncology management company. UPCI is negotiating with USON to provide management services to UPCI's community specialty practices and explore the development of regional cancer centers.

Based on last year's statistics, the combination of these two programs will mean that its 75 cancer specialists will see more than 20,800 new patients each year.  

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