Dankook University Hospital (DKUH; President Kim Jae-il) has established a cancer center in the central region of Korea to provide medical services for cancer patients, including diagnosis, surgery, and integrated treatment, based on precision medicine and personalized care.
DKUH in Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do Province commenced operation of the Cancer Center in the hospital on February 28. The Center will officially open in late April after a month of operation.
The Cancer Center is characterized by its provision of interdisciplinary care by medical staff with extensive experience in cancer treatment, in addition to personalized care for optimal individually tailored treatment and one-stop services for first-time visitors through a coordinator.
According to the Office of Lee Yong-ho, a member of the People Power Party, more than 60% of cancer patients visited a tertiary general hospital, of whom 37% received treatment at one of the Big 5 hospitals in Seoul, in 2020.
In other words, 4 out of 10 people diagnosed with cancer head to a major hospital in Seoul, regardless of the severity of the disease. When other medical conditions are included, significantly more people seek medical care in Seoul Capital Area.
Although the government has designated 12 regional cancer centers nationwide to prevent the concentration of cancer patients in Seoul Capital Area and strengthen regional cancer management systems, there were no cancer centers in the Chungnam region, causing limitations to providing systematic cancer treatment services.
Based on its prior experience in cancer treatment and research, DKUH has established a cancer center, which had been a long-term vision of the institution and the local community, to be at the forefront of cancer management by providing local residents with related medical services including diagnosis, surgery, and integrated treatment.
With a total budget of KRW 84 billion, including KRW 67 billion for construction and KRW 17 billion for equipment, the DKUH Cancer Center was built as a state-of-the-art independent facility with 250 beds, a gross floor area of 30,393.5 ㎡, two basement floors, and eight above-ground floors. More than 20 cancer treatment specialists were also recruited.
The Cancer Center consists of the Gastrointestinal Center (Stomach Cancer Center, Colorectal Cancer Center, and Peritoneal Cancer Center); Liver, Biliary, and Pancreatic Cancer Center; Breast Cancer Center; Lung Cancer Center; Thyroid Cancer Center; Oncology and Blood Cancer Center; Urinary Cancer Center; Health Screening Center; and the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Center will offer cutting-edge medical services such as interdisciplinary treatment.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS), which is the latest precision medicine technology based on genetic mutation analysis, will be applied for accurate diagnosis and personalized care for optimized treatment.
Kim Jae-il, President of Dankook University Hospital
With approval from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) following adoption of the NGS equipment in March 2019, DKUH became the first hospital in Chungcheongnam-do Province to begin offering individually tailored treatment according to genetic information analysis and clinical diagnosis. It has even developed the Dankook University Hospital Cancer Panel to test for genetic mutations related to cancer.
DKUH explains that once Versa HD, an ultra-precise radiation therapy system that can track four-dimensional images in real time, is introduced in 2021, it will significantly shorten treatment times and enable accurate high-speed cancer treatment with improved precision.
The hospital is equipped with essential cancer diagnosis and treatment infrastructure, including CT, MRI, PET-CT, and SPECT-CT equipment of the highest specification as well as a special thyroid cancer treatment room (OXO treatment room).
DKUH President Kim said, “The Cancer Center did not simply expand the scale of our hospital, but it will dramatically improve the quality of medical services by implementing an integrated cancer treatment system. We will provide quality medical care and present a new hospital culture to give hope to cancer patients in the central region of Korea.”