Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

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About Sylvester

Sylvester/UMHC Courtyard

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center integrates all cancer-related activities of the faculty of the University of Miami. This includes all cancer treatment, research and education, and outreach conducted at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and within the University of Miami Health System (UHealth). As the only University-based Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region, we play a unique role in the South Florida medical community. Since its inception, Sylvester has transformed cancer treatment, research and education in South Florida and beyond.

Sylvester physicians treated nearly 6,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients within the University of Miami Health System in 2012. In addition, we supervised the care of more than 2,500 new cancer patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital. This represents the largest experience of any hospital or health system in the counties that make up South Florida.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in downtown Miami, serves as the hub for cancer diagnosis and treatment at UHealth, with additional activities taking place at two adjacent hospitals owned by UHealth – the University of Miami Hospital, which is just across the street from Sylvester, and the Ana Bates Leach Eye Hospital, which is only a few blocks away. To better serve our patients throughout the region, we have established sophisticated, outpatient treatment facilities at Deerfield Beach, Plantation, Hollywood and Kendall. Services at these satellite or regional centers include clinic visits with our physicians, radiation therapy, infusion therapy, imaging, and laboratory services. All of this is part of our commitment to providing convenient, as well as expert and compassionate patient care.

Patient care at Sylvester is multidisciplinary, highly specialized, and “advance of the art.” Highly trained nurse navigators help our patients access the right physicians and stay on track through complex treatment protocols. Physicians are subspecialized according to the site of origin of the cancer (breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc), which allows them to focus fully on the needs of our patients and their families. Click here to learn more about our site disease groups.

We have also invested heavily in providing outstanding support services for our patients, including counseling services, integrative medicine (advice about complementary and alternative therapy options, diet and exercise, as well as services like acupuncture and healing touch), rehabilitation, pain management and palliative care.

At Sylvester, we believe that research is the key to producing the best results for cancer patients and their families. Today there are more than 280 physicians and scientists working together to realize Harcourt Sylvester Jr.‘s vision of a comprehensive cancer center. Research is organized around six or more multidisciplinary research programs. Each of these programs is home to 10-30 physicians and scientists working together to move discovery from the research lab to the patient’s bedside. As a part of this process, Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in approximately 259 clinical trials (115 therapeutic and 142 non-therapeutic) and receive more than $26 million annually in research grants and contracts, including 54 projects funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Sylvester physicians, scientists and nurses are passionate about all aspects of education – from patient and family information, to teaching our medical students, graduate students, and oncology fellows, to providing continuing medical education for our physicians and nurses, as well as to our colleagues in the community. Our medical students and post graduate physician fellows carry knowledge learned here far and wide, and our cancer biology graduate program is a model for the nation. Finally, and most importantly, immersion in a culture of education virtually guarantees that the care patients delivered at Sylvester is of the very highest quality. In fact, the quality of our care has been recognized by many organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) which awarded us a perfect score as part of their QOPI assessment of our out-patient care delivery.

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., the former Alfred P. Sloan Chair in Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, joined Sylvester as its director in May of 2012. Dr. Nimer spent nearly two decades at Sloan-Kettering, where he established the inpatient hematology service and the adult autologous stem cell transplant program for hematologic diseases. He participated in the pivotal clinical trials that led to the FDA approval of lenalidomide for 5q-myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and of decitabine for intermediate or high-risk MDS patients. Furthermore, he and his laboratory team have made several major discoveries, including the identification of several new epigenetic targets that could be incorporated into novel treatments of patients with myeloid malignancies, such as acute myelogenous leukemia.

Sylvester Mission

We seek to reduce the human burden from cancer and other serious illnesses through research, education, prevention, and the delivery of the highest possible quality patient care.

Sylvester Vision

Sylvester will become a fully integrated program of patient care, education, and research with an international reputation for excellence.

Sylvester will provide new hope for cancer patients in our extended community, which includes South Florida, the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and South America.

Sylvester will promote efficient, community-responsive health care, and generate resources to sustain and enhance innovative cancer programs.

Sylvester Values

Excellence: To exceed our expectations in the delivery of state-of-the-art and compassionate cancer care, the conduct of impactful cancer research, and the use of novel teaching aids to advance the education of our staff, faculty, and community members
Compassion: To work and care for the welfare of others, and to alleviate suffering
Respect: To recognize worth, quality, and importance of others
Discovery: To embrace the never-ending quest for new knowledge and awareness

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