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6-10 story world-class Gibbs Cancer Center planned for Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, January 15, 2015

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A 6-to-10 story Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is planned as the next phase to the medical complex across from the Pelham Medical Center.
 

Jim Fair

A 6-to-10 story Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is planned as the next phase to the medical complex across from the Pelham Medical Center.

 

A 6-to-10 story Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is planned as the next phase to the medical complex across from the Pelham Medical Center.

Jimmy and Marshall Gibbs, benefactors of the Gibbs Cancer Center, and Dr. James Bearden III described the cancer center as one of a kind unrivaled in the U.S.

“We will have a facility here where each floor will be for a specific cancer, whether it will be dedicated to prostate, breast cancer, liver cancer, kidney, heart and brains,” Gibbs said. “I don’t know any place in the world that’s done, not even M.D. Anderson or the Mayo Clinic.”

“I don’t want to say it will be a rival of M. D. Anderson, but it will actually,” Gibbs said. “When you name the top five cancer centers in the world I predict within two to five years Gibbs will be part of it.”

“We’re all called to do something and those guys definitely have vision,” Tony Kouskolekas, President of Pelham Medical Center, said. “You talk about technology unique to the upstate, it’s right here.”

The announcement of the revolutionary CyberKnife Radiosurgery becoming operational brought hospital leaders to Greer Thursday. The Gibbs Center at Pelham constructed a second vault for the CyberKnife linear accelerator.

“This is an example of once you get the momentum going and you do things like cornerstone technology, you can bring people here,” Dr. Dan Fried, radiationoncologist, said. “This is just the beginning of many things you are going to see in the future and we’ll have lots of interesting things to tell you in the next few months.”

Greer has been targeted for the cancer institute because of its growing demographics in the Carolinas. “Everybody knows the corridor from Raleigh to Atlanta in the next (40) years will add another (20-40) million people,” Gibbs said. “We want to be on the leading edge of that to serve the people.”

Gibbs said the CyberKnife is a continuation for more state-of-the-art machines, drugs and procedures for the Cancer Center. “I always told everybody I want to see a prevention of cancer not necessarily a cure of cancer,” Gibbs said. “Prevention is number one. It will save a lot of money and it will save a lot more lives. And then you get into the genetics part of it.”

And genetics, said Bearden, is the frontier that will also put the Cancer Center on the cutting edge.

“We’re at the edge of the genomic age, where you’re able to pick out specifically the genetic of the cancer,” Bearden said. “We profile the tumors, with a tremendous amount of data through the years, which means we can specifically target genetically the cancer and design the drugs to the patients.

“The information age is a continuous overload. Since I came here we have been privileged to be a member of all these research groups. We knew of the advances through the research community and I think that has been hugely important.”

Ed Driggers, city administrator, said the city has planned infrastructure and growth in the area of the Gibbs Cancer Center. “There are large subdivisions there we have been working on for the last 12-18 months,” he said.

“We have envisioned that the (Pelham) hospital and the Gibbs medical center will be a catalyst for additional growth,” Driggers said. “Health care is a big part of where people are considering to live. And health care is especially important for a more aging community.”

Driggers said the past two census figures tell of a changing Greer demographic. “The fastest growing citizens have been our young families. These types of investments in healthcare will shift that and we are aware of that.”

Two doctors were announced to join the Gibbs Cancer Center team. “Dr. Caio Rocha Lima, a bilinguist, will be in Spartanburg and Dr. Melanie Thomas will practice at Pelham.

 

 

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