Virginia Cancer Specialists
This year, Virginia Cancer Specialists celebrates 50 years of cancer care and contributions to cancer research. Founder Dr. Arthur Kales opened a small practice in 1972 that was dedicated to providing patients with compassionate, state-of-the-art treatment for cancer and blood diseases. Fifty years later, there are 37 physicians and 500 employees working in ten offices throughout Northern Virginia and a new Comprehensive Cancer Center in Fairfax.
Medical oncologists Patricia Rodriguez and Isabelle Le find the advances in cancer treatments exciting for their patients and for themselves as doctors. Both appreciate the relationships they develop with patients over the course of treatment. The majority do well thanks to ever-evolving innovations.
“There are more and more extremely directed therapies that target underlying cellular abnormalities,” Dr. Rodriguez says. Head of the Virginia Cancer Specialists Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program, she adds, “Genetic counseling enables us to design different treatments for any patient with an inherited mutation. We have excellent response rates with a number of drugs that activate the immune system.”
“It is indeed an extremely fast-moving field,” says Dr. Le, who points to a new drug called Enhertu as an exciting antibody and chemotherapy combination that has an impressive record of lengthening the time that people with certain types of breast cancers remain in remission.
“Of course, a cancer diagnosis is traumatizing at first,” says Dr. Le. “Yet there is so much we can do now,” says Dr. Rodriguez, “by providing treatments that work well and are well tolerated.”
There is so much we can do now by providing treatments that work well and are well tolerated.