By Michelle Caceres

When the ribbon was cut celebrating the grand opening of the $10 million Brandon Cancer Specialists in November, the event marked the availability of a local state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility. Located at 403 S. Kings Ave. on the corner of Kings Ave. and Oakfield Dr. in a 38,400 sq.-ft. medical building, the facility features 15 exam rooms, PET/CT scanner, high-dynamic-range imaging and a linear accelerator.

The nine physicians at Brandon Cancer Center, an extension of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and its network of hundreds of doctors, offer a wide range of treatment services under one roof including chemotherapy, infusion and radiation therapy.

Founded in 1984, FCS is the largest independent medical oncology/hematology practice in the United States. With more than 90 locations in its network, it is committed to providing world-class cancer care in community-based settings.

The facility adds to the Florida Cancer Specialists’ burgeoning presence in Hillsborough County, including a major facility on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Raymond James Stadium.

The community-based approach, coupled with its thriving medical research division, is what sets the group apart from other practices.

“Our presence in multiple communities throughout Florida means that patients have the flexibility to choose where to receive treatment,” said FCS Hillsborough Regional Director Samantha Watkins.

The choice to receive quality treatment close to home is enticing to many patients.

Brandon Cancer Center Physician Julio Lautersztain, M.D. said the ability to keep patients in their hometown communities, without having to uproot them and their families to far-flung treatment facilities, but still provide world-class medicine, is extraordinary.

“We have incorporated all the latest elements of architectural design in health care together with a one-stop shop for cancer patients,” he said. “This concept is beneficial to the patient because their geographical location becomes less relevant.”

Another advantage of the practice is its commitment to medical research.

The practice’s research institute is exhaustively searching for new cancer treatment options through clinical trials, studies that evaluate the effectiveness of drugs or treatment routines. Patients, based on qualifying factors, are given the opportunity to participate in these trials, which are an integral component for improving cancer treatment.

“Access to the company’s phase one, two and three clinical trials will be available to patients seen at the center,” said Florida Cancer Specialists CEO Bradley Prechtl.

The center is remarkable in its ability to deliver these trials and therapies to cancer patients while also meeting the comprehensive medical and surgical needs of those afflicted with the disease.

“We are really very proud to bring to the Brandon community the best and latest in treatment of cancer in a facility where research is conducted,” said Lautersztain.

For more information about Brandon Cancer Center and Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Center, visit www.flcancer.com or call 982-3460.