Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Doctors Affiliated with this Treatment Facility
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire is a multidisciplinary cancer care and research facility. In addition to its main campus, the center has four regional facilities and twelve affiliated hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont. As one of 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, Norris Cotton Cancer Center provides interdisciplinary team-based patient care, conducts a range of scientific and clinical cancer research, and sponsors classes and other educational opportunities. For more than 30 consecutive years, the center has received $3.1 million in core research funding from the National Cancer Institute annually.
Northern New Hampshire’s role as a center for medical research and patient care dates back to 1797, the year that Dartmouth College established its medical school. In order for the students to receive practical training, the 36-bed Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital was completed in 1893. In 1927, the staff formed the Hitchcock Clinic to provide multi-specialty patient care. These three entities, along with the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont, would eventually comprise the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, home of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is largely the result of the vision and persistence of two men, Dr. Frank W. Lane and Senator Norris Cotton. As director of the Radiation Therapy Department at Mary Hitchcock Hospital during the 1960s, Dr. Lane recognized the need for a first-class cancer facility to treat patients from rural northern New England who might be unable or unwilling to make the long trip to Boston for their care. Dr. Lane secured funds to purchase advanced radiation therapy equipment, but was unable to raise the cost of building construction until Senator Cotton took up the cause. In his role on the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Appropriations Subcommittee, the Senator obtained a $3 million appropriation from the National Cancer Institute to fund a new cancer facility at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital.
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center was built in two phases. The first stage, completed in 1972, was a two-story radiation therapy facility, built underground to provide shielding for the high-voltage medical equipment, including a Brown-Boveri Betatron. The second phase, a two-story above-ground multidisciplinary cancer center connected to a 25-bed inpatient unit at Mary Hitchcock Hospital, was built in 1977. Dr. O. Ross McIntyre, an oncologist at the Hitchcock Clinic, was instrumental in guiding the second stage of the project to completion
Clinical, administrative and research facilities of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center are currently housed in the Barbara E. Rubin Building, completed in 1995, and expanded in 2003, with satellite patient care and research locations throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s more than 200 cancer specialists and 90 oncology nurses together treat more than 31,000 patients annually, while the center’s more than 135 researchers are involved in basic cancer research, clinical trials and cancer prevention research.
Mesothelioma Treatment at Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s Lung/Esophageal/Thoracic Cancer Program offers coordinated care for patients with mesothelioma and other lung and thoracic cancers. Led by thoracic surgeon Cherie P. Erkman, M.D., the team includes thoracic oncologists, radiologists, pulmonologists and other specialists who can provide patients with individualized treatment plans in conjunction with their local doctors and hospitals if needed. Therapeutic options include interventional pulmonology, minimally-invasive surgeries, and radiation therapy. Patients may also benefit from support services such as nutritional guidance, smoking cessation programs, palliative care and social work.
Author: Linda Molinari
Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer AllianceRead about Linda
Reviewer: Annette Charlevois
Patient Support CoordinatorRead about Annette
Norris Cotton Cancer Center – general
Norris Cotton Cancer Center – Fact Sheet
Norris Cotton Cancer Center – Early History
Norris Cotton Cancer Center – Lung/Esophageal/Thoracic Cancer Program