Declaring War On Cancer

DATE: June 29, 1999 
TO: Board of Supervisors 
SUBJECT: DECLARING WAR ON CANCER

SUMMARY: 
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors was the first Board in the state to commit tobacco settlement monies to health-related programs. Now is the time to continue to lead by dedicating $100 million, or approximately 10 percent, of the tobacco settlement dollars toward development of a "best in class" Regional Cancer Institute.

Recommendation(s):
Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Roberts 
1) Approve in concept support for a Regional Cancer Institute.

2) Designate a minimum of $100 million of tobacco settlement proceeds for development of the San Diego Regional Cancer Institute at a minimum of $4 million annually for 25 years, to commence upon completion of a business plan.

Fiscal Impact: 
There is no fiscal impact. Funds will be taken directly from the Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund.

Background: 
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors was the first Board in the state to commit tobacco settlement monies to health-related programs. Now is the time to continue to lead by dedicating $100 million, or approximately 10 percent, of the tobacco settlement dollars toward development of a "best in class" Regional Cancer Institute.

With the arrival of an estimated $945 million in tobacco settlement revenue over the next 25 years, the County of San Diego has a rare opportunity to wage its own battle against cancer. Considering that smoking is a leading cause of cancer, tobacco settlement funds are an ideal resource to use for the development of a new San Diego Regional Cancer Institute.

The San Diego Regional Cancer Institute would be a state-of-the-art, collaborative system of care, which would conduct and provide world class treatment, research and medical education. Additionally, the Institute would be a clearinghouse for the rapid and effective exchange of information regarding new research and treatment innovations among cancer scientists and institutions. The Institute would be positioned to be the internationally renowned treatment home of choice for both common and rare neoplastic diseases.

The Institute board of directors, researchers and clinical staff would be a distillation of the best intellectual capital from existing cancer-related programs in our region. The Institute would operate cooperatively and collaboratively by establishing an "integrated cancer health system" addressing the full gamut of oncology issues from triage to post-treatment follow-up, from experimental treatments to advanced surgical procedures, from discovery to publication, from FDA new drug application to full scale drug production. In order to eliminate duplication and maximize existing resources, the Institute would utilize standing research, teaching and treatment sites but may include the development of centralized facilities in the future.

Right now, San Diegans travel to the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. There is no reason why San Diegans should have to leave home in order to receive superior care. We have the resources and the talent right here in San Diego. By pulling these resources together, we can rise to a higher level of excellence and be the best we can be!

With all 21 of the cancer institutions in San Diego County committed to the concept of a San Diego Regional Cancer Institute, and $100 million on the table - we have an opportunity to become a leader in the war against cancer. We urge your support.

Respectfully Submitted,

DIANNE JACOB
Vice Chairwoman, Second District

RON ROBERTS
Supervisor, Fourth District