An image of officials from New England Cancer Specialists and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute outside of the Topsham office on Tuesday. Courtesy of New England Cancer Specialists

New England Cancer Specialists in Topsham has partnered with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

New England Cancer Specialists – an independent medical oncology and hematology practice – is now the first “affiliate member” in Maine of Dana Farber, a leading cancer research and treatment center based in Boston.

The partnership will offer Maine cancer patients increased access to clinical trials, second opinions, faster access to care at Dana-Farber when needed as well as the latest and most effective evidence-based practices and standards in cancer treatment and research, according to a media release.

“The patient will have more opportunities to have a second opinion even without going to Boston at all –from their living room or from our office,” said Dr. Chiara Battelli, the president and lead physician of New England Cancer Specialists, in an interview Tuesday. “When the patients need to go down because there is the need to receive care, we have an expeditious way to have them go and have them seen.”

New England Cancer Specialists has a more than 30-year relationship with Dana-Farber, according to the release, and became a “collaborative member” in 2019.

The appointment to affiliate member came after an “extensive review” of the oncology group’s procedures and practices, such as patient safety protocol, nursing and pharmacy practices, chemotherapy administration and information systems, the release stated.

“We are very pleased to continue working with the physicians and staff of New England Cancer Specialists as they become an Affiliate Member,” stated Dana-Farber CEO and President Laurie Glimcher in the release. “They are a strong partner who share our mission to relieve the burden of cancer for as many people as possible. Through this expanded relationship, we are pleased to extend our expertise and assure exceptional compassionate care for patients in Maine and New Hampshire.”

New England Cancer Specialists has locations in Topsham, Scarborough, Kennebunk and Portsmouth. In the Topsham facility, where there are three physicians, the practice sees about 2,000 patients per year.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 10,060 new cases of cancer will be detected in Maine in 2022, and 3,440 Mainers will die from the disease.

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