The Urology Cancer Center (UCC) & GU Research Network, founded in 2010 by Dr. Luke Nordquist, rapidly rose to the highest ranks as an elite center in the U.S. for the treatment and innovative research for Prostate & Urologic Cancers (Kidney, Bladder, Testicular). Patients from more than 40 states, international, and patients referred from major centers such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Memorial Sloan Kettering all call UCC home for their care.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
With degrees in both Pharmacy and Medicine from Creighton University, Dr. Luke completed his Internal Medicine training at the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, FL & Oncology training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. His interest and dedicated research was in the field of Prostate Cancer and Immune Therapies.
In 2010, Dr. Luke opened the Urology Cancer Center & GU Research Network with the sole purpose of creating a highly focused, highly compassionate, and highly cutting edge cancer center dedicated only to Prostate & Urologic cancers.
He started in 2010 with 3 staff and 3 research clinical trials. Ten years later, in 2020, he has over 50 employees and has been an investigator on several hundred prostate & urologic cancers clinical trials which has led to the FDA approval of many life-saving treatments. UCC has performed several first in the world treatments on early phase clinical trials and is considered a top site to perform the latest research for pharmaceutical companies who have novel cancer therapies. UCC is often asked by major centers such as Duke, Cornell, and Sloan Kettering to partner in clinical trials for our reputation for patient experience, patient volumes and quality of work.
However, the way UCC sets itself apart from ALL other cancers centers is not only the expert cancer management and innovative clinical trials. From the moment you pull up to UCC you will notice a difference. In fact, if you are unable to drive to UCC and can't find a ride, UCC will help arrange or even come pick you up for your appointment.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
You will quickly notice when you drive up to the Urology Cancer Center and walk inside that this center and its people are like no other. The center was designed to feel cutting edge yet give you a sense of comfort during your experience. We replaced the sterile cold feeling of most medical clinics with warm features, natural and indirect lighting, and other comforts of home such as coffee from a mug and homemade cookies (healthy snacks also). We literally have patients stop by on their days off of therapy just to sit and have a cup of coffee.
You will clearly sense that every staff member you come into contact with is there for you. They are all hand picked for their knowledge and personality. They have positive attitudes and do everything they can to help lift your burdens. One example, after an appointment a patient noticed he had a dead car battery. He asked my front desk if they could call a car service to come jump start his car. Instead two female staff members jump started his car for him.
All too often patients spend hours waiting to be put in a room then wait longer for the clinical team to see them. That is unacceptable to us. We continuously learn from a patient's prior visits and more accurately know how long each future visit will likely take and schedule accordingly to stay on time. We know that patients with advanced cancer may need more time. They may have scans to review, treatment changes, or discuss end of life issues. This may take significantly longer and we don't want to rush such important conversations. By more accurately predicting appointment times we continuously strive to minimize patient wait times allowing more time to spend with each patient.
Dr. Luke feels strongly about the importance of educating each patient and their caregiver(s) to a level they understand. It is not uncommon for him to spend 2-3 hours with each new patient. No matter how simple and straight forward your case is or how complex, he will discuss everything thoroughly. He educates patients on what a cancer is, generally speaking and provides extensive but simple to understand details about there specific type of cancer. After new patients and their families understand that, he will address their cancer situation and what all of their treatment options are including: standards of care, clinical research trials, compassionate options, and "outside the box" considerations. He promises every patient that all of their questions will be answered by the time they leave and just in case they forget a question, they are all given his cell phone number and email.
Patients will experience the true team approach. During your visit with Dr. Luke, he is accompanied by a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and often a research coordinator or other staff. During the visit, the staff are relaying orders electronically and communicating with other office staff so when Dr. Luke or his NP are done with your appointment, your treatments, referrals, prescriptions, next appointments, and scans have already all been addressed. Most labs and radiology imaging are completed right in our office with results the same day.
Patients at other cancer centers are required to call an answering service after hours and on weekends and they may end up speaking with a nurse or another physician covering for their doctor. At UCC, every patient and caregiver(s) is given Dr. Luke's cell phone number and are encouraged to call and speak with him directly 24/7. If Dr. Luke is unavailable, his NP's who have also been part of your visits, will cover his calls.
One of the biggest issues for cancer patients today is the high cost of care. Medical bankruptcy is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. today. The UCC Financial Team works tirelessly for our patients to avoid patient financial strains. They utilize patient foundations and pharmaceutical companies directly often to get free drug when it could otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars a dose. Each year the Financial Team brings in several millions of dollars of free drug for UCC patients. Also by placing patients on clinical trials, otherwise expensive treatments are provided at no charge to patients. Dr. Luke wants every patient to receive the right care regardless of their insurance, lack of insurance or inability to pay.