Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is a private, for-profit operator of cancer treatment hospitals and outpatient clinics which provide both conventional and alternative cancer treatments. The centers' use of non science - based treatments that includes homeopathy, acupuncture, and good eating habits mixed with conventional chemotherapy leads critics to suggest the centers do not appear to be science-based treatment centers.

CTCA was headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. In January, 2015 the corporate office was moved to Boca Raton, Florida and was renamed Cancer Treatment Centers of America Global, Inc.[1][2] CTCA has five hospitals in the United States, Midwestern Regional Medical Center located in Zion, Illinois; Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, Arizona; and Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Newnan, Georgia.[2][3][4] CTCA also operates an outpatient oncology clinic, Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center in Seattle, Washington.[5]


CTCA was founded by Richard J. Stephenson after his mother, who had cancer, died. Stephenson was not satisfied with the treatment options available to his mother and opened the first CTCA hospital in 1988.[6] The first hospital to open was Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois.


Cancer Treatment Centers of America was the subject of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint in 1993. The FTC alleged that CTCA made false claims regarding the success rates of certain cancer treatments in CTCA's marketing and promotional materials. This claim was settled in March 1996, requiring CTCA to discontinue use of any unsubstantiated claims in their advertising.[7] CTCA is also required to have proven, scientific evidence for all statements regarding the safety, success rates, endorsements, and benefits of their cancer treatments. CTCA was also required to follow various steps in order to report compliance to the FTC per the settlement.

A 2013 Reuters special report stated that CTCA continues to make misleading survival rate claims on its website. Reuters asked cancer experts to review CTCA's claims that their survival rates were better than national averages. CTCA compared their outcomes with the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The experts said that CTCA's patients and SEER's patients were not compatible, and that the comparison was biased in favor of CTCA. For example, CTCA's patients are younger, wealthier, better-insured, and more likely to be diagnosed early. Reuters said that CTCA screens patients for income and ability to pay, and refuses those who are on Medicare, Medicaid, or uninsured.[8]

In 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued CTCA a Warning Letter concerning three clinical trials that were conducted in violation of FDA requirements.[9]

According to the Washington Post, founder Stephenson is one of the primary funding sources for the conservative organization Freedom Works, which has typically aligned itself with tea party causes.[10]

In 2013, oncologist David Gorski, writing for Science Blogs, published an article that criticized CTCA for using pseudoscientific treatments (e.g., homeopathy) in addition to mainstream treatments. He stated that some "otherwise talented doctors" are now "complicit in the blurring of the line between science and pseudoscience in medicine while believing that they are doing good for the patient by giving them 'holistic care'. "[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Arndt, Michael (April 3, 2006). "An alternative for cancer patients". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  3. ^ Nelms, Ben (July 10, 2011). "CEO named for Newnan hospital". The Citizen (Fayetteville, GA). Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  4. ^ Bishop, Jeff (July 18, 2009). "Cancer hospital seeking state OK". Newnan Times-Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  5. ^ Kaiman, Beth (March 19, 2005). "Seattle cancer center settles whistle-blower suit". Seattle Times. 
  6. ^ "Cancer Treatment Centers of America: History". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Companies That Purport to Successfully Treat Cancer Agree to Settle FTC Charges over Their Claims" (Press release) (FTC File No. 922 3308). Federal Trade Commission (FTC). March 13, 1996. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  8. ^ Begley, Sharon; Respaut, Robin (March 6, 2013). "Special report: Behind a cancer-treatment firm's rosy survival claims". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ Warning Letter to: Lloyd A. Shabazz, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (FDA Warning Letter) (Ref. No. CBER-01-016), Public Health Service; Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, February 23, 2001, retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  10. ^ Amy, Gardner (December 25, 2012). "FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  11. ^ Gorski, David (October 7, 2013). "Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Revisiting the epitome of "integrative" cancer care". Science-Based Medicine. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 

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