PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Lifespan Cancer Institute at Rhode Island Hospital is now joining forces with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in order to give Rhode Island patients more opportunity for quality care. Patients could start seeing new benefits from the collaboration as early as Wednesday.

Dr. David Wazer, the Director of Lifespan’s cancer center, made the announcement of the collaboration Tuesday. “This is a unique strategic alliance, really not seen before in the United States.”

A cancer patient will now be able to shuttle between Lifespan and Dana-Farber, which the organizations say will offer Rhode Islanders the latest and most advanced clinical trials, while accelerating development of new therapies through advanced cancer treatment and research.

At the beginning, it will focus mostly on bone marrow transplant patients, but could expand to other types of cancer.

“A patient of mine, a man who lives in Cranston, works full time and has three young children, but he has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant,” said Dr. Wazer. “This patient will get his pre- and post-transplant treatment here at Lifespan [in Providence], but the transplant will be done at Dana-Farber.”

The two institutions share medical records systems, so they can track one patient’s needs being filled with teams at both facilities. The increase in convenience for the patient and his or her family will help improve their health as well.

There will also be opportunities for clinical trials developed at Lifespan to be offered to patients up at Dana-Farber.