Medical Oncology

(970) 569-7429
Infusion available Monday-Friday

Shaw Cancer Center's medical oncologists specialize in treating cancer using systemic therapy such as chemotherapy or biologic therapy. Chemotherapy uses medication to destroy cancer cells. Often, it is the only treatment necessary; other times, cancer treatment plans may include chemotherapy plus surgery and/or radiation.

Dr. Alexander Urquhart leads Shaw's medical oncology team and also coordinates with a team from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center to provide the most effective and efficient treatments possible.


Chemotherapy drugs are administered either by mouth or through injection. Because the drugs are introduced into the blood stream, cancer drug therapy is considered a body-wide (or systemic) treatment option. Chemotherapy drug treatments are often accompanied by side effects like hair loss, nausea and fatigue. The side effects vary based on the type of drugs being used, and from individual to individual. Newer drugs are targeting the cancerous cells more efficiently, and may come with fewer side effects.

Biotherapy is used with or without the addition of chemotherapy to boost or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer, infections and other diseases. Biotherapy is also used to lessen side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatment regimens. Biotherapy agents include monoclonal antibodies and vaccines.

Meet Our Team

Leesa S. Samuels, RN, BSN, OCN
Leesa is a certified medical oncology nurse in the infusion center. She received her BSN from Vanderbilt University and began her nursing career as a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse. Her experience also includes pediatric and neonatal intensive care. With a passion for oncology, Leesa came to Shaw in 2007. She enjoys interacting with her patients and providing education and support to the them during their chemotherapy regimens.
Lynn Tremblay, RN, OCN
Lynn is a medical oncology infusion nurse and charge nurse. She received her nursing degree at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California, and worked as an administrative assistant for 13 years prior to returning to nursing school and then working for a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in La Jolla, California. Lynn moved to Portland, OR, in 2003, where she began working in oncology. She moved to Colorado in 2007 to join the Shaw team.  
Maricela Avila, RMA
Maricela is a registered medical assistant at Shaw. She graduated from Santa Barbara Business School for Medical Assisting. In 1997, Maricela moved to Colorado and began her career at Vail Health.
Sara L Fleszar, Pharm D Clinical Oncology Pharmacist
Sara earned her doctorate of pharmacy at Shenandoah University and completed a hospital residency at St. Joseph’s Candler Health System, where she managed the out-patient cancer center. She worked in a bone marrow transplant unit at Presbyterian St. Luke’s before joining the Shaw team.
Shaw Cancer Center is a service of Vail Health Hospital.