Brain and spinal tumor patients: Edward center gathers specialists, develops treatment plan in one visit. Read more.
From The Naperville Sun, an Edward Hospital Health Matters column:
New Edward center streamlines care for brain tumor patients
February 22, 2010
When you're dealing with a cancer diagnosis you have enough complications.
You want your treatment to be as smooth and timely as possible, and that's the type of care Edward Hospital's new Neuro-Oncology Multidisciplinary Center is providing patients who have brain or spinal tumors.
"Unfortunately, treatment for these patients can be delayed as they go from specialist to specialist, sometimes over a period of weeks," said William Broderick, MD, a medical oncologist with Edward Cancer Center. "At the center we can frequently plan a course of treatment in one day because the key cancer specialists are together in one place."
Specialists include a neurosurgeon; medical oncologist, who oversees chemotherapy and other medical treatments; radiation oncologist, who directs radiation treatment; and a neurointerventionalist, who analyzes the radiology images and provides minimally invasive treatments for many conditions.
Initially, one of these physicians meets with the patient to review medical history, films and lab results. Then, the four specialists mentioned and advanced practice nurses meet to discuss the patient's case.
Sometimes, a social worker, oncology pharmacist, financial specialist and others also participate. The group discusses options and decides upon a recommended plan of care. That same day, the physicians who will be involved in providing care meet with the patient to discuss the plan.
Sometimes, the patient meets with the entire group following the multidisciplinary conference.
That was the case with John Bonino, a 56-year-old finance executive from Naperville who had been dealing with metastatic stomach cancer for three years. Tumors would appear, respond to treatment and then reappear in one organ or another, including his esophagus and liver. On each of the two most recent occasions -- in 2007 and late 2009 -- a tumor was found on the membrane surrounding Bonino's brain.
Bonino considered different hospitals for treatment, including academic medical centers in Chicago.
"I decided those hospitals offered no advantages," he said. "Edward had everything I would need and it was close to home."
Bonino's Neuro-Oncology Center team included neurosurgeon Michael Caron, MD; radiation oncologist Anne McCall, MD; medical oncologist Maria Quejada, MD; and advanced practice nurse Rose Batiste, APN.
The team asked Bonino about side effects he may have experienced from earlier chemotherapy. If his reactions were severe, it would affect their recommendations.
"It was interesting to hear how much thought the group put into discussing my options. And they were good at explaining everything," Bonino said.
The group recommended surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment using Edward's Trilogy equipment, which combines highly accurate targeting of tumors with a high dose of radiation. The technology made it possible for Bonino to complete radiation treatment in one session, instead of 14, which had been the case with his earlier brain tumor.
Bonino continues to go to Edward for chemotherapy every three to four weeks. He reports he feels good and is glad he was able to get his treatment under way with the center's more streamlined approach.
For an appointment at Edward's Neuro-Oncology Multidisciplinary Center, call 630-646-6079 or visit www.edward.org/cancer.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services