Multidisciplinary tumor conferences

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At 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday they gather. Experts from every area of cancer care and from across the hospital come together for the regular multidisciplinary tumor conferences at the ETMC Cancer Institute.

They consider each case, discussing the best way to help every patient at ETMC Tyler who is under treatment for cancer. They make certain no relevant test or treatment option has been overlooked. They combine their expertise, experience and perspectives to make sure every patient has a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan.

When you face cancer, that’s good to know

“I think the most important thing for our patients to know is that even though when they come in they just see us in a small room, behind the scenes there’s a tremendous number of very well-trained, very motivated specialists who interact with each other all the time,” said Arielle Lee, MD, medical oncologist.

Physicians at the conferences include radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, primary care physicians, pathologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons and urologists.

Dr. Lee, MD, added, “Having everybody’s input and coordinated review is very helpful. It truly enhances patient care.”

“They discuss the case in depth and come up with the best treatment option for the patient,” said Almarie Moore, CTR, ETMC cancer data services manager, who coordinates the weekly conferences.

If a consensus is not reached, she added, the lead physician will explain all the alternatives to the patient.

Moore said the weekly conferences also may include ancillary staff, such as nurses; technicians from the nuclear medicine, radiation and pharmacology departments; patient navigators; psychosocial staff members; dietitians; and even a chaplain. Their participation helps enhance the care they give patients.

Misty Weathers, RN, the ETMC CyberKnife coordinator, said sometimes the conference considers what she calls a “show-off case” – for instance, a follow-up on a patient who has done remarkably well.

“We’ll do that every once in a while, just to remind the doctors of all the good work we’re doing.”

For more information on the multidisciplinary tumor conferences, call the ETMC Cancer Institute at 903-595-5550.

content-cancer-adelfio-headshot“These are the best cancer conferences I’ve seen. I’ve been in 80 different hospitals in the last eight years in my former position (healthcare consultant), and this is the strongest tumor board conference that I’ve seen in any of those hospitals.”

– Dianne Adelfio, vice president of the ETMC Cancer Institute