Team Approaches with Brain Tumors and Other Rare Cancers

Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, Head of Operations in the Brain Tumor Center at Cleveland Clinic, discusses the importance of team approaches when treating brain tumors and other rare cancers.

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 annual meeting in Chicago, Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, Head of Operations in the Brain Tumor Center at Cleveland Clinic, discussed the importance of team approaches when treating brain tumors and other rare cancers.

Dr Ahluwalia: It always takes a village to take care of a patient with cancer, and so, we at Cleveland Clinic, have a very team-based approach. We believe that cancer programming—where surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists work together in a team-based approach—is the best way to provide care for patients with cancer. Cancer patients are often complex patients; they have a number of other co-morbidities where we have to work closely with physicians from other subspecialties because a number of drugs for cancer can have impacts on heart, liver, or kidney functions of those patients. A lot of times we have to work with other specialists of subspecialties.

A big example is immunotherapy. There is a lot of excitement about immunotherapy in a number of cancers. These immunotherapies can have toxicities that can involve the lung, the gastrointestinal system—so we work with specialists in case patients have toxicities from some of these agents that we use to treat them.

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