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Thyroid cancer patients find added expertise from newly formed tumor board

Thyroid cancer patients find added expertise from newly formed tumor board

Thyroid cancer usually grows slower than most other cancers and it is highly treatable, so the latest tumor board created at Carle Health is hopeful to make a significant impact. Members of the multidisciplinary team gather once a month to determine the best course of action for and expedite the care for newly diagnosed patients.

Providers from clinical specialties at Carle in Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal as well as Christie Clinic ear, nose and throat and endocrinology make up the 12th tumor board for the Carle Health system. Their first meeting was in April. Gastro-intestinal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, gynecological and prostate are just a few of the other tumor boards at Carle where individuals bring their specialty to the table and work as a team in the best interest of the patient.

“Management of complex endocrine tumors of the thyroid and parathyroid glands requires a multi-disciplinary approach. The thyroid tumor board allows physicians from across the central Illinois region to share complex thyroid and endocrine cases and learn from each other through sharing of expertise, best practices, and national guidelines for cancer care,” Mark Cohen, MD, surgical oncologist and dean of Carle Illinois College of Medicine as well as senior vice president and chief academic officer at Carle Health, said.

He co-chairs the thyroid cancer tumor board with Kelly Cunningham, MD, head and neck surgeon in Otolaryngology and chair of Carle’s head and neck tumor board.

“This approach will allow us to coordinate their treatment plan in a more cohesive manner, giving them the best treatment outcome possible. It is a great honor to be a part of a group of providers motivated to bring the highest level of care to their patients,” Dr. Cunningham said.

Cohen said, “As an endocrine surgeon, I learn a great deal from my colleagues in endocrinology, radiology, pathology and oncology that help me determine what are best options for my patients as well as coordinating care through other specialties for their treatment.”

Dr. Cunningham said, “It truly takes a village to treat our cancer patients and we would not be able to do it without the help and support of all of our colleagues.”

Sinisa Stanic, MD, medical director, Cancer Institute, Department of Radiation Oncology, said,” I deeply appreciate these busy clinicians in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana taking time out of their busy schedules to meet at a tumor board.”

Across the state there are few thyroid cancer tumor boards as other cancers are generally more aggressive, Dr. Stanic said. “This new tumor board at Carle will elevate the level of care.”

The board will review six to eight cases a week in a system that has more than 100 thyroid cancer patients annually.

Categories: Culture of Quality, Redefining Healthcare, Community

Tags: Cancer, Carle Cancer Institute, Carle Cancer Institute Normal