Rare Disease Report

How A Team-Based Approach Works For Treatment of Brain Tumors

JUNE 03, 2018
Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD
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, explained what a team approach should look like when treating brain tumors and other rare cancers. 


Dr Ahluwalia: I can give you an example of brain tumors since I am a medical/neuro-oncologist working in Cleveland Clinic. We have 6 neurosurgeons who are dedicated to brain tumors only; we have 4 radiation oncologists who treat patients with brain tumors; and we have 4 medical/neuro-oncologists who treat patients with brain tumors.

Any patient who comes in [to the Cleveland Clinic] will see a neurosurgeon who is specialized in treating patients with brain tumors. Once they [the patients] are done with surgery, treatment often involves use of radiation along with chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. They will see a radiation oncologist and a medical or neuro-oncologist.

It’s a team-based approach where we discuss the care of our patients in a tumor board, which is multidisciplinary, again. We have a neuroradiologist on the board and a neuropathologist. We discuss the genetic changes that may have occurred in patients’ tumors, which may make them an ideal candidate for a particular drug. Or, we try to discuss what are the best clinical trials for that particular patient, which may be better than the standard-of-care options available to that patient. All in all, it’s a team-based approach we take in taking care of our patients.

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