One Visit, One Location, Multiple Specialists, One Plan

multidiscipline-resizedMen often face a confusing range of options to treat prostate cancer – from surgery (open or robotic assisted) and radiation therapy (beam or implant) to immunotherapy, hormone treatments or various combinations that may also include chemotherapy.

The goal of the Jefferson Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center is to offer patients the opportunity to discuss their individual situation with a full array of specialists in one single visit and, together, develop a specific treatment plan that works for them.

Before patients arrive, Jefferson specialists review each of their cases: Would this man qualify for a clinical trial? What does the pathology of that patient’s cancer tell us about the most beneficial treatment options? Is robotic surgery an option?

“The primary goal of the [multidisciplinary] approach to prostate cancer is to provide this balanced information in an open and interactive fashion, with all the clinical specialists present at the same time,” says Leonard Gomella, MD, chair of Urology at Jefferson and the associate director for clinical affairs at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

“Shared decision-making through a real-time, on-site discussion with different specialists about the risks and benefits of each treatment can decrease distress” for patients and their families, Dr. Gomella says. And it can deliver better outcomes, particularly for men with more advanced forms of prostate cancer.

Last November, the Jefferson team led by Dr. Gomella published a paper analyzing the 15-year work of the multidisciplinary clinic. “Our long-term experience suggests a benefit of the multidisciplinary approach to prostate cancer, most pronounced for high-risk, locally advanced disease,” the team wrote in the paper published in the Journal of Oncology Practice. Benchmarked against a national database of cancer patients with stage III and IV prostate cancer, “the Jefferson patients’ survival appeared to be better,” the team reported.

“This study conclusively shows that a highly coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to treating aggressive forms of prostate cancer is best,” says Adam Dicker, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson.

“A team of committed urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists, in partnership with dedicated coordinators, is essential for the success of this patient-centered program.”

Do you have questions about prostate cancer? Post your question at Ask The Experts. This forum is an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by our leading experts in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

To schedule an appointment with a Jefferson physician, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW or use our online Find A Doctor tool.

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