(Memphis) One Mid-South Hospital is hoping a new approach to care will cure more people of lung cancer.
Baptist Cancer Center received a $2.1 million research award to study a treatment plan that involves a whole team of doctors.
Traditionally, patients diagnosed with lung cancer go from doctor to doctor to figure out how to treat the disease or get second opinions.
At Baptist Cancer Center a number of doctors and healthcare professionals meet once a week to discuss patient’s conditions and treatment options.
A team of physicians, which includes an oncologist, thoracic surgeon, pulmonary specialist and radiologist, also meets directly with patients to discuss their cases.
“The fundamental idea is what happens to the patients should not be driven by what that doctor knows or his skill sets. It should be driven by what the patient needs and is willing to accept. We feel the best way to determine this is to have all those doctors surrounding those patients early so what the patients hears is a first, second, third opinions all at once,” said Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, an Oncologist with Baptist Cancer Center.
In January, 41-year-old Heath Sheffield was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor.
Doctors at Baptist removed the brain tumor and determined he had a gene mutation that could be treated with a pill.
Sheffield is now cancer free and believes the aggressive approach doctors at Baptist took in treating his cancer saved his life.
“I’m a sports fan and it’s kind of interesting because they kind of huddle and get together and talk about the best treatment plans and you like you are dealing with competent individuals that know what they are doing,” said Sheffield.
Around 230,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer every year and around 160,000 die from the disease.
Right now, Baptist is one of the only hospitals in the country using this multidisciplinary model of care, but the study could change that.
The study is being funded by Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.