Dr. Gomella on the Value of a Multidisciplinary Cancer Center
Leonard G. Gomella, MD
Published Online: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Leonard Gomella, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Urology, describes the history and effectiveness of the genitourinary cancers multidisciplinary clinic at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Kimmel Cancer Center, in Philadelphia.
Gomella, one of the clinic's founders, explains that the multidisciplinary clinic was initially launched in 1996 to address the growing number of treatment options becoming available for men with prostate cancer. Since its founding, the clinic has grown substantially and provides many benefits, including: convenience for the patient, educational value not only for families but for trainees, fellows, and residents, and recruitment to clinical trials.
In general, the multidisciplinary approach is effective because it allows for the collaboration of various specialists and ancillary personnel, such as social workers, nutritional therapists, and clinical trial coordinators in a single visit. Through this collaboration, the doctors are able to give each patient a definitive treatment recommendation in a shorter more efficient timeframe. This system, Gomella believes, is especially helpful in patients with localized prostate cancer, who otherwise might need a series of appointments to learn about a variety of potential treatments, with little evidence to support one therapy over another.