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Moderator, Ezra Cohen, MD, begins the final segment of an in-depth panel discussion on the management of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) with a discussion on multidisciplinary treatment approaches. For patients with thyroid cancer, a multidisciplinary team should include medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists in addition to endocrinologists, speech and language pathologists, and nutritionists, believes Lori J. Wirth, MD. These treatment teams are important, since one individual cannot specialize in every field.
A multidisciplinary treatment approach can be difficult for community-based doctors who may not have direct access to other specialists, notes R. Michael Tuttle, MD. In these situations, communication between institutions and access to real-time data are substantial hurdles to overcome.
At this point in the conversation, Cohen invites each of the panelists to provide their final comments. Steven I. Sherman, MD, believes that level of information on genetics and targets in MTC has made this disease a "poster child" for targeted therapies and the management of inherited syndromes. Concurring with this statement, Wirth adds that researchers and patients should be applauded for their efforts in this space. This is an exciting era for researchers studying MTC, since several new drugs and targets have been discovered in recent years, states Eric J. Sherman, MD.
The natural history of the disease provides clues on how to best manage patients with MTC, believes Tuttle. The combination of all the tools available to physicians helps to provide a complete treatment approach for each patient.