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Health Spotlight: Doctor creates a cancer and organ clinic

Health Spotlight: cancer and organ transplant clinic

(WISH) — One clinic is finding the balance when treating organ transplant patients diagnosed with cancer: a cancer and organ transplant clinic.

Studies have shown that organ transplant candidates and recipients are four times more likely to have an increased risk of developing cancer. Those patients face multiple doctors and diagnoses, which often conflict with each other.

A first-of-its-kind clinic has developed a new, unified approach to treating patients.

Dr. Christopher Blosser, a transplant nephrologist with UW Medical Center in Montlake, Washington, said, “People have a much higher risk of cancer in the setting of organ failure or organ transplant, and oftentimes, their care is fragmented or siloed.”

“Siloed” refers to the different doctors a patient will see for each diagnosis. Typically, the physicians don’t consult with one another, which can lead to conflicting treatments.

Blosser said, “That doesn’t provide the best chance for them to do well.”

That is why Blosser created the a cancer and organ clinic, a collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center at UW Medical Center-Montlake and the University of Washington in Seattle.

The doctor said, “The cancer and organ transplant clinic is the first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary clinic that provides personalized care for people who have cancers before or after an organ transplant.”

Both a cancer specialist and transplant doctor meet with the patient to determine together the best course of treatment. The results have been transformational for patients.

Blosser also created, in conjunction with the clinic, the Center for Innovations in Cancer & Transplant, which has, he said, “the only patient level national registry to address why people develop cancers to a greater extent in the midst of organ failure.

The registry could bring people a step closer to the next medical breakthrough.

The cancer and organ transplant clinic aims to reach as many patients as possible outside of its Seattle area through telemedicine. For his part, Blosser is licensed in Washington and is in the process of becoming licensed in other states including Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. He says the more people they can reach, the better.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.