Ask Dr. Joseph Herman: Why Johns Hopkins?
Joseph Herman, M.D., director, Johns Hopkins Pancreas
Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic
Johns Hopkins provides the highest level of care from world class experts in pancreas cancer. Our team approach to care through the Pancreas Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic offers one-stop shopping for patients. Other medical centers across the country may feature a gastroenterology clinic that works with pancreatic cancer patients, but they don’t have the expertise in every discipline that we do. Many patients need to travel for treatment. If you’re going to spend your resources on going somewhere, please come here.
The patients we see in clinic have tumors that are resectable, borderline resectable or unresectable. Patients with metastatic cancer are referred to our radiation oncology division.
Here’s how our program works: Patients send copies of their records ahead of time, then book a one-day appointment that includes labwork and/or a CT scan. Patients spend a full day in our clinic. They learn about available resources and receive a physical exam. Then our team of 40 to 50 experts meets to review the data and agree on the best treatment plan. Next, one or more of our specialists goes to the patient’s room and works with them to come up with a schedule for treatment. We can arrange for treatment here on our campus, or coordinate care with a medical center closest to the patient’s home.
Being enrolled in our clinic helps in other ways, too. Once we have your information we can keep you informed about clinical trials you may qualify for, and continually re-evaluate your medical needs. One patient came to us with unresectable cancer. After giving him some other therapies, he later qualified for surgery, which was successful.
Radiation therapy services, offered through the Department of Radiation Oncology, encompass a wide variety pancreatic therapies and expert consultation.