Bone is a major site of hematogenous tumor cell spread (originating in or carried by the blood) in renal (kidney) cancer. Many patients with cancer will develop painful and functionally disabling bone metastases (secondary sites of malignant growth) at advanced disease stages. According to Dr. Ginsburg, the overall prognosis of these patients, while curable in select cases, is generally poor and therefore treatment is focused on pain reduction.
Pain affects quality of life. Pain is the most common complaint from patients with skeletal metastases. In addition, fractures, decreased mobility, depression, and anxiety from this disease impact quality of life. Current data support a multimodal management strategy which can improve quality of life and survival. The evidence-based teaming-up of therapies is how Froedtert South approached Robert’s care.
ASSEMBLING THE TEAM
Froedtert South’s approach to patient care includes combining targeted therapies, such as Interventional Radiation and Radiation Oncology, to allow for patient milestones like Robert’s that weren’t seen before. With collaborative efforts and a multi-disciplinary focus, physicians are drawn to be part of this unique environment. Dr. Khater and Dr. Ginsburg are excited about the teaming up of their specialties so that they can help patients in the community in more meaningful ways.
“We are both able to take the symptoms of the patient and correlate it with the imaging,” said Dr. Khater. “That’s a lost art. We are not just treating an isolated spot. We look at what’s causing the trouble and determine how we are going to best help the patient.”
Dr. Kevin Khater, a self-proclaimed math nerd, will say with a big smile that Radiation Oncology is very calculated and he truly enjoys his work. The former college football player and married father of three has been at Froedtert South for nine years. He enjoys the high quality of colleagues that this facility attracts and the resulting teamwork he gets to be part of. Dr. Khater says, “Patients can tell that this is a guy that loves being here.”
“Radiation Oncology and Interventional Radiology form a natural partnership because both utilize image-guided therapy that is fundamentally different from surgery. We can dive deeply into what is going on with the patient, with more nuanced understanding and 21st century technology. Collaboration enhances this process further. All of us want to help the patient achieve the best possible outcome,” said Dr. Ginsburg.