[MUSIC PLAYING – SINGING: Amazing grace…]
Daniel Ma, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic: All the things that we think of give us personality and individuality in life really reside in the head and neck. There have actually been studies done looking at patients who get treated at centers who do a high volume of head and neck cases. Patients who go to physicians who do this as a dedicated specialty tend to do better.
Eric Moore, M.D., Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic: We specialize in rare cancers, so that they’re common for us. You come and see me, but instantly, you see a whole team of people.
Katharine Price, M.D., Department of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic: Our multidisciplinary group, our collaboration, I would say, sets us apart from everybody else. And not to mention the fact that we just have all of the newest tools to do this.
Dr. Moore: The surgical robot allows you to get into tight spaces with what is called minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Ma: We have a very state of the art proton unit, able to deliver a very tight radiation field and avoid normal structures. We’re probably one of the most aggressive centers in looking at dose de-escalation in terms of radiation for patients with the HPV-related oropharynx cancers.
Dr. Moore: 90% of the people with papillomavirus-induced tumor are cured by treatment. They can do very well with minimally invasive surgery and a decreased dose of targeted radio therapy and maybe targeted chemotherapy, and still have a high cure rate.