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Change the Course: Advanced Options for Your High-Risk Patients

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A Powerful Collaboration

It's our goal to do what's right for the child. It is a seamless integration of a new care team with the home referring team.

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This video series is designed to help referring oncologists and families better understand the different treatment options for patients with difficult or hard to treat cancers. As one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the country, the Cancer Center at CHOP has dedicated teams of specialists, with focused experience on a certain type of cancer, and often times can offer patients access to certain therapies and protocols, that can’t be found elsewhere. The Center works with oncologists and families from all over the world to integrate some of these therapies into their existing treatment programs at home, to create a stronger treatment plan that works for the families.

Transcript: A Powerful Collaboration

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John M. Maris, MD: When a referring physician or a physician in the community is faced with a child whose cancer has proven to be resistant to standard treatments or there are questions about what is the next best step in that child's care, we are creating a program where those physicians will think of CHOP and physicians here to consult with.

Thomas W. McLean, MD: I view myself as the primary physician perhaps coordinating that child's care and helping the family make decisions about the recommendations. When I refer a patient to CHOP, I'm confident that they view themselves as a consultant and not as the service that's going to take over the care of the patient. They very much keep us involved and we appreciate that.

Erin Chance, Mother of Patrick: When I think about how CHOP and our doctors work together at home, what strikes me is a quote actually by our treating physician at home where one day he walked in with a fax and his words were simply, "This is how it's supposed to work."

John M. Maris, MD: It's our goal to do what's right for the child. It is a seamless integration of a new care team with the home referring team.

Ellen Tracy, RN: Helping a family cope when their child has cancer is complicated.

If the adults surrounding the child are on the same page and connected, and that's our top priority, that they're all focused on that child and getting that child through whatever difficult experience is about to come.

Anne Reilly, MD: We do believe that children often do best close to home, being treated by their primary oncologist. When we see one of your children in referral for a second opinion, you should get a phone call that day or the next day explaining exactly what happened while the child was here, what we've done and what recommendations we've made for the family. We'll also then issue a formal report that will come to you and to the family about our formal recommendations. And we want to maintain the lines of communication with referring physicians to make sure that the family and the child get the therapy that's actually best for them.

Rochelle Bagatell, MD: We like to work hand in hand to be able to deliver care where it's going to fit the patient's needs the best. So for example, if we have a complicated patient who would benefit from radiation or surgery here at CHOP, we're very happy to work with them to be able to deliver part, or most, or some component of therapy here, or in the referring center, to minimize the travel for the patient, and keep the referring physician very closely involved in their care.

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