Building on the transatlantic alliance
It was fascinating to visit New York last week and catch up with the latest trends in treatment and healthcare for head and neck cancer patients in the US.
I had the opportunity to give a formal lecture to the radiation oncology department at the MSKCC and to the head and neck cancer department at Mount Sinai Cancer Centre, and also met many students who were keen to discuss their research ideas
One of the most interesting differences between the US and UK is how American researchers are using genetic tumour analysis at the MSKCC as a routine for patients requiring chemotherapy. This is not widely available in the UK but is becoming more widely used and offers the prospect of more targeted form of treatment. For patients this means that they can make more personalised treatment decisions that are more effective. Use of genetic analysis also has a benefit in prevention as well as treatment.
In terms of efficiency, the US institutions look at every aspect of the patient journey to ensure resources are used in the most cost-effective way and there are probably lessons we could learn here in making best use of resources while providing individual care and treatment.
At the end of the week I was delighted to receive a framed certificate acknowledging my contribution to the Head and Neck Service at the MSKCC.