|Associate Professor Strickland|
Researchers and clinicians at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) are now offering world-class expertise and care for patients with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs).
NETs are growths that begin in neuroendocrine cells which are distributed widely throughout the body. There are many different types of NET and while relatively rare, more than 1800 Australians are diagnosed with NETs every year and over 10,000 Australians are currently living with these cancers.
Monash Health medical oncologist Associate Professor Andrew Strickland said that NETs can be quite indolent and slow growing, and patients live with them for many years.
“Real expertise is required to manage patients with these tumours, and until now we haven’t had either the expertise or the infrastructure,” he said.
“With the recent appointment of Professor Eva Segelov as Director of Oncology at Monash University and Monash Health, we now have one of Australia’s foremost experts on NETs here at Monash.”
For the first time, Monash Health has established a dedicated NET multidisciplinary meeting and clinic to care for the needs of the vast population in Melbourne’s South East.
“Our first meeting was very well attended with excellent support from surgery, gastroenterology, medical oncology, nuclear medicine and pathology as well as registrars and fellows. There was a presentation after the cases by Simone Leyden, CEO of the Unicorn Foundation about their patient support services and NET patient experiences, as well as their advocacy program.
“This clinic will require substantial support from the hospital and we are delighted that Monash Medical Centre has seen fit to support this endeavour,” said Associate Professor Strickland.
Associate Professor Strickland said there is an enormous need in the community.
"We drain a huge population and up until now the only specialised clinic in Victoria has been at Peter Mac—and not even Peter Mac has a formal NET multidisciplinary team meeting.”
“The Peter Mac clinic is both geographically inconvenient and overloaded with work so our patients have had to wait long periods of time for appointments and treatment.”
Associate Professor Strickland said he expects to be able to see the patients and get started with treatment in a timely fashion.
“We initially plan to open up 16 appointment slots per week but expect that the demand will grow rapidly and that the service will expand from there.”
The weekly NET meeting will be fully multidisciplinary. Chaired by Professor Segelov, the meeting is attended by surgeons, nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists and endocrinologists.