The article from the fall 2017 issue of University of Maryland Medicine Rounds highlights the multidisciplinary care for esophageal cancer at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Here are just some of the many reasons to refer your patient with esophageal cancer to the experienced team at UMGCCC:

  • Endoscopic therapies for early stage cancer. When esophageal cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, usually when a patient with Barrett’s esophagus is being regularly screened, endoscopic mucosal resection can often mitigate the need for esophagectomy. Bruce Greenwald, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has significant experience with endoscopic diagnostic and treatment procedures for esophageal cancer and was one of the first gastroenterologists to adopt the use of cryotherapy for early stage esophageal malignancies.

  • Trimodality therapy for later stage cancers. With stage 2-3 esophageal cancers, lengths of survival are improved when patients have access to all treatment modalities. UMGCCC's thoracic tumor board coordinates care so that patients undergo chemoradiation before esophagectomy and then receive necessary follow-up care. This treatment approach may incorporate proton therapy, which can be particularly beneficial for esophageal cancer because the radiation dose can be programmed to stop at the treatment site and eliminates or significantly decreases the risks of damaging the heart and lungs.

  • Excellent esophagectomy outcomes. Led by Whitney Burrows, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, UMGCCC's esophageal cancer surgical team is skilled in both open (Ivor Lewis) and minimally invasive esophagectomy approaches. Patients who have their esophagectomies at the University of Maryland have significantly fewer complications and toxicities than national averages, allowing our patients to have easier recoveries and better qualities of life.

  • Thoracic Intermediate Care Unit. The University of Maryland Medical Center is one of only a handful of hospitals in the nation to have a dedicated inpatient unit for patients recovering from thoracic surgery. The specialized post-op care provided on this unit translates into earlier discharges and improved patient outcomes.

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