Comprehensive Care at the Cancer Center of Indiana

July 9, 2010

Patients who are treated at the Cancer Center of Indiana get all the advantages of cutting edge, comprehensive care to help them fight their cancer, with the added convenience of being close to home. The center, which recently merged with Floyd Memorial Hospital, brings together nearly every component of cancer diagnosis and treatment, from medical and radiation oncology specialists, to an on-site laboratory and pharmacy, to clinical trials and genetic testing. Below you’ll find detailed information about all of the Center’s offerings.

Multi-disciplinary Approach Enhances Patients’ Care and Well-being

Cancer and its treatment can affect many aspects of a person’s health and lifestyle. Patients at the Cancer Center of Indiana benefit from the expertise of specialists in virtually every discipline that might impact their care. “This multi-disciplinary care,” said Dr. Chowhan, a specialist in medical oncology and hematology, and the Medical Director of the Center, “allows us to plan and manage every patient’s case with input from experts in all the areas important to that patient’s health and well-being.”

The Tumor Board

“Many cancer patients benefit from treatment that combines surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” explained Yasoda Dev, MD, a board certified specialist in medical oncology and hematology and chairperson of Floyd Memorial’s Tumor Board. “The Hospital’s Tumor Board meets twice a month. There, each patient case presented is reviewed individually by the entire team. The board includes surgeons, family medicine physicians, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, hematologists, pathologists, nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers and more. Together, we agree upon a comprehensive treatment plan.”

Naveed Chowhan, MD
“Not only is it more convenient for patients and their caregivers to have a full range of services under one roof, but there is a total integration of services and expertise at the Cancer Center of Indiana that allows us to provide patients with the optimal program of care.”

Naveed Chowhan, MD
Board Certified Medical Oncologist/Hematologist
Medical Director, Cancer Center of Indiana

The PET/CT Scanner: a Dramatic Example of Leading-edge Diagnostic Technology

State-of-the-art technology available at the Cancer Center provides our physicians with the tools to do all the following:

  • make the most accurate diagnoses
  • plan the most effective courses of treatment
  • treat cancers with precise and powerful drug and radiation therapy

One example of the advanced technology at the Center is the PET/CT scanner. Atraditional CT scan gives you a picture of the inside of your body. But a PET/CT scan provides a more functional image of what is going on in terms of your metabolism. Following an injection of radioactive sugar in the patient’s bloodstream, the most metabolically active cells show up clearly in the scan. Since cancer cells are very active metabolically, the PET/CT scan provides an excellent diagnostic tool. It can help specialists plan radiation therapy that targets tumors and spares surrounding healthy tissue.

A PET/CT scan

A PET/CT scanner allows physicians to see active cancer cells in the body, allowing for more targeted treatment.

According to Dr. Chowhan, “One of the types of cancer for which the PET/CT scan is especially useful is lung cancer, where commonly occurring abnormalities such as scarring often lead to unnecessary, and sometime risky, biopsies. With a PET/CT scan, we can distinguish between benign lesions and cancerous tissue and plan the most appropriate and effective treatment.”

On-site Lab and Pharmacy Enhance Patient Convenience; Help Speed Care

Because the Center has its own fully equipped lab on the premises, patients can have blood work and other lab tests completed on-site during a single visit. Physicians at the Center receive the results of the tests within just one or two minutes so they have the most current information possible for their consideration during the patient’s visit.

Onsite Lab

An on-site laboratory and pharmacy deliver quick testing results and convenient access to custom-mixed medications.

The Center also has its own pharmacy, which is very convenient for patients. Because the pharmacy staff custom-mixes chemotherapy drugs, drugs are prepared and made available for a patient’s treatment almost immediately.

As Dr. Dev added, “An additional benefit to patients at the Cancer Center is that within one day of a new drug’s approval by the FDA, we will have it here for our patients’ use.”

Yasoda Dev, MDβ€œIn addition to bringing together experts from a wide range of specialties to focus on each patient’s case, we also provide support services and ancillary care such as acupuncture and massage therapy for patients and their families. I also counsel patients regarding genetic testing in breast and colon cancer. In addition, many patients get the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.”

Yasoda Dev, MD
Board Certified Medical Oncologist/Hematologist
Cancer Center of Indiana

On the Cutting Edge: Integrative Cancer Therapy

A new and growing approach to comprehensive cancer care is integrative cancer therapy and the experts at the Cancer Center of Indiana are on the leading edge.

Integrative cancer therapy involves the carefully managed incorporation of alternative and traditional therapies into a cancer treatment plan. This can include treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy and nutritional supplements, and those that focus on the patient’s diet, exercise, stress management and lifestyle. “Dr. Chowhan and I are both experienced practitioners of acupuncture,” said Lucio Di Nunno, MD, a board certified specialist in internal medicine and medical oncology. “Over many years, it has been shown to be highly effective in relieving pain and easing some of the side effects of cancer therapies.”

Meet the Newest Member of the Cancer Center’s Expert Team

The Cancer Center of Indiana is pleased to welcome Medical Oncologist Lucio Di Nunno, MD. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and comes to us from Loyola University Medical Center – Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center in Chicago. “I’m really looking forward to bringing everything I’ve learned from my experiences in Chicago to the people of Southern Indiana,” said Dr. Di Nunno. “The incredibly welcoming and kind people of this area remind me of the town where I grew up in Italy, so in some ways it feels like coming home for me!”

Lucio Di Nunno
“The first time I visited the Cancer Center of Indiana, it was clear that everything was being done to keep patients at the center of their attention. I’m very happy to be working with this exceptional group of people. I’m excited about the Center’s approach to integrative care, and I’ve seen tremendous enthusiasm in the clinical trial program. I’m looking forward to bringing even more clinical trials to our patients.”

Lucio Di Nunno, MD
Board Certified Internist and Medical Oncologist
Cancer Center of Indiana

action For information about the Cancer Center of Indiana, call 812-945-4000 or visit www.floydmemorial.com/cancer.