By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
The Cancer Centre of the Bahamas is currently hosting a series of special clinics which will allow Bahamians access to medical specialists and information on state-of-the-art treatments which they would normally have to travel aboard for.
The Radiation Oncology Specialists Clinics at the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas last week featured radiation oncologists from the Miami Cancer Institute who specialise in the treatment of prostate, breast, gynaecological, gastrointestinal and head and neck cancers.
The clinic is organised by Baptist Health International and the Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, in collaboration with the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas.
Dr Michael Chuong, director of Clinical Research & Education and director of Proton Therapy and MR-Guided Radiation Therapy at the Miami Cancer Institute, was on hand during the most recent Nassau held clinic to discuss cases that qualify for a variety of treatment options that can be done in the Bahamas or abroad in conjunction with the Miami Cancer Institute.
“It is great to see the high quality of care that is provided in the Bahamas and locally. I think it is a great partnership between our institution and the one here in providing top-notch high-quality care,” he said.
“We are really presenting all treatment options to patients here to ensure they get the best quality outcome.”
A specialist in the use of radiation therapy to treat gastrointestinal cancers and lymphomas, Dr Chuong received his medical training at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida, and completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of South Florida and the H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, where he served as chief resident.
Dr Chuong has developed widely used clinical practice guidelines for utilising proton therapy across disease sites. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Medicine and the Clinical Research Award from the Moffitt Cancer Center Research Symposium. Dr Chuong is affiliated with the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American College of Radiation Oncology.
“In terms of proton therapy, which is obviously something we have at our institution – really one of the most state-of-the-art proton facilities in the world, which is not that many really – is just a very specialised form of radiation therapy that in many ways is more targeted than the traditional X-ray therapy. Through that we are able to deliver less doses around the tumour that we are treating, which can potentially reduce side effects for some patients and also to deliver higher dosage to the tumour more safely that patients are able to be cure at a higher rate,” he said.
The clinic will be held every three to six weeks and bridges the gap for patients to have access to quality care and specialists without have to travel out of the country.
The Radiation Oncology Specialists Clinic will facilitate consultations for any patients who could potentially benefit from the latest technology platforms, including TrueBeam, CyberKnife M6, Radixact, Gamma Knife Icon, Viewray MRIdian Linac, and proton beam therapy at the Miami Cancer Institute – the first proton therapy centre in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Miami Cancer Institute has built a multidisciplinary radiation oncology department, comprised of world-renowned experts and state-of-the-art technology,” said Dr Minesh Mehta, chief of radiation oncology.
The Institute features a robust roster of nationally and internationally recognised physicians and scientists who collectively have over 25 years of proton therapy experience.
“Access to these resources will help patients and doctors in the Bahamas make better-informed decisions regarding their medical care in the fight against cancer,” said Dr Mehta.
In addition to Dr Chuong, other Miami Cancer Institute physicians who will be on rotation include Drs Noah Kalman and Joseph Panoff. Drs Minesh Mehta and Marcio Fagundes have previously attended the clinics in Nassau on behalf of the Institute.
To schedule an appointment or for more information on how to begin the case evaluation process, contact the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas at 242-502-9610.