A typical visit to the Neuro-Oncology Clinic at UCLA tries to accomplish several things.
First, we want to make sure the patient is seen by experts. This means a patient will be seen by both a Clinical Nurse specializing in the care of brain tumor patients as well as a Neuro-Oncolgist from our team.
|Dr. Timothy Cloughesy explains a typical clinic visit, and what the Neuro-Oncology team tries to accomplish during this time.|
During this clinic visit the patient undergoes an evaluation that includes evaluating the symptoms a patient may have. These symptoms can be related to the tumor itself, or to treatment being giving or to systemic medication that has been prescribe.
A complete exam is performed and includes a neurological exam to identify if the tumor or therapy is causing any adverse neurological events.
What makes UCLA Neuro-Oncology unique is that all the patient data collected by the neuro-oncologist is entered into an advanced database and data management program. This predictive modeling and data management software helps link every specialist on our team and ensures consistency of information when formulating or reviewing each individual's treatment plan. The software also looks at 10 years of treatment plans and helps determine which treatment plans have worked for a particular group and which treatment plans have not.
MRI prior to Clinic
Most of the time a patient will have had a MRI scan hours before their clinic visit. We will review this scan during the clinic visit with the patient and determine if the patient has stable disease, shrinkage of tumor, or tumor progression. If there is tumor progression, at that point we will devise a plan for therapy and get the patient started immediately.
If the treatment plan requires input for other specialists, the case is presented at our brain tumor board meeting. At this weekly meeting, the case will be presented to specialist in Neurology, Neuro-Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Neuro-Radiology, Pathology and Neuro-Oncology.