Talking with Ted Teknos MD
July 09, 2018
President, UH Seidman Cancer Center
Q: What attracted you to UH Seidman Cancer Center?
A: I knew the strong reputation UH Seidman Cancer Center had established in the field of oncology, and I was impressed with the compassion on display when I came here. Outstanding, compassionate, clinical care defines the culture here. I also was very pleasantly surprised with the depth of the research being done through our membership in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center by an impressive array of scientists.
Q: How does UH Seidman Cancer Center’s expansive network benefit patients?
A: We are creating greater healthcare value for our patients, which translates into providing the highest-quality care while minimizing costs. Most healthcare systems aren’t able to report on health outcomes and cost because care is fragmented. I was drawn to the comprehensiveness of UH that includes every part of the patient continuum – from primary care to home care. We want patients at any of our 18 clinical sites, and our cancer hospital downtown, to have a common patient-focused experience.
Q: What are the important trends in cancer care? How is UH addressing these developments?
Immunotherapy is the most exciting trend. CAR T cell therapy holds the greatest potential in providing targeted and curative treatments for a variety of hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. UH Seidman’s exceptional bone marrow transplant group has been able to successfully manufacture CAR T cells for human use – something very few health systems can generate – and we expect to launch clinical trials exclusively for UH patients. This is a particular point of pride for our institution.
Genetic sequencing is providing more targeted and precise treatments for cancer. UH Seidman currently performs next-generation sequencing on a large percentage of patients to better inform our therapeutic choices. UH Seidman has become a leader in precision medicine capabilities through a significant financial investment and tremendous technical expertise.
In radiation therapy, UH Seidman provides the region’s only proton beam. This modality is particularly effective in treating pediatric and adult brain tumors, allowing for optimal tumor eradication while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.
Finally, minimally invasive surgical techniques allow for as little disruption as possible to normal anatomy while completely removing cancerous tissue. At UH, robotic surgery, image-guided surgery and augmented surgical resection through tumor labeling are at the leading edge of medicine.
Q: In addition to leading UH Seidman, do you continue to see patients and perform surgeries?
A: Being a surgeon and a clinician is in my DNA. That’s what I was trained to do, and that’s where I get the most satisfaction. The relationships I have formed with patients are the most treasured parts of my profession.
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