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Where is the BEST Clinic/Hospital for Stage IV Colon Cancer with liver mets?

heatherdrnd
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Any advice on what center(s) offer the best and most aggressive treamtent for Stage IV colon cancer with liver mets? Spoke to someon at Cancer Treatment Centers of America yesterday but I want to make sure we get our 2nd opinion from the absolute best.

pf78248's picture
pf78248
Posts: 206
Joined: Jul 2008

If I were you, I'd make sure I went to one of the comprehensive cancer centers, like M D Anderson in Houston or another major center close to your home state. We are in Texas and my husband is stage 4 with liver met and we were told he was inoperable. Got a total different opinion at M D Anderson and he is scheduled for surgery next month after getting a portal vein embolization and then some rounds of chemo to shrink the tumor. In fact his surgeon told us that he has a good chance of a cure after surgery. I was surprised, our insurance is paying for treatment there and even helping us with travel expenses. We were told we could go to about 20 different comprehensive cancer centers. Google National Cancer Institute and go to there site. They have a map showing all the centers. I strongly believe that's where you can get the best team approach. We have a great oncologist in San Antonio but there you have the entire team of oncologists, radiologists, surgeons and a huge team of caregivers. It's the best move David and I have done since his diagnosis in April 2008. Good luck, wherever you go.

Priscilla

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

http://www.blockmd.com/

Some fantastic stories have come out of there (found on their front page).

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4664
Joined: May 2005

It's like asking "What's the best of anything in the world". It's subjective. Many centers have much to offer. I personally think Sloan Kettering is the best. That's where I go and they've done OK by me. They are leaders in clinical trials and have had many success stories.
-phil

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geotina
Posts: 2047
Joined: Oct 2009

I agree with Phil, "What is the best flavor of ice cream". Just out of the gate, the first line of treatment will most likely be the same wherever you go. It is my understanding Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a for profit hospital. Much depends on were the turmor is located, colon cancer is treated different than rectal cancer. With colon there is no radiation, with rectal there is. If you want the best of the best it is my understanding Sloan in New York and MD Anderson in Houston are the top 2. Our experience with our local hospital and oncologist has been outstanding and our treatment would have been the same even if we went out of state. Good Luck. Come back and let us know what type of cancer you are dealing with and maybe others will chime in and give you more advise as to what to expect. Sincerely Tina

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4664
Joined: May 2005

Chocolate!

ADKer's picture
ADKer
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

I am also treated at Sloan Kettering and believe that it is terrific. You have to look at what is practical for you. There are probably 5-10 places in the US where you could receive the best possible care. Unless you have unlimited resources, you may want to find the best place that you can treat at as a practical matter. I travel 4.5 - 5 hours to Sloan Kettering. Early on, we arranged for me to receive some of my chemo treatment locally but I still had/have to go to Slaon fairly often. I drive myself; it would be very cumbersome to take the train because of the distance when I am currently going there every other week. I do wonder what I will do if it I am not able to drive myself but I have not had to address that yet.

ADKer's picture
ADKer
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

sorry; hit the post button twice.

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I had Stage 4 with Metasis to the liver. I had my first surgery with colostomy here in Kansas City Mo, but then went to MD Anderson for the liver resection. Dr Curley is the doc I had and he is wonderful!! He resected 80% of my liver in April and today I feel great! (I am actually getting ready to do workout number 2 for the day, after working 9 hours and playing with my 5 year old all night!)

Holdtight's picture
Holdtight
Posts: 138
Joined: Aug 2009

I was very much in the dark when I was first diagnosed. I wanted to stay in the same circle of doctors that was all I had to go on. I asked my GI doctor who diagnosed me after the colonscopy. He asked what hospital I wanted to go to. I told him Jefferson U in Philadelphia. He gave me the names of the colon surgeon who is Dr. Isenberg and my the liver doctor who is Dr. Rosato Jr. for the liver mets. I went back after my 6th chemo tx and was told to come back in 6 mos they got it all. I could't of asked for better treatment. I know you live some distance but you should look into getting some additional funding from the American Cancer Society sometimes they will help out. Take care and please keep us posted. God Bless.

heatherdrnd
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Asheville, NC

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I have no experience here, myself, but in addition to the other mentions of MD Anderson, I recall seeing several reports of MD Anderson surgeons being willing to operate for liver mets when other surgeons had refused to try. I doubt that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America would be your very best bet.

--Greg

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 248
Joined: Oct 2008

I like you have Stage IV with liver mets. Or should I say I used to. I have completed my care at a local cancer center St. Francis Cancer Center in Hartford, CT. Convenience was the issue. I only have to drive less than an hour.

I did visit Sloan Kettering in NYC. This may well have provided a more talented group of cancer specialists, but the time and money to travel swayed me toward convenience.

Best of luck with your search and decision. I hope you have a local cancer center so the burden will be less.

Mike

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

CCTA is a for profit cancer center - and they are all inclusive - they want all of you and everything comes from them.

I called them a couple of years ago to check into it - a guy I know had his dad go there. There were willing to fly me down there and put me up etc. I asked them if I could do scans and see my onc here and get certain treatments there.

They said because they invest money to fly you up and put you, that they want your full participation and do not work jointly with any other of your doctors.

I just told them No Thanks. I think their ads are somewhat misleading too - alot of marketing and $$$ going on there.

I'd look into other centers or hospitals that you feel comfortable with.

-Craig

sfmarie's picture
sfmarie
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

I did not know that about them. Wow! Yup, no thanks.

PPrice
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Heather,
I am in the same boat as you diagnosis-wise and I'm interested in people's thoughts on this topic.

Does anyone know anything about the Mayo Clinics? After my initial medical crisis that led to my diagnosis, I was referred to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. I have been making some visits down there (about 3 hours from our house) and found the docs to be wonderful, well qualified, and showing a comforting interest in my welfare. We plan to move down there temporarily for radiation soon because we were so impressed with the facility, the docs, and staff.
Any thoughts on Mayo?
Prentiss :)

pf78248's picture
pf78248
Posts: 206
Joined: Jul 2008

I know the Mayo Clinic has traditionally been one of the best in the country. Not sure about the one in Jacksonville, but it is certainly affiliated with a great clinic. One thing you might consider is doing a search for "comprehensive cancer centers". These are the top tier centers in the country and have all the patient services you might need - oncology, surgery. radiologists, etc. in addition to doing research.

My husband David is stage 4 with a liver met and is finally getting a resection next month at M D Anderson in Houston. Other surgeons told him he was inoperable. The surgeons/doctors he is seeing are even using the "Cure" word as a possibility. So it's really important to get a surgeon's opinion early in the process. Good look, Prentiss, with your treatment at Mayo. There is always hope and lots of good doctors out there!

Priscilla in San Antonio

PPrice
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Priscilla,
Thanks so much for your thoughts, encouragement, and recommendation on the web site! I am really learning a lot by reading everyone's informative posts :)

I certainly wish you and your husband all the best with his liver resection next month. The word "cure" has never sounded better! Hang in there!

Prentiss :)

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 946
Joined: Jul 2009

My resection for stage3 cc was at Mayo in Rochester, MN. I was encouraged by their oncologist to seek out the next step of chemotherapy closer to home (I am about 2 hours north of mayo). That any cancer center would have the same treatment, it is pretty standard for stage3 cc. And he thought it more important that I would be closer to my home, my clinic and my family, etc. He was so so so correct! One year ago I finished chemo- my clinic is less than a mile from my home as is the hospital I was hospitalized at 3 times for chemo related issues.
I absolutely love, love, love Mayo. Top notch doctors, nurses and staff. I have had 3 surgeries there, love my colorectal surgeon- and have always felt so dang good when I am there.

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 429
Joined: Aug 2006

Before I went for my liver resection I went to:
UCLA - too negative for me
USC - I liked them but traffic
UCSF - Loved them but parking and distance was really a lot
Stanford - Loved them and ended up there with Dr Soo (2006)

Go to a major center with liver specialists and you will feel much more comfortable

Chip

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Lots of good advice!!! My husband Randy has his first treatment Monday. Of course starting with folfox locally. It's great to know that if we don't get the results we need we still have other options. I'm in Tennessee. Has anyone had any experience with Vanderbildt?

Tina

pf78248's picture
pf78248
Posts: 206
Joined: Jul 2008

Tina,

We don't have personal information about Vanderbilt, but it is highly regarded and is one of 21 National Comprehensive Cancer Centers. I would think your husband could get excellent treatment there. Don't hesitate to go for second opinions or surgery needs. My husband David started treatment locally and then we went to M D Anderson, probably a year later than we should have. But better late than never and he's scheduled for a liver resection there in a few weeks after being told he was inoperative by two surgeons locally. Good luck with your husband's care. I know it is hard but he can do it and it really does get easier with time - for both of you. David was stage 3 when diagnosed in April 2008 and by the end of the year progressed to stage 4. We have great hope and confidence in the course he is now pursuing.

I do wish you and Randy the very best.
Priscilla in San Antonio

mark440's picture
mark440
Posts: 63
Joined: Jan 2010

CLEVLAND CLINIC!!!!! Having surgery there Monday... was there last week..... it is incredible!!!! top 4 hospital in the U.S. HANDS DOWN!!!!!

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Heather,
I see you are in Ashville NC. I live in Lewisville NC - right outside of Winston-Salem. I am currently being treated at Baptist Hospital - Wake Forest University School Of Medicine. I am very pleased with my treatment, the facility, the nurses, and most of all, the doctors. Wake Forest is recognized as one of the top cancer centers in the country. I have a tremendous amount of faith in my oncologist. I also went to Duke for a second opinion before I began treatment, and they basically confirmed that the proposed course of treatment was what they would do.
At this point I am not a candidate for surgery, but surgery is the goal. I have "issues" with my peritoneal lining as well as lots of liver mets. Staging the surgeries will be a tough decision. The plan now is to get through as much folfox as I can take and then re-evaluate in the Spring. At that point I will be looking for more opinions and will look at MD Anderson and Sloan and any others that have been recommended. But for now, I am very happy to be at Wake Forest.
I would be happy to discuss this more with you. Just let me know.
Stay strong.
Peace,
Roger

heatherdrnd
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks Roger! My brother is actually the one with colon cancer and I will definitely pass on your information to him. He is meeting with Duke on 2/3 to get a second opinion on treatment options. They are saying he is a candidate for surgery but his larger 3 cm tumor is located near the portal vein so they want to shrink it down first. He is also looking into MD Anderson and Sloan. When he called Sloan this morning he was told that since he has already started chemo he needs to complete it first and then call them back??? Who did you meet with at Duke? He is scheduled with Dr. Morse.

Thanks for the inspiration, and stay strong too!
Heather

1survivor010
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

Although not treated in the USA i can attest to remarkable results from a test trial I was on along with app.900 people world wide in 2008.I was on a drug called Panitumumab along with FOLFOX to shrink the tumors on my liver for 6 months which resulted in a surgery date.I would first need to have a portal vein embolization in order to send more blood to the lobe of the liver to be saved which in turn made that lobe grow larger.A procedure you should discuss with your surgeon.The surgery was a success and after having a combination of radiation and low doses of chemo for 28 days I had successful surgery in May of 2009 to remove the primary colorectal tumor and at the same time had a ileostomy done.I will be going in for a reversal of this procedure in March of 2010,after having been given a cancer free diagnosis.As you can see this has been a three year journey and i was very fortunate to have had many marvelous care givers along the way.I realize this note does not answer your question however i hope this letter gives you hope when surrounded by so much uncertainty.
Good Luck

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