An Examination of Modern Multidisciplinary Practices Vs ‘Old-School’ Cancer Care

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, discusses the benefits obtained when patients have access to a full team of diverse caregivers rather than just a single physician.

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, moderator of a recent Around the Practice® program, explained why multidisciplinary care has become so important when treating patients with multiple myeloma during an interview with CancerNetwork®.

Landgren, a professor of hematology, chief of the Myeloma Section, leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, and co-leader of the Tumor Biology Program at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Program, remarked that the increasing complexity of therapy necessitates a greater diversity of caregivers. He illustrated situations in which a single physician would be insufficient to provide optimal care to patients.

Multidisciplinary care is an increasingly discussed topic as clinicians from every department are included in patient care. Landgren also outlined how he collaborates with and relies upon, his own multidisciplinary team of care providers at the University of Miami.


Multidisciplinary teams are increasingly important in the field of multiple myeloma because the therapies are increasingly complicated; more things can happen [during treatment]. The patient may experience infections, for example, and may need to have additional infusions to boost their immune function. [It is very important for] nurses to talk with the patients, to reach out and ensure they’re doing well, [and for] mid-level providers—physician assistants or nurse practitioners—to be in contact with patients, in addition to the physicians; pharmacist involvement [is also important].

On our team, we also have patient coordinators who are always available when patients contact the office. We have other health care professionals [available] as well, in addition to other types of services [provided by] social workers and so forth. It’s [standard in] modern medicine to have access to a whole team and not only a single person like the physician; that’s old-school to me.

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