Ashley E. Rosko, MD, specializes in multidisciplinary care for elderly patients with multiple myeloma, and how to make treatment most accessible to them.
Multidisciplinary care is a major focus across cancer institutions. Having a team made up of radiation oncologists, nurses, patients advocates, and others is critical to providing optimal care in multiple myeloma, according to Ashley E. Rosko, MD.
Rosko, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University, medical director of the Oncogeriatric Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – The James, and co-director of the Cancer and Aging Resiliency (CARE) Clinic at The James, emphasized the benefits of multidisciplinary care while also outlining some of the guidelines used to guide practice at her institution.
Rosko spoke with CancerNetwork® during an Around the Practice® program which focused on current treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma. During the conversation, Rosko highlighted the CARE clinic of which she is co-director and how her and her team aim to help improve treatment for older patients with multiple myeloma.
When it comes to multidisciplinary care models, I co-direct the Cancer and Aging Resiliency [CARE] Clinic, which [provides] multidisciplinary care for older adults with cancer. [In particular], this clinic affords [opportunities] for patients who are coming into transplant. All patients 70 years and older who are undergoing autologous stem cell transplant are seen in our multidisciplinary care models. This provides an opportunity for patients to have their age-related health needs met [in an optimal way].
As an example, when a patient is newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma, they may be losing weight, they may be in pain, and their physical function may be lessened over [time]. In that clinic, we have a 7-member team that’s able to optimize those factors related to their cancer and also related to health. We have a nutritionist, we have a pharmacist, we have a physical therapist, and we have a nurse who specializes in cognitive impairment.
We have a case manager who talks about things like access and transportation to and from the clinic. We talked about the quality of life and important aspects for patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. These multidisciplinary care models are important for patients to be able to have the best trajectory during their cancer journey. As such, this information is fed back to the transplant physicians and to the rest of the team in order to be able to define a treatment plan that is unique to the patient. Some patients will elect to go on to transplant and some patients need further optimization prior to their transplant.