Connections is a quarterly newsletter for primary care providers covering the latest developments and advances in medicine at OHSU. Learn about the many clinical, education and outreach resources available to you and your patients.
From OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute
Jen-Jane Liu, M.D.
As a urologic surgeon and director of urologic oncology, Dr. Liu has a special focus on bladder, kidney, prostate and testis cancers, among others.
A new multidisciplinary clinic at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will give people with complex genitourinary (GU) cancers efficient delivery of their cancer care, a cohesive understanding of their disease and treatment plan, and access to clinical trials.
Convenient, patient-centered care for GU cancers
The OHSU GU Multidisciplinary Clinic opened in October 2020. The faculty includes two urologists, two medical oncologists and a radiation oncologist, supported by a nurse navigator.
During in-person visits, patients see each clinician in sequence and can also get any necessary imaging or tests in one visit. The nurse navigator contacts each patient before the visit and coordinates the receipt of imaging and pathology in advance. Critically, she also reviews all referrals for eligibility for clinical trials. If there is a fit and the patient is amenable, any initial blood draws or tests to enroll in the trial can be accomplished at the initial visit.
The OHSU GU Multidisciplinary Clinic is patient centered. One of the purposes of the clinic is to help patients develop a coherent understanding of their overall disease and the treatment options.
Strong data show that a multidisciplinary approach to GU cancers yields better outcomes. All of our faculty in the clinic are fellowship trained in GU oncology. By sharing our knowledge, we give patients a state-of-the-art treatment plan tailored to patient preferences and issues.
These plans can be implemented closer to home or at OHSU, but patients have a one-stop evaluation for the most current treatment and clinical trial options available.
GU cancers and GU cancer patients are often complicated. Some new therapies are emerging and quickly proliferating for certain cancers, particularly bladder and kidney.
The OHSU GU Multidisciplinary Clinic is here as a resource for providers and patients to help navigate which therapies in which order will likely have the best outcomes.
Targeted therapies emerging in bladder cancer
Systemic immunotherapy agents are changing the approach to some bladder cancers, especially for patients who may not be candidates for chemotherapy or whose previous treatment was ineffective.
In 2019, the FDA granted accelerated approval of two targeted therapies for bladder cancer, erdafitinib (Balversa) and enfortumab vedotin-ejfv (Padcev).
- Erdafitinib is used for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer with fibroblast growth factor receptor FGFR3 or FGFR2 mutations.
- Enfortumab vedotin phase 3 trial results showed significant overall survival outcomes versus chemotherapy in locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer.
When to refer
If you have patients with the following cancers or who are at risk for them, you can refer them to the OHSU GU Multidisciplinary Clinic at any point.
If you have questions about patient fit, our nurse navigator can discuss whether the GU clinic is the right place for help.
OHSU Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic
We also offer a prostate cancer clinic where patients can conveniently see many specialists in one visit with one treatment plan.
Our team does hundreds of robotic prostate removal (prostatectomy) procedures a year.
Our urologists are fellowship trained, and they collaborate with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and a nurse navigator.
From the latest technology to the newest drugs that are increasing survival, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon’s only NCI designated Cancer Center, offers a full range of options for cancer patients. We are always available to answer questions.