Treatment for cancer and other diseases is becoming more and more complex as we learn more about the genetic changes that drive illness. Diagnosis and treatment require an ever-growing number of tests.
No single person can keep up with all these changes in real time. That’s why we’ve launched a new approach to guide our doctors’ decision making. We call it the Diagnostic Management Team, and it brings together experts from many areas to craft a patient’s care plan.
The team looks at the patient’s history and lab tests and helps doctors select the right tests at the right time. This way, patients get the tests they need and unnecessary tests are reduced. This translates to better care at a lower cost.
Which diseases is this used for?
We’re using this approach at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center for patients who have blood-related cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. We plan to extend it to breast cancer, lung cancer and other complex diseases soon.
What is bioinformatics?
It’s a scientific field that blends biology, computer science and information technology. Bioinformatics experts analyze huge streams of data to gain new perspectives on medical conditions, which leads to new tests, treatments and knowledge. This field is what makes it possible to put vital information at a doctor's fingertips during a clinic visit, making Vanderbilt a leader in applying technology to medicine.