Confronted With Complex Cancer Treatment Decisions – Navya Empowers Patients With the Consensus Opinion of an Expert Panel of Multidisciplinary Oncologists
Navya in partnership with Tata Memorial Center (TMC) and National Cancer Grid (NCG) enables cancer patients to have their cases reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts, to arrive at the best possible treatment plan. This is critically important as cancer decisions are complex and often involve several organs and types of treatments.
A woman with advanced breast cancer may need surgical removal of the breast, radiation therapy to the brain, and multiple lines of chemotherapy with side effects impacting the heart and the liver. Therefore, it is critical that experts in each of the specialties collaborate to determine the treatment plan; from radiologists reading mammograms and brain scans to breast oncology surgeons, neuro oncology radiation experts, and medical oncology experts.
While leading medical institutes across the world consider multidisciplinary treatment planning to be the standard of care, extreme shortage of cancer experts in India means that this is not the norm. A medical oncologist may treat breast cancer (solid tumor) and Leukemia (liquid tumor), and determine the radiation dosage for treatment.
Further, choices such as chemotherapy versus surgery, aggressive therapy versus supportive care, or Hail Mary attempts with expensive targeted therapies or enrolling in clinical trials, require evidence based knowledge and experience treating thousands of complex cases. Such nuanced decision making weighing pros and cons of each treatment path is only possible when experts collaborate on a multidisciplinary tumor board.
At world renowned cancer centers such as TMC in Mumbai or Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard, all cases are reviewed by a tumor board of cancer experts who jointly arrive at a treatment decision. By leveraging its patented technology and collaboration with the best cancer experts in the country, Navya replicates this gold standard in cancer treatment planning.
“TMC and Navya have collaborated since 2011 to develop an expert decision system that uses clinical informatics, predictive analytics and machine learning to recommend evidence and experience-based expert treatment decisions, similar to decisions made by expert tumor boards,” said Dr. Rajendra A. Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Centre.
At multidisciplinary tumor board meetings, a pathologist, radiologist, surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist get together in the same room to discuss each case. Sometimes the surgeon will suggest that the tumor be shrunk through chemotherapy or radiation and then the patient get operated. At other times the radiation oncologist may determine that the tumor site is not safe to radiate. If the radiologist determines spread of cancer across organs, the medical oncologist may recommend chemotherapy alone. Having all relevant specialists weigh in and review the case is the ideal scenario but this is unfortunately not the modus operandi in most hospitals. This is where Navya comes in.
Mr. Shah’s father in Rajkot was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer following a routine checkup. Several tests followed and there was confusion as it could have been metastatic mesothelioma that may or may not be operable and therefore whether to proceed with surgery and radiation therapy or chemotherapy alone was unclear. They consulted oncologists in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and also reached out to oncologist friends in the US. The conflicting opinions meant that even though they had access to reputed oncologists, each was making a decision in a silo. In their relentless search for credible advice, they were made aware of http://www.navya.care and the fact that it offered multidisciplinary opinions. While the previous three weeks were chaotic with several view-points and a plethora of tests being recommended, the next 24 hours served to create order where there was chaos. Mr. Shah’s case was looked at by a team of experts that included the top thoracic surgeon in the country collaborating with a senior medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. The treatment path was clear and precise and helped the family move forward with confidence.
Says Mr Shah, “By the grace of God, we are not constrained by a lack of resources, and I was able to connect with several oncologists across India and the US. However, it was tough for us to assimilate the opinions and determine the one clear path to follow. We found that only Navya was able to do this and we are grateful for the clarity and thoroughness.”
To ensure that the treatment plan is comprehensive, Navya processes cases by incorporating opinions of several experts from Tata Memorial Centre and National Cancer Grid, a consortium of expert centers in India.
“Patients at small or remote centers will now have access to the world class expertise of cancer experts in India,” said Dr. C.S. Pramesh, Coordinator of the National Cancer Grid. “Treating oncologists can consult with multidisciplinary experts online in a simulated tumor board that results in expert treatment decisions for patients everywhere.”
www.navya.care leverages the power of the internet to make access to expert treatment decisions convenient, cost effective, and ubiquitous so every cancer patient receives a multidisciplinary opinion. Patients simply upload their medical reports and decision questions and receive an expert opinion report within 24 hours.
Gitika Srivastava, Founder of Navya, says: “Most people who have had any experience with cancer know it’s not always possible to gain access to cancer experts. Tata Memorial Centre, National Cancer Grid, and Navya are working to change this. Every cancer patient has the right to an expert opinion. We urge you to leverage www.navya.care for an online opinion. You can be assured that the opinion rests on the multidisciplinary experience of world renowned cancer experts collaborating to deliver the best possible treatment plan uniquely suited to your case.”
Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) tmc.gov.in / National Cancer Grid (NCG), tmc.gov.in/ncg
TMC is Asia’s largest leading tertiary care expert cancer center, seeing over 67,000 cancer patients every year. Its strength necessitates a responsibility to make its expertise available to patients across India and developing countries, especially those who reside in locations where there are no expert cancer care centers. The NCG is a consortium of 104 cancer centers, with a mandate to standardize cancer care, nationally. NCG is the largest global network of cancer centers collaborating to use technology and training to bring cancer expertise to every oncologist and cancer patient in India.\
Navya is a clinical informatics and patient services organization with a unique understanding of cancer patients and oncologists and a core commitment to cancer care. With a proven track record of successfully implementing innovative solutions that are low cost and effective, Navya is the first to develop technology systems specific to Indian cancer data for use by cancer patients and oncologists in India. Contact: Gitika Srivastava | firstname.lastname@example.org