NEW ORLEANS – On September 20-22, 2012, Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner, The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network will co-sponsor the 2012 National Carcinoid/Neuroendocrine Tumor (NET) Patient Conference held at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, LA. The Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Ochsner-Kenner, in partnership with Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), specializes in the diagnosis and management of all forms of neuroendocrine tumors.
Neuroendocrine tumors are rare tumors that arise from the endocrine and nervous systems. These tumors can over secrete hormone-like substances, called peptides or amines, and can lead to a variety of unusual symptoms. These rare tumors have gained recent notoriety since the unfortunate deaths of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s. Most of the time, these tumors are slow-growing and, because patients may have very vague symptoms, they are often difficult to diagnose.
Over 11,000 new patients are diagnosed each with NET cancers each year, and as many as 125,000 patients are living with the diagnosis in the U.S. today. The number of patients who are diagnosed is increasing the by more than 5% annually and the overall incidence of these tumors has tripled in a single decade.
The national NET conference is presented every two or three years and targets patients or anyone who might be in a position to suspect, diagnose, treat or otherwise help or support carcinoid / NET cancer patients.
“It is remarkable to have so many world-class neuroendocrine experts together to share the latest, cutting-edge technology in this field,” says Dr. Eugene Woltering, The James D. Rives Professor of Surgery, LSUHSC New Orleans. “Educating neuroendocrine cancer patients is one of the best methods of getting current information into the hands of the medical community. We are able to do that thanks to this conference.”
New unveilings include:
- Lymphatic Mapping – Lymphatic mapping in NETs of the small bowel can be used to determine how much bowel needs to be removed. This technique, invented by Yi-Zarn Wang, MD, DDS, FACS, Ochsner-Kenner, has proven to be critical in preserving both bowel length and the ileocecal valve, the area between the small bowel and colon.
- Plasma 5-HIAA – Traditionally a serotonin metabolite, called plasma 5-HIAA, is measured in the urine using a 24 hours urine collection technique. This collection is preceded by following a special diet for three days and requires a special urine receptacle for urine collections. Eugene A. Woltering, MD in conjunction with the InterScience Institute in Inglewood California, developed a new, more convenient, alternative to the 24-hour test. Results have been remarkable with over 200 patients participating over the last several months.
It is surprising that this rare and complex disease can be treated right here in Kenner, LA. Ochsner-Kenner is one of a handful of multidisciplinary centers for NET in the United States, and one of a few places in the country where patients can be treated using cutting edge techniques.
The Ochsner-Kenner/LSUHSC NET program utilizes a multi-specialty team approach involving not only specialists in medical and surgical oncology, liver transplantation, nuclear medicine and gastroenterology, but also nurses, dieticians and social workers who provide support to the patients and their families.
What makes the NET program unique is that it offers a variety of treatment options in one program so patients are not going from doctor to doctor or one location to another.
“Our physicians have more than 50 years of combined experience and our surgeons have performed more than 500 cytoreductive operations on patients with neuroendocrine tumors,” said Dr. Woltering. “People from across the country come to Ochsner-Kenner because the program we have put together is unlike anything else and our physicians are at the top of the field.”
For complete information on the Ochsner Kenner Neuroendocrine Tumor Program, please visit www.ochsner.org/net. To follow the conference on Twitter, please use #NET2012.
Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has been named the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 16 consecutive years and is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Hospital” across 11 specialty categories. Ochsner employs more than 13,000 employees, over 850 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.