Treating transplant patients with cancer can be a challenging, siloed effort. The pioneering Cancer and Organ Transplant Clinic (COTC) brings together oncologists and transplant specialists to provide better clinical care and outcomes for patients facing these complexities.
Led by Christopher Blosser, MD, of UW Medicine, the multidisciplinary COTC is the first clinic of its kind.
“I was inspired to start the COTC because I saw a gap in care for these patients and an opportunity to develop a more collaborative approach,” says Dr. Blosser. “So far, our strategy has been successful. We’ve helped patients who have had multiple transplants and resistant cancers get back to the activities they enjoy.”
People with cancer are living longer than ever, increasing the chance they need an organ transplant at some point. And people who have received an organ transplant have a two to four times higher risk of developing cancer.
The optimal treatments for cancer and transplant work against each other:
These conflicting goals can lead to poor outcomes and serious side effects, including transplant rejection. At times, patients need to make difficult decisions about whether to prioritize cancer treatment or transplant function. The need to navigate multiple diseases, doctors and medications can be overwhelming for patients and their families.
While the COTC applies leading-edge strategies for patient care, more research is needed to move the science forward. Toward that end, the COTC is part of UW’s Center for Innovations in Cancer & Transplant (CICT), led by Dr. Blosser, which is catalyzing research to provide new options for patients and doctors.
The CICT also leads the only active national bio-registry that collects data from both cancer centers and transplant programs. This data enables research across multiple cancer types and transplant conditions. CICT researchers focus on three areas:
“Patients, researchers and clinicians can all benefit from our combined approach to clinical care and research,” says Dr. Blosser. “We encourage clinicians and fellow researchers to refer patients, submit data and collaborate on high-end research. Together we can build better cancer and transplant solutions.”
For patient referrals, contact: