Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Brazil Telemedicine Conference


Just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center hematologist-oncologist Caio Max S. Rocha Lima, M.D., introduced himself to a telemedicine audience for a tumor board discussion of two colorectal cancer cases. He presented his case and answered questions.

What made this unique is that members of the audience were 3,000 miles away.

“This is the first international tumor board between UM/Sylvester oncologists and the Brazilian Society of Oncology,” said Anne E. Burdick, M.D., M.P.H., professor of dermatology and director of the Telemedicine Program at the UM Miller School of Medicine. “The connection is between a conference room in the Rosenstiel building and the Brazilian Society of Oncology studio in Sao Paulo.”

From Sao Paulo, about 40 other medical centers in Brazil were linked to the broadcast to allow questions from participants, and the presentation was sent out on a cable TV channel in Brazil.

Rocha-Lima, co-leader of UM/Sylvester’s Pancreatic, Liver, and Related Cancers Site Disease Group, organized the teleconference with a longtime friend and former medical school classmate, Frederico Perego Costa, M.D., Director of the Distance Learning Program at the Brazilian Society of Oncology. Although UM has been involved in telemedicine in some fashion since 1994, this was the first of 12 monthly live interactive conferences scheduled between UM/Sylvester faculty and colleagues in Brazil.

Looking on in the room were Burdick, Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., associate director for clinical and translational research and chief of Hematology-Oncology at UM/Sylvester, Christina Fernandez, M.D., a UM pediatric hematologist oncologist, Evelyn Tessier, A.R.N.P., Jessica MacIntyre, R.N., Ray Rodriguez, administrator of the UM Miller Telemedicine Program, and Luis E. Raez, M.D., F.A.C.P., co-leader of the Lung Cancer Site Disease Group at UM/Sylvester.
Raez will lead the next teleconference with Brazilian oncologists on non-small cell lung cancer, scheduled for September 21, followed in October by Denise L. Pereira, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hematology-Onocology at UM/Sylvester, discussing lymphoma.

The telecasts will continue on the third Wednesday of every month.

UM/Sylvester was founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles more than 1,300 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,900 surgical procedures, and treats 3,000 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in more than 150 clinical trials and receive more than $31 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties. This 10,000-square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from six cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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