My Treatment Approach
- Our treatment approach for either symptomatic or incidentally found pancreatic cysts continues to improve. The true incidence of pancreatic cysts is not known, and pancreatic cystic neoplasms, especially intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, are currently most commonly diagnosed and resected. This is a result of increasing awareness, widespread availability of imaging, and better understanding of the nature of pancreatic cysts as well. Recent studies on molecular analysis and devices such as microbiopsy forceps help us better define and select the treatment approach to alleviate symptoms and to prevent malignant tumors while avoiding unnecessary surgery.
- The treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is evolving rapidly. In 2014, the standard of care and new backbone of HCV treatment is the polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (SOF). Our treatment approach in patients with HCV genotype 1 is 12 weeks of SOF, peginterferon (PEGINF), and ribavirin (RBV). In patients with cirrhosis or extrahepatic manifestations of HCV who cannot tolerate PEGINF, we use 12 weeks of SOF and simeprevir. The latter is less costly and more effective than SOF and RBV for 24 weeks.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is frequently diagnosed in women of childbearing age. Of paramount concern are questions about the effect of the disease on a woman's ability to conceive and carry the pregnancy safely to term, as well as the effect of the disease and its therapies on the health of the fetus. For health care providers, there is also the issue of medication dose adjustments and management of flares during pregnancy. Growing experience with IBD in pregnancy suggests that most women will have good outcomes; however, concerns and uncertainty remain for both the patient and the physician.
- Ulcerative colitis diagnosis and management represent a challenge for clinicians. The disguises of ischemia and acute infectious colitis continue to confound the diagnosis. The therapeutic options have remarkably expanded in the way of immunomodulators, biologics, or ileoanal pouch surgery, yet all carry potential considerable risks. These risks can confuse and impair patient acceptance, particularly elderly patients and men younger than 30 years. Predictors of outcome of medical and surgical therapy have improved but are far from complete.
- The past decade has brought important advances in the understanding of rheumatoid arthritis and its management and treatment. New classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, better definitions of treatment outcome and remission, and the introduction of biologic response-modifying drugs designed to inhibit the inflammatory process have greatly altered the approach to managing this disease. More aggressive management of rheumatoid arthritis early after diagnosis and throughout the course of the disease has resulted in improvement in patient functioning and quality of life, reduction in comorbid conditions, and enhanced survival.
- My favored treatment approach for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma continues to evolve. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma can now be cured in more than 50% of patients. This is a result of improved definitions of the disease, improved diagnostic capabilities, better staging and restaging techniques, a useful prognostic index to guide therapeutic decisions, and the development of increasingly effective therapies. Positron emission tomographic scans have improved the accuracy of both staging and restaging.
- Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare chronic lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by circulating B cells with cytoplasmic projections, pancytopenia, splenomegaly, and a typical flow cytometry pattern. Recently, the BRAF V600E mutation was uniformly identified in one HCL series, which may provide insights into the pathogenic mechanisms. The disease course is usually indolent but inexorably progressive. Patients require treatment when they have significant cytopenia or occasionally recurrent infections from immunocompromise.