Beginning this year, Scotland Cancer Treatment Center will serve for the first time as a teaching site for the Duke Oncology Network.
Texas native Dr. Sandip Patel is beginning the second year of a three-year hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, which will include extensive work at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center. He is currently board certified in internal medicine.
Patel will work alongside Dr. Kelvin Raybon, the center’s full time medical oncologist and hematologist for the final two years of his fellowship.
“Having Dr. Patel here is very intellectual and academic in that we discuss each case, the literature, and studies that lead to our current treatments, and best proven treatments for any disease that we come across,” said Raybon. “It makes Scotland Cancer Treatment Center much more than just a standard practice where we go from patient to patient taking care of business. Dr. Patel is the first Fellow who has been at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center since I’ve been here and I’m delighted to be a part of his training and to have him here.”
Patel has already spent one year working with patients at Duke University Hospital. He will work at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center one day per week while continuing research on the Duke University campus. Bringing oncology fellows to Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, as well as to the other Duke Oncology Network cancer centers, provides them with experience and helps them to learn from practicing medical oncologists and hematologists.
“Things are very different in a university center versus in a community practice,” Patel said. “The size, scope, and types of patients seen are quite different and it’s important for me to learn about these differences.”
In Patel’s translational clinical research, he looks at how old and new drugs affect patients by looking at their tumors and how they respond to different therapies.
“My research is part of the Phase I group at Duke and my interest is immunology and tumor immunology,” he said. “I’m looking at how some of the new drugs modulate the immune system to fight cancer and what happens to patients’ white blood cells and their tumors.”
Patel was attracted to the field of hematology and oncology in part because of his rapport with those stricken by cancer.
“I chose to specialize in hematology and oncology because of the patients and find that cancer patients are some of the nicest people you can meet,” said Patel. “I’m hoping to use some very novel science to help them. Here at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, I actually see the patients on my own, order the needed tests and treatments, and then Dr. Raybon and I discuss each case. He is very interested in helping me and I enjoy working with him and with the staff in the Cancer Center.”