In Japan, drug therapy for malignant tumors has traditionally been specific to individual organs. To develop a sure diagnosis, endoscopies suited to each organ are necessary, so organ-specific skills and knowledge are vital. However, once a patient’s malignant tumor has been diagnosed and anti-cancer drug therapy has been started, it is crucial to understand the safe use of the drugs, as well as the patient’s general physical condition and specific mental state. Managing the side effects of the anti-cancer drugs is of key importance, as well.

The majority of anti-cancer drug therapy outside of Japan is administered by departments of clinical oncology, or by oncologists, based on this premise.If more rational treatments of malignant tumors are to be pursued, we expect integrative oncology to play an expanded role here in Japan.

Although this oncology-centered approach is still not widely practiced in Japan, at the Department of Clinical Oncology, we aim to provide treatment and care for a variety of malignant tumors, from an oncological perspective.

We can only treat a limited number of patients due to our relatively small staff. However, we offer particularly excellent care for lung cancer and digestive cancers because Director Dr. Hayashi is a specialist in respiratory medicine, and Assistant Professor Dr. Kajiura is a specialist in gastroenterology. We also receive patients, through referrals from both Toyama University Hospital and other hospitals, who have various cancers, such as cancers of unknown primary, sarcomas, and metastatic bone tumors. We treat these patients with close cooperation of other organ specific departments.

At present, a major goal of anti-cancer drug therapy is to maintain patient QOL (quality of life) as treatment progresses. Working-age patients often want to continue going to their job or raising their children through the course of their treatment.

For many patients, outpatient chemotherapy treatment is a great way to meet these needs. Of course, anti-cancer drugs are not without their side effects, so it is vital to give these side effects proper consideration during treatment.

In order to better provide this patient-focused outpatient treatment, we have established the Outpatient Chemotherapy Section at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Pharmacists and nurses are stationed here full-time, to provide thoughtful, meticulous medical care. This section is overseen by the Department of Clinical Oncology, to ensure that cancer treatment goes smoothly.

Perhaps you’ve heard phrases like “palliative care from the time of cancer diagnosis.” In addition to the physical pain caused by the cancer itself, cancer patients also often suffer from anxiety, irritability, and other psychological and emotional difficulties.

Our Comprehensive Cancer Center also features the Palliative Care Center, which serves to help cancer patients with their physical and mental suffering alike. The Department of Clinical Oncology also focuses on palliative care, and has established a palliative care team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and more, to provide care for both the body and mind.