Dr. Luis M. Zetina Toache is a leading oncologist in Latin America in the field of cancer detection and treatment. He is always well-informed of the latest developments and successes in cancer therapies, to offer his patients the best possible chance of a longer, healthier and happier life. Determining comprehensive cancer control programs, and imparting accurate and honest advice to his patients are the foundations of Dr. Zetina’s medical practice.
As medical director of Oncomedica Cancer Consultants since 2000, Dr. Zetina conducts high-level scientific research on new cancer drugs, here in Guatemala, fully supported by the FDA. He has participated in research protocols on Herceptin, Avastin, Tarceva, Xeloda and other medications, to successfully treat cancer with the latest advances in chemotherapy treatment methods.
In recent years, cancer treatment has moved away from dangerous and painful chemical applications to more successful immunotherapy, biological therapy and hormonal therapy. These treatments are designed to harness the ability of the body’s natural inclination to heal itself, then scientifically enhance those cells at the molecular level.
Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic versions of immune system proteins and can be particularly designed to identify and attack cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors and biological response modifiers are drugs that promote system performance so that there is no mistake in recognizing the invasive abnormal cells that the body’s own cells need to destroy. Dr. Zetina has performed hundreds of such treatment protocols.
Dr. Zetina says, “More than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, especially tobacco use. Early detection, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment, including pain relief and palliative care, help increase cancer survival rates and reduce suffering.” He also treats common childhood cancers like leukemia, other neoplasms, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the brain and nervous system.
At Oncomedica Cancer Consultants clinic in Guatemala City, patients will be secure in knowing they have the advantage of the best cancer treatment technology available.
- It is the only private clinic in Guatemala with laminar flow hoods for correct preparation and aseptic chemotherapy. The most important part of a laminar flow hood is a high efficiency bacteria-retentive filter. Room air is taken into the unit and passed through a pre-filter to remove contaminants, then the air is compressed and channeled up behind and through the HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter) in a laminar flow fashion. The HEPA filter removes nearly all of the bacteria from the air.
- The Orbis scalp cooling machine, used to prevent hair loss in chemotherapy patients, has been successful with European patients in the last few years. It was recently installed at Oncomedica; the only one in all of Central America. The managing director of the Orbis company stayed in Guatemala to provide the specialized European-level training for Dr. Zetina’s nurses and technicians.
- Bone marrow biopsy can be painful, but with Oncomedica’s high-tech hematological drill, they can perform aspiration and biopsy with minimal pain.
Dr. Zetina combines the precision accuracy of up-to-the-minute technology, and the curative power of newer and better treatment methods to offer his patients hope, success and relief. If you have to receive the worst possible news, there is no better place to be than in the skilled and comforting hands of Dr. Luis Zetina.
Cancer Consultants GT, Cancer Consultants of Guatemala
- Director Médico desde 2000. Medical Director since 2000
Onco-Medica, Hospital Multimedica, Guatemala City
- Director Médico desde 2000. Medical Director since 2000
America Society of Clinical Oncology – ASCO
- Active Member since 1997,
- Presentation – Neoadjuvant Ifosfamide (IFX) plus Cisplatin (CDP) for locally advanced cancer of the Cervix, 1996
- Presentation – Persistent Gestational Throphoblastic Disease (PGTD) and Choriocarcinoma, 1998
European Society of Medical Oncology – ESMO S
- Active Member since 2000
- Presentation – Safety Evaluation of Taceva in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients, 2006
- Presentation – Capecetabine, Herceptin and Taxotere (CHAT) in Advanced Breast Cancer, 2006
The Chemotherapy Foundation
Founded by Dr. Ezra Greenspan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Supporting cancer research and helping oncologists treat cancer patients since 1968.
Academia Nacional de Ciencias Oncológicas – ANCO Guatemala City
- Presidente President, 2008
MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Sociedad Española de Oncología – SEOM Spanish Society of Oncology
- Miembro Activo, Active member since 2003
Asociación Hemato Oncología Clínica de Guatemala. Guatemalan Association of Clinical Oncology
- Miembro Activo, Active Member since 1998
- Presidente, 2002
Asociación Centro Americana y Del Caribe de Oncología – SOCECAR
Oncology Association of Latin America and the Caribbean
- Miembro Activo, Active Member since 1988
- President, 2002
International Conference of Malignant Lymphoma, Lugano, Switzerland
- Presentation – The treatment of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma with IFO-MEV, 1990
Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos de Guatemala – COLMEDGUA
- Presentación – Rompiendo las Barreras de la Durabilidad. Nuevos Enfoques en el Tratamiento de Cancer, 1988
Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Unidad de Hemato-Oncologia, Guatemala City
Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Degree in Medical Oncology, 1989
Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia – INCAN Mexico D.F.
- Titulo en Oncologia Medica Degree in Medical Oncology 1986
- Presentacion – Valoracion de la Respuesta en carcinoma de Swing (INC) 1986
- Presentacion – Tratamiento de Pluerodesis con 5-FU en Derrames Pleurales Asociados a Malignidad, 1988
- Presentacion – Uso de Furosemida en el Tratamiento Profilactico de al Nefrotoxicidad Inducida por Cis-platino, 1988
- Presentacion – Valoracion Inicial de Resultados en Pacientes con Carcinoma de Mama Avanzado, 1990
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiran, Mexico, D.F.
- Titulo en Hematologia Clinica Degree in Clinical Hematology 1985
Hospital Roosevelt, Guatemala City
- Medicina Interna, 1983 Internal Medicine degree
- Chaiman of Hemato-Oncology Unit 1988-2000
La Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Guatemala City
- Título de Médico Medical Degree (1980)
Come back soon to read articles by or about the Doctor
Cancer Treatment in Guatemala, by Lori Shea.
Published in Revue, the largest English-language magazine in Guatemala.
Practicing Medicine in The Time of The Internet
By Dr. Luis Miguel Zetina Toache
Cáncer Consultants Guatemala
As a clinical oncologist, I started my work day early, expecting a morning full of appointments, some of which are going to be complicated due to the nature of my practice – diagnosing and treating cancer. My patients depend on me for comfort and guidance so they can feel more optimistic in the face of what might be unpleasant news.
The first patient arrived with four relatives, which I do not mind. One of the young grand-daughters asked me several questions related to what she had read last night on the internet about bone cancer. I patiently tried to explain to them that her grandfather did not have bone cancer, but a bone metastasis from the prostate cancer, which usually occurs in the advanced stages of the disease.
They were happy with my explanation, but I’m sure they went to check the internet about the latest treatments in prostate cancer, which, of course, is understandable due to the worrying situation. However, I and many other doctors in other specialties feel the same way: There are so many websites about cancer and other medical topics on the internet that have not been up-dated with correct information in several years, such that the recommendations there are more harmful than helpful. This outdated and useless information should be disregarded and burned, so that it can never be reproduced by patients who are looking for accurate, honest answers.
The next patient came alone, but she carried with her the 100 most recent articles on breast cancer and its treatment. The dialogue was very fluid and scientific and her last comment left me totally amazed, because she had reviewed all the protocol points for NSABP B38, or the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Protocol B-38. I had suggested that we should follow up on this treatment to avoid recurrence of breast cancer, which was recently diagnosed.
She questioned me as to why I would recommend this course of chemotherapy if the protocol did not include patients with her characteristics. “You bring up an excellent point”, I told her.
Fortunately, my clinic, Cancer Consultants GT, had participated in a similar protocol in Guatemala. We made a final amendment to the study to include patients in her exact situation. Because this break-through finding was so new, it was not yet reviewed and up-loaded to the internet. I felt very fortunate to have such up-to-date inside experience with the best possible treatment for her case. I just hope that I can provide such conclusive answers to the intelligent questions of all my patients.
I finished the morning checking my email inquiries. Two of the patients I can answer quickly. The other emails included anonymous reviews on cancer treatment, and “experts in the field” writing about the risk of eating sugars and using deodorant, or the benefits of taking blue scorpion or cat’s claw. There were reviews from foreign universities, but without accreditation of the author or publication site, they are questionable, at best.
Sadly, our patients consider these data to be absolute truths, sometimes because they are found on the internet and sometimes because they are written in English. They are brought up in conversations in our offices, and in the worst cases applied to their own diagnosis and treatment. We understand, of course, whether or not we are doctors, that if we are not experts in a particular subject, we must first consult with those who are. The advice of an educated, certified and experienced medical doctor cannot be compared to the complicated data digested in an over-night session on the internet.
Then of course, I can’t forget to check my Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and Webpage, not to be “out of it” or a loser, as my children might say. In the old days, we were up-dated in the most scientific way possible, with relevant statistical data, and by attending local seminars and international scientific conferences. Now, we have to be able to interact with the avalanche of data circulating freely on the internet, where our patients are fed a stream of stories that they transfer into questions about their own medical care. We have to take that misinformation and respond in a persuasive and intelligent way, to dispel their insecurities. We must prepare ourselves in some way to have sufficient emotional intelligence and scientific patience to venture into the new practice of internet-assisted medicine.
I suggest to colleagues in my specialty and in others, that we should immerse ourselves in “cyber-medicine” and keep up to date with new technology and materials. However, we know that the most important element of our patients’ treatment and care is the interpersonal human relationship between the doctor and the patient. Well, let’s not complain too much about the internet – it’s the price we pay for growth and development.
Come back soon to read about the latest treatment methods that this doctor finds most interesting
Activating our own immune system
Rediscovering the most efficient weapon for the treatment of cancer, with minimal side effects
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