As survival and life expectancy improve, the literature shows increasing incidence of patients who experience a variety of side effects that lead to cumulative morbidity over time. Some side effects appear shortly after the initial disease diagnosis and treatment, while others may appear many years later. The effects can occur in any of the body's systems, and depend on the underlying disease and treatment. Some side effects display clear symptoms while others are asymptomatic. Without proper monitoring, these disorders can be detected very late in the game.
The Late Effects Clinic monitors children age five and above who have recovered from disease, with the goal of treating late effects early on.
Although most patients who have recovered feel good once they are in remission, they can experience long-term effects of treatment on various body systems. The Late Effects Clinic tailors follow-up protocols for each child, their original disease, the treatments undergone, and the situations that need to be monitored.
The Late Effects Clinic provides a multidisciplinary solution in collaboration with experts from numerous disciplines, in order to address the range of survivors' problems. The goal is to continue working with the children and adolescents to support a healthier adulthood. The clinic also conducts research in this relatively "young" field.
The clinic vision is based on the "medical home" model, where the Medical Center is the home base for patients for years, centrally addressing their medical problems, while keeping in touch with community physicians who share their care. The clinic provides guidance on late effects and works to transition patients to medical providers one they reach adulthood.
The clinic is unique in that, after the initial visit, each patient is invited for a single, concentrated consultation day with a panel of specialists, including endocrinology, nephrology, cardiology, etc.
The goal is to make sure children who have recovered from illness stay healthy and return to lead full lives into adulthood.