The WorldCare Wire – Spring 2023

Welcome to this edition of WorldCare’s quarterly e-newsletter where you’ll learn about the value and benefits of expert second medical opinions (MSOs) for serious and complex medical conditions. You’ll also learn about research insights from WorldCare Consortium ® providers and find tips for preventing colorectal cancer.

For your health: learn more about your treatment options

A Medical Second Opinion (MSO) is a smart way to learn about new medications, surgical approaches, and clinical trials.

A multidisciplinary team of specialists and sub-specialists from a WorldCare Consortium ® hospital provides a second medical opinion based on their expertise and the latest research.

Here are four ways a second opinion from WorldCare can help:

1. Confirm your initial diagnosis – A MSO can correct a misdiagnosis, saving you unnecessary treatment, complications, wasted time, and healthcare costs.

2. Discover new treatments – It’s hard to keep up to date with the latest medications and surgical options. Over the past five years, the FDA has approved nearly 250 new drugs and biologics for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. 1 In addition, more surgeries are now being performed using minimally invasive techniques, allowing patients to recover faster and experience fewer complications than traditional open surgeries. 2

3. Learn about clinical trials – You may be eligible for a clinical trial testing a new therapeutic approach, but sifting through dozens of online databases can be daunting. 3 A MSO will inform you about the trials available in relation to your case.

4. Quickly identify your optimal treatment plan – A WorldCare MASO provides you with a personalized recommended treatment plan remotely, much faster than if you had to wait months for an appointment with a specialist.

1 United States Food and Drug Administration. New Drug Approvals for 2023. Retrieved from
2 Markets and markets. Minimally Invasive Surgical Instruments Market: Global Forecast to 2026. Accessed at
3 ASCO : Cancer.Net. Find a clinical trial. Retrieved from

Health IQ

Fast facts on colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer includes colon cancer, which develops in the large intestine, and rectal cancer, which develops in the rectum. It is one of the four most diagnosed cancers and one of the four leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States 1 and Canada. 2

The earlier colorectal cancer is detected, the better the chances of recovery. If any of these signs and symptoms are severe or last several weeks, see your doctor: 3

Change in bowel habits (diarrhea, narrow stools, constipation or feeling like you can’t empty yourself)
Bright red or very dark red blood in the stools
Unexplained weight loss
Constant tiredness
Iron deficiency anemia

Colorectal Cancer Prevention Tips: 4

Maintain a healthy weight
Get plenty of exercise
Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit and limit red meat
Get screened if you are at high risk or are over 45 5

Colorectal cancer treatment

Early-stage colorectal cancer can often be cured with surgery. When colorectal cancer spreads or metastasizes to other parts of the body, it is usually not curable, but treatments can slow its growth. Treatments can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies.

Researchers continue to study new treatments for advanced colorectal cancer. For example, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial of a combination of two next-generation immunotherapies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had not responded to previous treatments. The results were promising:

Tumor regressed in 23% of 70 patients
• 76% of patients had complete or partial response and stable disease
Patients without active liver metastases had the best improvement

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cancer statistics in the United States. Cancer statistics at a glance. Retrieved from

2 Brenner DR, Poirier A, Woods RR, et al. Projected estimates of cancer in Canada in 2022. CMAJ. 2022;194(17):E601-E607. Retrieved from

3 Cancer.Net. Colorectal cancer: symptoms and signs. Retrieved from

4 Cancer.Net. Colorectal cancer: risk factors and prevention. Retrieved from

5 Cancer.Net. Colorectal cancer: screening. Retrieved from

WorldCare Consortium® Provider Research News

MRI-guided radiation therapy improves outcomes for prostate cancer patients

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy has resulted in fewer side effects and better quality of life for patients with localized prostate cancer than computed tomography (CT)-guided radiation therapy, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

MRI guidance controls movement and provides a better view, allowing higher doses of radiation to be delivered to targeted areas, while limiting damage to nearby normal tissue. In the study published in JAMA Oncology, MRI guidance used 2mm margins, which is much more accurate than what has been tested in previous large-scale research.

A total of 156 patients with prostate cancer were randomized to receive MRI or computed tomography (CT)-guided radiation therapy. Genitourinary side effects, such as frequent urination and urinary incontinence, and gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea and rectal or abdominal pain, reported by patients and their treating physicians, were significantly less in the group that received MRI-guided radiotherapy.


New research: Predicting teens’ response to treatment for depression

Anxiety and depression are on the rise among teenagers and young adults. Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed, but sometimes it takes weeks of trial and error to determine if a drug works or if the patient should try another. 

Today, researchers from Children’s Mercy Research Institute and Mayo Clinic are evaluating a model based on machine learning and artificial intelligence to see if it can accurately predict responses to fluoxetine (Prozac ®), in just a few weeks. The researchers are assessing the responses of adolescents aged 12 to 18 during the first three months of treatment and compare their results with those predicted by the model after a few weeks.

Another goal of this research, called the GOLDILOKs ® PRISM study, is to identify genetic, physiological and lifestyle factors that may affect the effectiveness of fluoxetine in reducing symptoms of depression. Researchers are collecting genetic, biochemical and proteomic data as well as data on heart rate, sleep and physical activity.

Our mission is to save lives and improve health outcomes

26% of WorldCare MSOs result in a change in diagnosis, and 75% in a change in treatment plan.

98% member satisfaction rate