My name is Cameron Trenor, and I’m a hematologist/oncologist here at Boston Children’s. I’ve been involved with the Vascular Anomalies Center since 2010, where I have a multifaceted role. I handle questions about bleeding and blood clotting risk within these abnormal vascular channels. I also handle questions about the role of medical therapies for some vascular anomalies. Some lesions are treated by surgeons, some by interventional radiologists, some by experts in medical therapies and some by some combination of all those things.
How did you become interested in this pediatric population?
Hematology/oncology has had a role because of the need for help with medical therapies, and the need for help with managing blood clotting in some of these lesions. Personally I’ve been interested in blood clotting and vascular diseases since I was a fellow before I even knew about these diseases. Getting involved in the Vascular Anomalies Center and seeing some of these rare disorders has been eye-opening, motivating and fascinating. In addition to seeing new diseases, I’ve particularly enjoyed the way our center is set up, where we interface with so many different other disciplines in the hospital all in the same room with the patient. This allows improved communication about and with patients in an inspiring patient care model.
What are some of the rewards and challenges of working with this population?
It’s very rewarding to help kids and families of kids with difficult diagnoses. In rare diseases, it’s been a struggle to come to the right diagnosis and online information is confusing when available. I’m blessed to be at a center where we have a lot to offer, so it’s rewarding to see the sense of relief that we can provide by putting a name to something and having a plan. It’s far more rewarding to actually see that plan go forward and see improvements over time.
Because of the type of referral center we are, and the fact that we’re more prone to get the more severe cases, the challenges are the more severe cases where, despite what we offer, it’s not helpful enough. Sifting through misinformation from the internet and setting expectations are time-consuming challenges, though they are important. I now try to bring every trainee in my division through the center so that they can see how well it can work when you’re all committed to one goal and see patients together. This motivates some people to think differently about multidisciplinary clinics and appreciate the strengths of that approach. That’s a real reward for me, getting to work with so many other disciplines and committed clinicians. The quality of care we provide by doing that is pretty hard to compare.