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Global leader in cancer of the heart on an awareness mission

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​​​​​​​Two physicians examining a heart
Dr. Michael Reardon, cardiac surgeon, Houston Methodist Hospital (L) and Dr. Robert James (RJ) Cusimano, cardiac surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre ​examine a heart tumour taken out of a PMCC female patient in her mid 20's. (Photo: UHN/PMCC)

A few months ago, he participated as a keynote speaker at the first Toronto Cardiac Tumour Conference, an international event organized by Dr. Robert James (RJ) Cusimano, cardiac surgeon at UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. Now, Dr. Michael Reardon, an internationally-renowned heart surgeon, has came back to UHN for a visit.

Dr. Reardon, who is with Houston Methodist Hospital, is recognized globally for his expertise in diagnosing and treating cardiac tumours: a rare and often fatal heart condition. "It's really sad because we do have treatment options, but those treatment options are only known in a few centres," says Dr. Reardon.

"One of the things we'd really like to do is educate the public and physicians on the options that are out there for this patient population," he says.

Having developed an interest in heart tumours from the very start of his career, Dr. Reardon has supported the building of cardiac tumour programs at several healthcare centres around the world, notably in Israel and the United States. 

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Dr. Michael Reardon, cardiac surgeon, Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas, talks about the importance of making PMCC, TGH a Centre of Excellence in cardiac tumour diagnosis and treatment. (Video: PMCC/ UHN)
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Creating centres of excellence in cardiac tumour treatment in different parts of the world, including the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre  in Toronto led by Dr. Cusimano and his team, is key to addressing the lack of education among physicians and increasing awareness among the public on potential therapies.

"It's not uncommon for me to get a young patient with a young family come see me with a cardiac tumour after they've been told by their physician that there is nothing they can do, they've never seen this tumour, and they don't know how to treat it, "says Dr. Reardon.

Team in OR performing a surgery
Four months after attending the first international Toronto Cardiac Tumour Conference, Dr. Michael Reardon (foreground) returned to UHN to observe and advise a surgical team, led by Dr. Robert James (RJ) Cusimano, during a procedure to remove a heart tumour in a young patient. (Photo: UHN)

The second international Toronto Cardiac Tumour Conference will take place on Jan. 19, 2017 with the goal of furthering the knowledge footprint of cancer of the heart.

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