Upper Gastrointestinal Multidisciplinary Clinic

Lifespan Cancer Institute

Compassionate Care for Upper GI Malignancies

The Upper Gastrointestinal Multidisciplinary Clinic is a program of the Lifespan Cancer Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals. It is the only one of its kind in the state: entirely dedicated to the compassionate care of patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies.

Upper GI Cancer Care Team

Our team-based approach brings together nationally recognized leaders in clinical research from multiple departments in the treatment and research of these diseases. Our expert team includes gastroenterologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, diagnostic radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, and palliative care nurses working together to find the treatment that is best for you.

Our specialists focus exclusively on upper GI malignancies and have leadership roles within the Brown University Oncology Research Group and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Cancer Center Research for Physicians

Working on a Cancer Vaccine

Researchers at Lifespan and Brown University are among the first in the world looking into a potential vaccine for pancreatic cancer.

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Patient Support

Treatment is coordinated by a nurse coordinator, also known as a nurse navigator in some clinics, who schedules patients to meet with physicians in all disciplines, including surgical oncology, medical oncology, diagnostic imaging, critical care medicine, radiation oncology and palliative care. The nurse coordinator has an in-depth understanding of gastrointestinal cancers and is trained in oncology.

Patients do not need to make multiple visits to obtain diagnoses and a treatment plan. Instead, patients meet with health care professionals from several disciplines, usually on the same day. The nurse coordinator attends these appointments along with patients and their families and is available to provide ongoing emotional support.

The nurse guides patients through the health care system and the course of their treatment in multiple ways, including the coordination of services, facilitation of communication with health care professionals, patient education, arrangement of interpreters and transportation, and assistance with insurance and financial questions.

Howard Safran, MD

Meet Dr. Safran

An international leader in developing innovative GI cancer treatments.

Lifespan sun on white coat with patient

Treatment Options

Learn more about the diagnostic and treatment options for upper GI cancers.

National Pancreas Foundation Certification

The Lifespan Cancer Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Newport hospitals has been recognized by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as a certified NPF Pancreatic Cancer Center. These centers are designated based on the belief in and commitment to treating the “whole patient” with a focus on the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

NPF centers focus on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer. Certified centers are required to have designated core personnel, including a medical oncologist, pathologist, radiation oncologist, interventional radiologist, gastroenterologist, and at least two surgeons. The center must also have access to special expertise and services, such as clinical trials, psychosocial support, palliative care, dietitian support and electronic medical records. 

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Jack was treated for a kidney stone. But the diagnostic scan he had also revealed something more ominous: a suspect spot on his liver.

Lifespan Locations

Over 1,620 hospitals and clinics throughout Rhode Island, here are some featured locations: