Kent Truan, a wheat farmer in Russell, Kansas, knew that one day he might need to see an oncologist. The protein levels in his blood had been rising for a few years, but in 2018 his community doctor thought it was time for him to see a specialist.
Kent’s local oncologist diagnosed him with multiple myeloma and reached out to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health. Suman Kambhampati, MD, a board-certified hematologist and medical oncologist, began collaborating with Kent’s oncologist and seeing Kent through telemedicine consults.
Kent’s disease was monitored for about six months before the blood cancer showed progression. After discussing the options and going over the benefits and risks, Kent and his oncology team agreed that participating in the ENDURANCE trial, a large national clinical trial, was the best next step.
“Telemedicine allowed me to develop a relationship with Kent and his family and bring state-of-the-art care via a clinical trial to a rural part of Kansas,” stated Dr. Kambhampati.
Kent’s wife, son and daughter went with him to the hospital in Great Bend for treatments and video consults with Dr. Kambhampati.
“It was easier for them because their questions could be answered right then and there. We didn’t need to go all the way to Kansas City,” described Kent.
“My son and Dr. Kambhampati related very well. He would look everything up on the internet and ask the doctor all sorts of questions. Dr. Kambhampati described things in a way that was very easy to understand.”
Kent responded very well to treatment, but eventually developed side effects that affected his quality of life. Kent’s oncologists thought it would be best to change the course of treatment and recommended a blood and marrow transplant.
Accompanied by his wife and other family members, Kent traveled to the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo. Kent stayed in the hospital for about two weeks and underwent an autologous blood and marrow transplant.
Kent’s loved ones were able to stay in the townhomes on the hospital campus so they could remain close to Kent throughout his treatment.
Once Kent’s blood counts were safe, he was able to go home and back to his community oncologist.
“They didn’t miss anything. They told me what to expect and what I was going to feel like,” said Kent.
“Everyone in Kansas City, they are just on top of everything. The nurses are always asking if they can do more for you. They were all excellent. Very understanding. They took real good care of you.”
In November 2019, Kent had his 100 day check-up with Dr. Kambhampati. His cancer is in remission and he is on maintenance therapy to preserve his bone health.
“He looks really good. His quality of life is good and he is back to work,” said Dr. Kambhampati.
“I feel like I’m back to normal. I’ve got my appetite back. I eat good. I sleep well. I’m working,” described Kent.
“We had a nice Thanksgiving out here. All the kids and grandkids were here and that’s all I ask for. We ate a little bit and enjoyed the day.”