Q&A with Dr Vlad Andelkovic – March 2023

Dr Vlad Andelkovic

Dr Vladimir Andelkovic: ABCG Workshop, March 2023.

Dr Vladimir Andelkovic is an experienced medical oncologist who is dedicated to ensuring each patient is cared for throughout their treatment and beyond.

During his oncology training, in which he rotated through all the major tertiary oncology centres in Brisbane and Gold Coast, Dr Andelkovic has gained extensive experience in managing patients with wide range of malignant tumours. This gave him the opportunity to develop special interest in managing breast and lung cancer, as well as rare cancers, including sarcomas and primary liver cancer.

Dr Andelkovic has a strong research and academic interest and is affiliated both with the University of Queensland as a Senior Lecturer, and with the Queensland University of Technology, as a Visiting Clinical Fellow. He is the lead or associate investigator in the number of clinical trials testing new treatments for multiple cancer types.

Dr Andelkovic’s particular interests inlcude the management of breast and lung cancers, as well as rare cancers including sarcoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

He also consults at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Logan Hospital, and is accredited at the Mater Private Hospital Brisbane.

INTRO and Q1 - Treatment Choices

Mary O’Brien starts our March workshop by explaining the question and answer format and presenting Dr Vladimir Andelkovic. Vlad then talks about the factors that are taken into account when determining a treatment plan for someone who has just been diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Q2 - Can we Drive our Treatment?

Dr Vladimir Andelkovic answers the question about the appropriateness of patients driving their own treatment. He explains that this varies among Oncologists, but he personally considers several factors when discussing treatments, including the patients’ opinions.

Q3 - On Team Work

Dr Andelkovic continues the discussion by explaining how oncologists work together in various ways and the advantages of sharing their experiences and challenges.

Q4 - Genetic Testing

Dr Andelkovic is asked about genetic testing. He talks about how increasingly common it is becoming, before distinguishing between genetic and genomic testing. He then goes on to explain how the data obtained from these tests can be used to develop and apply certain treatments.

Q5 - When Should Our Daughters Be Screened for Breast Cancer?

Dr Andelkovic discusses the appropriate time for daughters of breast cancer patients to undergo testing. He outlines the factors that are taken into account when determining the optimal timing for testing and how to begin this process.

Q6 - New Developments in Drug Treatment

Dr Andelkovic talks about a new treatment involving a new type of drug called antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs. He describes how they function and the benefits they offer.

Q7 - Financial Implications of Outliving your Prognosis

Dr Andelkovic is asked about the financial implications of out-living a prognosis. He offers a medical perspective, talking about how these situations can arise when someone responds well to treatment.

Q8 - Remission

Dr Andelkovic talks about when oncologists choose to use the term “remission” to describe a patient’s condition.

Q9 - Cumulative Effects of Long Term Treatment

Dr Andelkovic discusses the effects of specific medication when asked about long term treatment.

Q10 - The Uses of Radiation Therapy

Dr Andelkovic explains how and when radiation is used, which types of cancers it treats, and what benefits the patient receives from the treatment.

Q11 - On Zoladex

Dr Andelkovic answers a question about Zoladex and explains its mechanism of action and why it can be used for a prolonged period. He also points out alternatives to this treatment and when a patient might consider this.

Q12 - Combination Therapies

Dr Andelkovic talks about how oncologists respond when drug combinations do not work for a patient. He gives examples of when a drug may need to be replaced with another.

Q13 - Why Does Cancer Recur?

Dr Andelkovic explains the various reasons why cancer can recur in some patients and provides details on some of these reasons. Additionally, he describes different types of recurrences and how oncologists would respond to them.