Our Mission | Our Story
We want to make a lasting difference in the health of your family.
Our mission is to educate and guide people to excellent health. This is how we are able to make a difference, it’s the driving force behind everything we do.
Our Mission: Education and Health Improvement
Our educational mission is to emphasize human side of medicine by sharing wisdom and knowledge of leading physicians and surgeons via personal video conversations.
Our health improvement mission is to help people around the world preserve and restore the health of their family.
From family health challenge to global expert network
A personal story led to the creation of Diagnostic Detectives Network. Mother of Dr. Anton Titov was diagnosed with a lung tumor. Locating a perfect expert for treatment proved difficult despite Dr. Titov's intimate familiarity with a leading hospital system. Read the story below.
Dr. Anton Titov: “My mother had a ‘fibrotic scar’ in her lung for several years. In 2014 this "scar" increased in size and was re-classified as a lung tumor. This was a sudden and sad new interpretation of diagnostic tests.
We consulted a renowned thoracic surgeon in a leading academic hospital in Boston.
We received a gloomy summary.
“Just to be clear, the multiple abnormalities in the lung largely removes it from the realm of surgery. There is no hurry with the biopsy because we don’t have very good options. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but her best option is a very slow growing tumor.”
We had no reason to challenge this experienced surgeon’s verdict. I had interacted with this senior academic thoracic surgeon during my surgery residency.
He was a very competent expert, he was deeply respected by professional peers.
So all we could do was… nothing.
Dr. Anton Titov: "Yet, we found the right expert. He had the knowledge that other surgeons in the same speciality, with the same academic status, working in the same hospital, did not have. Finding a perfect expert made a crucial difference in the clinical decisions and the results of treatment of my mother.”
The method of searching for experts who precisely match a profile of patient’s medical challenge forms the core of Diagnostic Detectives Network method of expert selection.
Patient education is paramount for achieving the best treatment results.
Video conversations with leading medical experts help patients to become well-informed participants in shared decision-making process with their physicians.
I reviewed dozens of medical research articles on the presumed tumor type, based on its radiological appearance.
I reached out to many physicians whose contacts I had accumulated since I started working at Harvard’s teaching hospitals.
I discussed the situation with researchers who knew me from the days of working on my PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology in a Nobel Prize-winning laboratory at The Rockefeller University in New York.
A deep review of medical literature and discussions with my contact network led me to two experts who made the exact type of lung tumor a major focus of their research and clinical work.
One of these experts, interestingly, also worked in Boston. In fact, he worked in the same hospital system. He was almost next door to the thoracic surgeon who first consulted my mother.
After reviewing the situaiton, this other surgeon immediately put my mother on his operating schedule.
He proceeded fast with several pre-operative diagnostic tests.
In a few days, this surgeon reverted to us with a completely different assessment of my mother’s situation:
“All of the mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes are negative. I think we can proceed to right upper lobectomy on the original date of surgery. The plan would be to remove any extension into the right lower lobe. The other ground glass lesions will be left alone. The remaining lesions will likely pose little risk to her life.”
That was a completely different assessment of the situation. It was certainly a different treatment strategy for my mother.
While I had no reason to doubt the “we can do nothing” verdict of the first expert, my mother certainly preferred action to inaction.
Thus, it took a week of the medical research literature search and several discussions with my professional contact network to identify and reach out to this other surgeon. He specialized precisely in treatment of the type of lung tumor my mother had.
In two weeks my mother underwent a minimally invasive operation (VATS) to remove her lung tumor.
She was discharged from a hospital to home 6 days later.
I then had this follow-up message from the surgeon:
“Tumor has been completely resected. It extended in the right lower lobe of her lung but we had an adequate margin. All [lymph] nodes were negative. All resection margins were negative. There is no need for chemotherapy or radiation, just surveillance imaging every 6 months for 2 years and yearly thereafter.”
This was many years ago. My mother still leads an independent life, walks for miles, and continues to have a close and joyous relationship with her granddaughter.
A true revelation for me was not so much the fact that I got a completely different assessment and action plan from a different expert. Yet it was interesting that he was working next door to the first surgeon, in the same hospital system.
A true revelation for me was the specific reason how the second surgeon explained his prefeence to resect the tumor as soon as possible.
“If we do not resect and let the tumor keep growing, however slowly it does grow, the risk of internal transformation of this type of tumor into a more aggressive “classic” lung cancer would become nearly certain. Whereas for other small lesions this risk is very small. So we have to remove the primary tumor.”
This explanation was confirmed by another medical oncologist who also studied the behavior of this type of lung tumors.
That explanation convinced us of a need to act quickly and to accept risks of surgical operation and general anesthesia.
It is important to emphasize that both surgeons were profoundly knowledgeable in their field. Both surgeons were highly experienced.
It was not a question of one doctor being “better” than the other.
The difference between them was the intensity of their professional focus on a specific type of lung tumor.
It was the difference in awareness of a changing landscape of treatment for a particular type of tumor.
In other words, the difference between the “do nothing” strategy, proposed by one surgeon, and “resect now” strategy, proposed by another surgeon, can be summarized in two words: “precision medicine“.
"No one knows everything!" - said another eminent medical oncologist.
When you encounter any medical challenge, you have to find a specialist whose knowledge and experience precisely fit the exact challenge at hand.
A true expert is the precise key that can open a lock, a patient’s medical conundrum. A precise key will open a lock without damaging everything around it.
That’s how one gets the best possible results of any therapy.
Dr. Anton Titov has extensive international clinical and research experience. He was a Neurological Surgery Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston (major teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School), a Research Fellow in Neurology at Children’s Hospital Boston, and a Research Fellow in Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (also a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School). He also had medical experience in the UK, including Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, University Hospital of South Manchester, and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Dr. Anton Titov received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from The Rockefeller University (laboratory of Dr. Günter Blobel, who was awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1999). He was a Special International Student at Harvard Medical School, where he rotated at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center, Lown Cardiovascular Group, and Neurosurgery department of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He holds an MD from St. Petersburg Medical Academy. He also studied mathematics at St. Petersburg State University.
Dr. Titov also held positions in the life sciences and investment management industry: Healthcare Advisor to TVM Capital; Managing Director at Onexim Group, a Vice-President at Delta Private Equity Partners, and an Associate at Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs International (London).