McLaren Central Michigan Expands Cancer Services with Addition of Medical Oncologist

Dr. Elias Zeine
McLaren Central Michigan, part of statewide McLaren Health Care, first brought the world-renown care of the Karmanos Cancer Institute to Mount Pleasant, providing an award-winning level of cancer care through the hospital’s Morey Cancer Center.

In keeping to its commitment of increasing the community’s access to cancer care, the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Central Michigan has added medical oncologist Dr. Elias Zeine.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Zeine, an exceptional hematologist and medical oncologist,” said Brian Gamble, President of the Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Karmanos Cancer Network. “We are equally delighted that patients in the central Michigan region will now have access to a dedicated oncologist in Dr. Zeine. His expertise will address a critical need in this community, providing advanced treatments in oncologic care that only a comprehensive cancer center like Karmanos can provide.”

In adding Dr. Zeine to Mount Pleasant, Karmanos Cancer Institute leaders found an oncologist with the qualities they seek in providers.

“Karmanos oncology physicians share a philosophy of providing the best quality care and the latest, most advanced, and proven cancer therapies for their patients, and Dr. Zeine has mirrored these same values in his career,” said Dr. Boris Pasche, President and CEO of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. “He fits well with our team in Mount.Pleasant. He’s dedicated to understanding the latest treatments and research surrounding head and neck, lung, and thoracic cancers. We are excited that Dr. Zeine is joining Team Karmanos and bringing exceptional care to Isabella County.”

Meet Dr. Zeine.

What is your proudest moment of your career to date?
One of the proudest moments in my career occurs each time a patient completes their cancer treatment journey, or when a patient spends another holiday or anniversary with his loved ones. There's a profound sense of fulfillment when a patient looks me in the eye, extends their hand in gratitude, and thanks me for guiding and supporting them through such a challenging time. These moments deeply resonate with me, reinforcing the impact of my work and the importance of compassionate care in oncology. It's in these personal connections and shared victories that I find great pride and motivation to continue making a difference in my patients' lives.

Can you share an experience where a clinical trial benefited one of your patients?
One memorable experience involved a patient with metastatic lung cancer and a rare mutation. Typically, the prognosis for this type of cancer is challenging, but this patient was enrolled in a clinical trial for a new oral targeted therapy as a first-line treatment. Remarkably, they experienced minimal side effects, tolerated the treatment well, and responded positively for this first-line treatment for almost three years – more than double the expected survival rate for this kind of cancer. Throughout this period, their quality of life remained high, and they maintained a good level of well-being. This case underscored the tremendous potential of clinical trials in providing effective, life-extending treatments and enhancing patient quality of life.

Can you describe how you keep a patient and patient’s family informed and involved in the treatment process?
Keeping patients and their families informed and involved in the treatment process is crucial to me. I achieve this through transparent discussion, ensuring they understand each step of the treatment plan, and especially the expected outcome from the treatment. I provide comprehensive explanations about the diagnosis, treatment options, potential side effects, and expected outcomes. In every office visit, I try to go over test results with my patients, and often time, I show them their imaging studies on the screen and explained to them what they are looking at. Moreover, I encourage questions and discussions during consultations, as this helps address any concerns or misconceptions. Additionally, I make use of patient-friendly educational materials and resources. Regular updates are provided to the patient and family members if they are available in the room with the patient. This approach fosters a collaborative environment where the patient and their family feel supported, involved, and empowered in their healthcare journey.

What would you like your future patients to know about you?
I want my future patients to know that I am deeply committed to providing compassionate, patient-centered care. My approach is to listen actively, ensuring that each patient feels heard and understood. I believe in empowering patients with information, allowing them to make informed decisions about their treatment. I engage with my patients in clear and honest discussions about the expected outcomes of their treatments, ensuring patients have a realistic understanding of what to expect, and the goal of therapy. I am dedicated to staying up to date with the latest advancements in oncology to offer the best possible care with the resources available in this area. I am also planning to use all the support and the resources available at Karmanos to care for my patients in this area. Above all, I strive to create a supportive environment where patients feel valued and respected throughout their treatment journey.

Are there any items you’d like our staff and area physicians to know about you?
I would like the staff and area physicians to know that I am a collaborative and approachable colleague. I strongly believe in the power of teamwork in health care and am always open to discussions and consultations. My approach to patient care is evidence-based and patient-focused, and I am committed to maintaining open lines of communication with all team members. I value the insights and expertise of other physicians and look forward to contributing positively to our shared goal of providing exceptional care to our patients.

Learn more about cancer care at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Central Michigan at