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issues in oncology

Ensuring Quality With Patient-Reported Outcomes and Electronic Health Records

Accurately assessing the quality of cancer care over the continuum of treatment requires a special set of metrics and data-gathering methods. Moreover, with a growing number of cancer survivors, the post-treatment care involves primary care providers who are adept at managing the comorbidities...

genomics/genetics

Is Some DNA Worthless?

BOOKMARK Title: Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the GenomeAuthor: Nessa CareyPublisher: Columbia University PressOriginal publication date: April 2015Price: $22.95, paperback, 360 pages When biologists first delved into the human wonder of genes in the 1970s, they eventually...

A Celebrity Gadfly’s Reflections on His Death and Other Things Meant to Irritate

BOOKMARK Title: MortalityAuthor: Christopher HitchensPublisher: Twelve: Hachette Book GroupOriginal Publication Date: May 13, 2014Price: $19.95, paperback, 128 pages “There are no atheists in foxholes” is an aphorism used to contend that in times of extreme fear, such as during war or facing a...

issues in oncology

The Story of a Notorious Cluster of Childhood Cancers

BOOKMARK Title: Toms River: A Story of Science and SalvationAuthor: Dan FaginPublisher: Random HouseOriginal publication date: March 2013Price: $28.00, hardcover, 560 pages The Toms River emerges in the Pine Barrens of northern Ocean County, New Jersey, and zigzags through wetlands, emptying into...

health-care policy

Is Universal Health Care a Human Right?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided oncology services to people with cancer who had previously been denied coverage. And for that reason alone, many oncologists supported its passage. However, even though the U.S. health-care system remains in the crosshairs of partisan politics, parties on both ...

issues in oncology

Medical Preparedness for Nuclear Disaster

ROBERT PETER GALE, MD, PhD, DSc (hc), was on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine for 20 years and has served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. In 1986, he was asked by the...

Clinical Cancer Researcher Gini Fleming, MD, Firmly Believes in the Power of Ideas

Gini Fleming, MD, had a peripatetic path to her destination as a gynecologic and breast cancer expert. As a child, she moved around a lot, living in about 10 or 12 different places, so she had no real sense of being born and reared in any particular place. “My parents married young, when my father ...

Academic Oncology and Industry Offer the Best of Both Worlds for Mace L. Rothenberg, MD

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed Mace L. Rothenberg, MD,...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Is the Move to a Value-Based Health-Care Delivery System Feasible?

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization ACT (MACRA), which aims to move Medicare toward reimbursement based more on outcomes and values, a goal, in theory, shared by the oncology community. To shed light on the complicated and problematic attempt to restructure the...

Four Generations of Doctors, One Oncologist, in the Family of Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH

Medicine is a family tradition for Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH. “I was born and reared in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia and lived there my whole life until after college. I was one of those people who always knew they wanted to be a doctor. There were four generations of physicians on my...

A Humble Beginning Built on Commitment: The Life and Times of Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP

  In this edition of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed medical oncologist Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Executive Director at the West Cancer Center, Memphis. Dr. Schwartzberg’s major research interests are new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer,...

solid tumors
prostate cancer

A Medical Oncologist Urges Men to Keep Their Prostates

With the development of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in the early 1990s, the urology community advocated for population screening of all men of a certain age, igniting a heated argument about the test’s clinical value vs potential harms that has not abated to this day. Moreover, from...

hematologic malignancies

From Italy to Boston, A Love of Molecular Diagnostics Shapes a Career for Valentina Nardi, MD

Valentina Nardi, MD, is a staff pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and her current clinical work includes implementing molecular assays for hematologic malignancies at the Center for Integrated Diagnostics. “I was born in Rome, but I did my high school and college education in Genoa. I ...

supportive care

Inside Look at Widowers Coping With Grief

BOOKMARK Title: The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine LifeAuthors: Donald L. Rosenstein, MD, and Justin M. Yopp, PhDPublisher: Oxford University PressPublication Date: January 2018Price: $28.95; hardcover, 192 pages Looking back, the cancer advocacy movement took shape in two waves: the first ...

Former Chair of ASCO’s Health Disparities Committee, Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, Faced Her Own Barriers

Nationally regarded radiation oncologist Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Wheatley Heights, a suburban hamlet on Long Island, New York, that shares borders with the prosperous community of Dix Hills and one of the Island’s lowest-income towns, Wyandanch. “I was fortunate to live ...

global cancer care

Noted Oncologist Narayanankutty Warrier, MD, Battles Tobacco Use and Builds a Cancer Center in India

India, with the world’s second-largest population and more than 2,000 ethnic groups, is a vastly complex nation, noted for its rich history and boundless intellectual capital, but also for its poverty and inequities in areas such as access to health care. The State of Kerala, situated in the...

lung cancer

Valued Mentors and a Link Between Science and Medicine Paved the Road to Oncology for Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD

Lung cancer expert Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Gaithersburg, a small suburb located to the northwest of Washington, DC. Both her parents were chemists, and during high school, Dr. Shaw had a keen interest in science, particularly biology, yet the thought of pursuing a career...

breast cancer

Education Came First for Breast Cancer Expert Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, Daughter of Chinese Immigrants

Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a modest working-class home. Both her parents were immigrants from China. “Education is highly prized in Chinese culture, and my home life was no exception. I didn’t speak any English when I began kindergarten, so that was a bit challenging,...

genomics/genetics

A Love of Science Leads to an Esteemed Career in Cancer Research for Razelle Kurzrock, MD

Razelle Kurzrock, MD, regarded internationally for her work in translational science, was born and reared in Toronto, Canada. “My parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. My father, who was Jewish, was a Holocaust survivor. My parents put a strong emphasis on education,” she said.  ‘The...

geriatric oncology

A Love of Older Patients With Cancer Drives a Career Path for Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO

Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO, who is Director of City of Hope’s Center for Cancer and Aging, is a first generation of immigrant parents from India. “My parents left India and moved from England to Canarsie, Brooklyn, where I was born. When I was 8, my family moved to Southern California, partly due to...

solid tumors

Pioneer in Genitourinary Oncology, José R. Germà-Lluch, MD, PhD, Sheds Light on Treating Rare Tumors

“At the age of 6, my mother threw me into the arms of Hippocrates’ discipline, giving me as a special gift a toy suitcase full of medical equipment and a little puppet to train my skills with a stethoscope, syringe, thermometer, small reflex hammer, and torch to explore the oropharyngeal airways....

Husband and Wife Leave a Giant Legacy in Oncology

The remarkable careers of Jimmie C. Holland, MD, and James F. Holland, MD, spanned collectively for more than a century, leaving an indelible footprint in oncology clinical care and research. Synonymous with cancer care itself, the Hollands were a living documentary of the rich and dramatic history ...

global cancer care

International Oncologist Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, Returned Home to Make a Difference in Lebanon and Worldwide

Internationally renowned expert on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of younger women with breast cancer, Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, FASCO, was born on January 5, 1953, in Bint Jbeil, a village in southern Lebanon. His parents moved to Beirut in 1948, at the height of the...

lymphoma

Pioneering Researcher and Oncologist Volker S. Diehl, MD, Helped Unlock the ‘Black Box’ of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Volker S. Diehl, MD, the internationally renowned hematologist and researcher, was born in Berlin, Germany, on February 28, 1938—arguably one of the most tumultuous periods in world history. Germany had just invaded Austria, signaling the dark intentions of the Third Reich. In 1943, the air raids...

For James Allison, PhD, Perseverance and Hard Science Are Paramount in Cancer Research

For this installment in the Living a Full Life series of articles, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed immunology pioneer James Allison, PhD, Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research,...

The American Society of Clinical Oncology at a Glance

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held its first scientific Annual Meeting on April 9, 1965, in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. More than 70 members and invited guests attended the inaugural event, which featured three presentations on leukemia and multiple myeloma. The ...

A Lifetime of Accomplishments in Oncology Brings Knighthood to Sir Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS

Sir Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS, was born on April 2, 1940, in Auckland, New Zealand, which lies on and around an isthmus surrounded by the sparkling azure waters of the Hauraki Gulf. “I was born at the beginning of World War II. Fortunately, my father was too old to be drafted into the army. I...

Nancy L. Bartlett, MD, Moved From Engineering to Medicine After a Stint in the ER

Nationally recognized oncologist Nancy L. Bartlett, MD, had an early love for mathematics and a swooning aversion to the sight of blood. “I was born and reared in Kansas City, Missouri and am a Midwesterner at heart. No one in the family was involved in medicine. My mom was an elementary school...

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FASCO, a Cattle Rancher’s Daughter, Becomes ASCO President

ASCO President-Elect Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FASCO, was born and reared in Wyoming, where her family ran a cattle ranch in the foothills of the snow-topped peaks of the Wind River Range (or “Winds” for short), a place of breathtakingly uncluttered vistas where the chief feature is the air...

legislation
cost of care

New Laws Reduce Costs of Oral Cancer Drugs, but Not for All

The rising cost of anticancer drugs not only adds fiscal pressure to our overburdened health-care system, but also increases the stress on patients with cancer and their families. High out-of-pocket spending may cause significant financial toxicity, even for patients with good health insurance...

issues in oncology

Doctoring Is a Family Tradition for Medical Oncologist Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD

Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio and leader of the center’s breast cancer program, was born and reared in Athens, Greece. “I spent my formative years in Athens, where I attended school. My father is a physician and my mom’s a...

A Career Based on Service: Both Medical and Military

For this installment in the Living a Full Life series of articles, Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, was interviewed by Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP. Dr. Mitchell is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology in the Division of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University as well as ...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

A River Runs Through the Life of a Leukemia Specialist

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic.   MATT KALAYCIO, MD Affiliation: Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer InstituteOn balancing priorities: “As an oncologist in...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Seeking Beauty From the Inside Out After Cancer Treatment

  BOOKMARK Title: Autobiography of a FaceAuthor: Lucy GrealyPublisher: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtOriginal Publication Date: June 1994Price: $14.95, paperback; 256 pages We live in a celebrity-obsessed society that is consumed by images of what we perceive as ideal beauty. Numerous studies show that ...

issues in oncology

Fast Food Nation and America’s Sick Diet

BOOKMARK Title: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American MealAuthor: Eric SchlosserOriginal Publisher: Houghton MifflinOriginal Publication Date: January 2001Price: $23.95, paperback, 288 pages     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about two-thirds of...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Mentorship From a Past ASCO President and Others Steers a Career to Academic Research

  Breast cancer specialist Stacy L. Moulder, MD, was born and reared in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a small town southwest of the state capital of Jackson. “I was always interested in math and science, and I had a wonderful biology teacher in high school. It was when the advanced placement courses...

gynecologic cancers

Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD: A Gynecologic Oncology Activist for Underserved Women

Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, was given the “Heroes in Medicine” award from Physician’s Weekly in May 2016. Her primary work is in cervical cancer...

supportive care

For Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, Psychosocial Issues Are at the Heart of End-of-Life Cancer Care

Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, Co-Director of the Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Research on End-of-Life Care, was born in Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, where her father had been a resident. Her family moved to Long Island, first living in Islip, where Dr. Prigerson’s father practiced medicine...

The Telltale Heart: A Surgeon’s Memoir

We don’t feel our liver or pancreas working, but we all feel our hearts beating—the drumbeat of our mortality since we all have a finite number of heartbeats from birth to death. And unlike with most other organs, we are painfully aware of how fragile this mighty muscle can be. About 610,000 people ...

prostate cancer

Internationally Renowned Prostate Cancer Expert Gerald E. Hanks, MD, Dies

FROM WILHELM RÖNTGEN’S groundbreaking discovery of x-rays in 1895, the history of radiotherapy has been rich with colorful paradigm-changing researchers and physicians who over the past century have transformed the field into one of the pillars of cancer treatment. One such trailblazer who...

A Neuroscientist Examines Intact Minds Adrift in Damaged Brains and Bodies

Understanding what consciousness is, and why and how it evolved, is perhaps the greatest mystery known to science. With its 100 billion or so neurons and a processing rate of about 4 billion bits per second, the human brain is a miraculously complicated entity, much of which is still under...

supportive care

Mackenzi Pergolotti, PhD, OTR/L: A Leader in the Emerging Field of Occupational Therapy in Oncology

Oncology occupational therapist Mackenzi Pergolotti, PhD, OTR/L, was born in Buffalo, New York. “I lived there until I was 6,” she shared. “Then my family moved around the state a bit, finally settling in the small town of Bath, situated near the Finger Lakes—a beautiful area in central New ...

Celebrating the Life of Jimmie Holland, MD

The oncology community mourns the sudden passing of Jimmie C. Holland, MD, who died on December 24, 2017, at the age of 89. Dr. Holland’s achievements over her 40-year career are legend. They include the founding of the subspecialty of psycho-oncology, the establishment of a full-time Psychiatry...

issues in oncology

Is Medical Assistance in Dying Compassionate Care?

Suicidal ideation while receiving end-of-life cancer care is not unusual but can often be reversed by palliative and psychosocial oncology interventions. That said, there are patients who, even after intensive interventions, request medical assistance in dying. Physician-assisted death has been a...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Helping Patients With Head and Neck Cancer and Their Caregivers Face Treatment-Associated Challenges

Head and neck cancer remains one of the most challenging clinical presentations faced by the oncology community. Patients must not only face a potentially lethal disease, but must also cope with treatments that often result in significant side effects. To gain a better understanding on the...

Medical Oncologist Takes the Paths Less Traveled to Unwind and Reboot

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. For this installment in the Living a Full Life series of articles, Andrew D. Seidman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer ...

Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, Sees Equity as Next Big Challenge in Breast Cancer Care

Breast cancer specialist Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, was born on a farm in Morgan County, Alabama. “My family grew soybeans and cotton and raised cattle. None of my family members were in the medical field, but I always felt comfortable around people who were sick or had emergencies and...

global cancer care

Slovenia’s First Medical Oncology Resident Reflects on His Career in a Rapidly Changing Field

Bostjan Seruga, MD, PhD, is a medical oncology consultant at the Insitute of Oncology Ljubljana and Associate Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has published on barriers in global cancer research. The ASCO Post spoke with him recently about his career path, cancer care in...

solid tumors
lung cancer

Lung Cancer in Never Smokers: A Complex Clinical Phenomenon

Despite advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Although cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, about 10% of these patients are lifelong never smokers for whom the molecular...

Radiation Oncologist Gives Clear Advice to Patients With Cancer

BOOKMARK Title: Cancer: What You Need to Know: Overcome the 10 Common Mistakes Patients MakeAuthor: Stephen A. Rosenberg, MDPublisher: Stephen Rosenberg, MDYear Published: November 2017Price: $9.99, paperback, 248 pages Stephen A. Rosenberg, MD, is Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at the...

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