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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...

Oncology World Mourns the Loss of Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Founder, Field of Psycho-Oncology

Jimmie C. Holland, MD, died suddenly on December 24, 2017, at the age of 89 years. Dr. Holland was the Attending Psychiatrist and Wayne E. Chapman Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center and Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York....

A New Book Deals With an Age-Old Crisis: Cancer Patients and Mortality

The field of psycho-oncology began to take hold in the mid-1970s, when the “C” word was beginning to lose its long-held stigmatization, and patients with cancer could finally begin to openly reveal their diagnosis and express their feelings about their life-threatening disease. Despite that social ...

American Cancer Society Honors William Breitbart, MD, With the Trish Greene Quality of Life Award

William Breitbart, MD, has been honored with the 2017 American Cancer Society Trish Greene Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national honor that recognizes an outstanding individual who dedicates a significant portion of his or her career to research that improves the quality of life for cancer ...

Meaning-Centered ­Psychotherapy Benefits Advanced Cancer Patients

Meaning-centered group psychotherapy significantly improved psychological well-being compared with supportive group psychotherapy in patients with advanced or terminal cancer, according to a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by William Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan...

supportive care

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, on Creating Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discuss the early days of this new treatment for despair and distress in cancer patients.

supportive care

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, on Workshops in Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discuss a meaning-centered psychotherapy workshop they conducted for an international group of clinicians.

supportive care

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, on Adapting Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Caregivers

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, explain how they brought this new treatment to help stressed caregivers of loved ones with cancer.

supportive care

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, on Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, and William S. Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discuss a powerful treatment approach that is grounded in a moving personal story.

supportive care

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Launches Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy Programs for Terminally Ill Patients, Cancer Survivors, and Caregivers

Although most major cancer centers in the United States offer support groups and individual counseling sessions to help patients with cancer cope with their disease and treatment, over the past decade Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York has broadened its psycho-oncology programs to...

supportive care

Improving Treatment of Depression in Patients With Cancer: The SMaRT Oncology-2 Trial

Clinical depression is highly prevalent, associated with significant morbidity, often underrecognized, and inadequately treated in cancer patients.  Professor Michael Sharpe and Jane Walker, PhD, and their colleagues’ seminal work on enhancing treatment of depression in cancer patients using a...

supportive care

A Cautionary Note on Psilocybin Therapy

The controversial nature of [psilocybin] is garnering attention before [the NYU investigators’] work has been peer-reviewed, which is concerning. Could psilocybin therapy be a helpful anxiolytic in any patient? Yes, I suppose, but I’d like to see the data. Is psilocybin an anxiolytic in cancer...

supportive care

Researchers Discuss Pilot Study on Hallucinogenic Therapies for Cancer Anxiety

Although varying levels of existential distress are near-ubiquitous among patients with cancer, evidence-based interventions in this clinical area remain somewhat elusive. Seeking to explore novel approaches in the palliative care environment, New York University (NYU) School of Medicine principal...

issues in oncology

In Search of Meaning: A Personal Journey

A famous Talmudic question asks: “What is truer than the truth?” The answer: “The story.” This is the story of my personal journey in search of meaning and the development of an approach to care for patients with advanced cancer, which I came to call “meaning-centered psychotherapy.” In terms of...

supportive care

Potential Power of Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy in Patients With Advanced Cancer

The recent publication of the results of our National Cancer Institute (NCI) RO1-funded randomized controlled trial of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for advanced cancer patients in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,1 and the accompanying summary published in this issue of The ASCO Post,...

supportive care

Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy Improves Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, William Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues found that meaning-centered group psychotherapy significantly improved psychological well-being compared with supportive group psychotherapy in...

International Psycho-Oncology Society and American Psychosocial Oncology Society Meet to Foster Psychosocial Oncology Worldwide

The International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) has partnered with the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) for the 17th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, held in late July 2015 in Washington, DC. Its theme, “From National to Global: Implementing the Standard of Psychosocial Care in...

palliative care
supportive care

Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy Improves Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Breitbart et al found that meaning-centered group psychotherapy significantly improved psychological well-being compared with supportive group psychotherapy in patients with advanced or terminal cancer. Meaning-centered group...

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