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issues in oncology

An Oncologic Surgeon Discusses the Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Business Degree

Is pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree a good idea for ambitious surgical oncologists who want to advance their careers? The ASCO Post recently spoke with Martin J. Heslin, MD, MSHA, Chief, Section of Surgical Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center, ...

Peter Jacobs, MD, PhD: 1934–2013

Peter Jacobs, MD, PhD, regarded as the father of hematology in his native country of South Africa, began each day at 3 AM in the gym. During his workout, Dr. Jacobs would routinely call the nursing staff for updates on patients in his ward. Before sunup, Dr. Jacobs was on his way to the hospital....

Understanding the Relationship Between the Lab and the Clinic is Key to 2014 Karnofsky Memorial Award Honoree’s Success

The island nation of Curaçao is nestled in the southern Caribbean Sea off the Venezuelan coast. Curaçao was first settled by the Arawaks, an Amerindian people that inhabited the island for hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans. Amid one wave of settlers from Portugal and Spain that...

Nationally Renowned Surgeon and Researcher, John E. Niederhuber, MD, Relishes the Challenges That Lie Ahead

John E. Niederhuber, MD, was born and grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, a steel mill town located along the Ohio River. Dr. Niederhuber had a childhood interest in engineering and chemistry, but it was the town’s general practitioner who made a lasting impact on his career path. “He was an old-style...

Barbara L. McAneny, MD, Is Dedicated to Designing a Better Health-Care System

Barbara L. McAneny, MD, grew up on the outskirts of Alton, a small city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois. It is an area rich in history, famous as the site of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas’s last debate and for its role preceding and during the American Civil War. “We...

A Coast-to-Coast Road to an Illustrious Career in Radiation Oncology

Nationally regarded radiation oncologist and lymphoma expert Richard Hoppe, MD, was reared in Seaford, a small town hugging the South Shore of Long Island, New York. “I grew up in the early part of Long Island’s suburban sprawl, and my childhood was a fairly typical experience for that time,”...

International Leader in Multiple Myeloma Was Inspired by an Early Mentor’s Lessons in Wisdom and Compassion

Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, grew up in Auburn, a small historic town in central Massachusetts that was settled by the English in 1714. His desire to become a doctor bloomed early. “My decision to possibly pursue a career in medicine was first inspired by my mother, who was a registered nurse, and by...

issues in oncology

A Way Forward in Genomic Medicine

Over the past several decades, the convergence of scientific discovery, technology, and therapeutic developments has created an unparalleled opportunity to integrate our growing knowledge of genomics into the clinical practice of oncology. To shed light on the current state and future of...

cns cancers

Glioblastoma: Can We Make This Intractable Disease Tractable?

In the clinical array of brain tumors, glioblastoma is the most difficult to treat, and despite decades of research and the advent of new therapies, patients with glioblastoma continue to have a very poor prognosis. Leading brain tumor experts at the recent 25th Annual Cancer Progress Conference in ...

breast cancer

Issues in the Management of the Axilla in Patients With Breast Cancer

For the past 40 years the story of breast cancer surgery in general, and for the past 20 years the management of the axilla in particular, has been one of increasing conservatism. To give our readers insight into the current and future direction of axillary management, The ASCO Post spoke with...

International Leader in Urology, Professor John Fitzpatrick, Dies

His life was gentle, and the elements So mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, “This was a man!” —William Shakespeare   I have too many positive memories of John to regale you with here,” said Roger Kirby, MD, in a tribute to his close friend and colleague, John Michael...

solid tumors
hematologic malignancies

ASPHO Abstracts Cover Broad Range of Topics

More than 400 abstracts—a record—were submitted for the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in Chicago. Here is a small sampling of those studies, with comments from the abstract authors. Token Economy to Improve Compliance BMT Bucks form the basis of a...

Pioneering Medical Oncologist Remembers a Time Before the Subspecialty Was Created

While the first written record of cancer dates back to ancient Egypt, the history of modern oncology is fairly short, dating back only slightly more than half a century. Clinical trials in the early days of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the emerging cooperative groups were led by a...

gynecologic cancers
global cancer care

Gynecologic Cancer Care: Collaboration With Resource-Challenged Ethiopia

Over the past 40 years, largely because of universal Pap screening, cervical cancer deaths have been drastically reduced in the United States and other wealthy industrialized countries. However, cervical cancer is still a leading cause of cancer death among women in resource-challenged areas of the ...

A New Book Explores an Old Subject: Aging

Title: Lighter as We Go: Virtues, Character Strengths, and AgingAuthors: Mindy Greenstein, PhD, and Jimmie Holland, MDPublisher: Oxford University Press Publication date: September 2014Price: $27.95; Hardcover, 320 pages   Death is the universal experience shared by Earth’s 7 billion or so...

integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology: Mind, Body, and More

Bookmark Title: Integrative Oncology (Second Edition)Editors: Donald I. Abrams, MD, and Andrew T. Weil, MDPublisher: Oxford University PressPublication date: September 3, 2014Price: $65.00; Paperback, 848 pages   In 1990, David Eisenberg, MD, from the Harvard School of Public Health, conducted a...

pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer in 2014

Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. This year, about 46,000 people in this country will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and more than 39,000 will die of the disease. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Margaret A....

cns cancers

Treating Brain Cancer in 2014

While primary malignant brain tumors account for only 2% of all adult cancers, these deadly neoplasms cause severe cancer-related disability; the 5-year survival rates for brain tumors rank third lowest among all cancers, with those for pancreas and lung cancers being first and second lowest,...

colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer 2015

Despite advances in detection and treatment, colorectal cancer remains the third deadliest cancer among men and women in the United States. To get a better understanding of the current state of this disease and what lies ahead, The ASCO Post recently spoke with colorectal cancer expert John L....

hematologic malignancies

The Current State of Hematologic Malignancies

Due in part to the refinement of bone marrow transplantation and its many innovations, some leukemias that once were death sentences now have cure rates of up to 90%. As research in transplantation and other promising areas accelerates, we are on the verge of breaking new clinical boundaries in...

global cancer care

Addressing the Global Cancer Burden

Since 1990, the annual global death toll from cancer has risen about 40%, and that number is projected to increase from the current level of approximately 8 million cancer deaths per year to more than 13 million by 2030. The poorer, resource-challenged regions of the world will suffer a...

triple-negative

Our Aging Population: Challenges in Caring for Older Patients With Cancer

Managing older-aged cancer patients represents one of the major challenges to our health-care system. Caring for older cancer patients, with their frequent multiple morbidities and a variable health status, requires special integration of an oncologic and geriatric approach. Moreover, our aging...

breast cancer
pain management

Opioid-Reduction Strategy for Postoperative Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery

One persistent and potentially debilitating problem breast cancer patients suffer with is postoperative pain. Studies show that proper pain management is an essential component in the healing process, but undertreatment of pain symptoms remains an ongoing issue in the oncology community. Opioids,...

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...

A Less Is More View of Medicine

BOOKMARKTitle: Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical CareAuthor: H. Gilbert Welch, MDPublisher: Beacon PressPublication date: March 3, 2015Price: $24.95; hardcover, 241 pages He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of most medicines. —Benjamin Franklin...

issues in oncology

Building a Better Federal Oncology Workforce

The process of delivering novel treatments for patients with cancer involves a multifaceted and long-term interaction between three distinct entities: clinical researchers, who conduct the trials which test treatments; drug developers, including the pharmaceutical industry, which takes cancer drugs ...

A Tribute to James F. Holland, MD, in Celebration of His 90th Birthday

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. —Theodore Roosevelt   Longevity, in and of itself, is not an accomplishment. Luck and good genes are just human lottery tickets. Most people fortunate enough to live long lives have a productive sweet ...

After a Long and Distinguished Career, Robert C. Young, MD, Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Robert C. Young, MD, ASCO Past President, longtime leader of Fox Chase Cancer Center, and an internationally recognized expert in lymphoma and ovarian cancer, is a forward-looking doctor who is confident about something not in his future: retirement. “I’ll never quit working; I’m just not wired...

lymphoma

Wyndham H. Wilson, MD, PhD: Shedding Light on the Complexity of Lymphoma Through a Lifetime of Illuminating Research

Dear Dr. Wilson: I am writing to express our family’s deepest and heartfelt appreciation for the lifesaving care you and your team provided for our son, Patrick…. I don’t know how widely it is known that you save lives at the National Cancer Institute—offering hope to people like Patrick, who have...

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, Went From the Front Lines of Cancer Care to a Bird’s-Eye View of the Changing Oncology Landscape

At the end of the day, I’m still a kid from South Philly,” Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, former Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told The ASCO Post. Dr. von Eschenbach is the product of a closely knit yet culturally...

Global Leader in Drug Development John L. Marshall, MD, Calls for a Smarter War on Cancer

John L. Marshall, MD, a global leader in the research and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, in a family that put high value on education. As a young boy, science was already on his mind; he enjoyed the explorative nature that chemistry and biology offered....

myelodysplastic syndromes

Nationally Recognized Leader in Myeloid Malignancies, Alan F. List, MD, Has High Hopes for the Future of Oncology

The Tampa Bay area of Florida is a haven for golfers and fishermen looking to unwind under the warm tropical skies. And the clean highways stretching through the scenic west coast of Florida are also a perfect excuse for weekend motorcycle enthusiasts, such as Alan F. List, MD, the President and...

lymphoma

Lymphoma Expert and Industry Leader Sandra J. Horning, MD, Pushes the Frontiers of Drug Development and Oncology Research

Due to childhood health issues, Sandra J. Horning, MD, formed an opinion about doctors at a young age: They were good people who helped other people. By her early teens, Dr. Horning began to ponder a career in medicine, which offered the possibility of blending her love of science with a career...

Pioneer in Combination Chemotherapy, Vincent T. DeVita, Jr, MD, Changed the Face of Modern Oncology

As a young boy growing up in the Bronx, Vincent T. DeVita, Jr, MD, admired the local iceman, a thick-muscled guy known as Nunzi, who used to carry a big block of ice on his shoulder with a set of tongs, and effortlessly slide it into the DeVitas’ icebox. “A friend once asked me what I wanted to be...

‘Father of Geriatric Oncology’ Lodovico Balducci, MD, Unearthed a New Understanding of Aging’s Effect on Cancer Treatment

At the 2007 ASCO Annual Meeting, Lodovico Balducci, MD, received the inaugural B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology. Called the “patriarch of geriatric oncology,” Dr. Balducci is widely known in the oncology community for his warm humor and thick Italian...

Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO: Never One to Back Down From a Challenge

Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO, always sat in the front row at school. She grew up during a rigidly paternalist period in American society, and her early feminist leanings were brushed aside as grade-school adventures. The medical school lecture room of the 1960s was a male-dominated culture, and...

leukemia

A Lasting Legacy

When Emil J Freireich, MD, retires from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on September 1, he will have spent 50 years at the institution and a total of 60 years in the pursuit of curing childhood leukemia as well as other cancers and in the educational development of young...

A Cancer Handbook for Inquisitive Laypersons and Health-Care Professionals

Bookmark Title: The Cancer Solution: Taking Charge of Your Life With CancerAuthor: Jack C. Westman, MD, MSPublisher: Archway PublishingPublication date:  January 15, 2015Price: $20.00; paperback, 310 pages I was at a meeting in San Francisco in 1978 and received a call from my wife, Nancy:...

Internationally Acclaimed Cancer Researcher, Gianni Bonadonna, MD, Dies at 81

Gianni Bonadonna, MD, was considered the “Father of Italian Oncology,” but his scientific contributions to the field and his generous collegial spirit extended far beyond the shores of his native land. Dr. Bonadonna was at the forefront in the battle to convince the surgical establishment that...

In Search of a Good Ending for a Life Well Lived

BOOKMARK Title: The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-life CareAuthor: Angelo E. Volandes, MDPublisher: BloomsburyPublication date: January 13, 2015Price: $26.00; hardcover, 240 pages A quick Google search on books about end-of-life care will yield pages of hits on the subject. The...

palliative care

One Doctor’s Road to Palliative Care Services in the Inner City

St. Barnabas Hospital is located in the heart of Bronx, New York, and as such, it has a culturally diverse, largely poor, patient population. The backbone of successful palliative care services is the doctor-patient communication bonding process. However, many of the patients with late-stage cancer ...

issues in oncology

Our Children’s Future Is Our Responsibility

Cancer prevention is a child-care issue. With many of cancer’s instigators planting their seeds during childhood, we—as a profession and as a nation—must seize this important window of opportunity to protect the health and well-being of future generations. Current estimates suggest that up to...

Nationally Regarded Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Mary Pazdur, RN, MSN, Remembered by Friends and Colleagues

Oncology nurse practitioner Mary Pazdur, RN, MSN, spent her professional life bettering the clinical care and outcomes of cancer patients, culminating in her career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, working with patients on cancer vaccine...

Mixing Metaphors to Change the Language of Cancer

BookmarkTitle: Malignant Metaphor: Confronting Cancer MythsAuthor:  Alanna MitchellPublisher: ECW PressPublication date: September 15, 2015Price: $24.95; hardcover, 184 pages Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom...

palliative care

Perceptions of End-of-Life Care Differ Sharply Between African Americans and White Americans

Studies demonstrate that patients with advanced cancer who are not actively engaged in planning their end-of-life care often receive overly aggressive, physically taxing, costly and unnecessary treatment toward life’s end. Recent findings indicate that African Americans appear to be more apt to...

A Primary Care Doctor’s Tough-Love Medicare Fix

Bookmark Title: Curing Medicare: One Doctor’s View of How Our Health Care System Is Failing the Elderly and How to Fix It Author:  Andy Lazris, MD Publisher: CreateSpace Publication date: September 13, 2014 Price: $13.75; paperback, 290 pages Several years ago I decided to write a book about...

lymphoma

Ronald Go, MD, on Survival in NHL and Treatment Facility Volume

Ronald Go, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses a study that used the National Cancer Data Base to determine the extent to which the number of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients treated annually in a facility affects overall survival (Abstract 266).

Internationally Acclaimed Cancer Researcher, Gianni Bonadonna, MD, Dies at 81

Gianni Bonadonna, MD, was considered the “Father of Italian Oncology,” but his scientific contributions to the field and his generous collegial spirit extended far beyond the shores of his native land. Dr. Bonadonna was at the forefront in the battle to convince the surgical...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Noninvasive Image Texture Analysis May Provide Tumor Heterogeneity Information With Prognostic Potential in NSCLC

Noninvasive quantitative computed tomography–based texture analysis can accurately differentiate the presence of a KRAS mutation from pan–wild-type non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), based on the results of a study in PLOS ONE. Weiss et al reported that this tumor heterogeneity...

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