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global cancer care
issues in oncology

Chernobyl at 35 Years: An Oncologist’s Perspective

Editor’s note: Dr. Gale is an authority on medical response to nuclear and radiation accidents and participated in rescue efforts at the Chernobyl disaster, as well as at Goiania, Tokaimura, and Fukushima, among other radiation and nuclear accidents. Anyone reading the popular press or even...

Roger H. Herzig, MD, Pioneer in the Treatment of Leukemia, Dies at Age 74

More than 5 decades ago, the concept of bone marrow transplantation to treat humans with leukemia was met with varying degrees of skepticism and countless clinical failures. Yet, over those same decades, bone marrow transplantation was transformed from an insurmountable therapeutic option used in a ...

issues in oncology

Physicians, New Drugs, and Pharma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have approved record numbers of new cancer drugs recently. This is extraordinarily good news for physicians, patients, and drug companies, but it raises important questions as to how effective these drugs are, whether...


AML Pioneer and Giant, Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO, Dies at 77

Physicians and scientists interested in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have lost one of the community’s shining lights with the death of Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO, on March 1, 2020, at age 77 years. Dr. Bloomfield is well known for her more than 50 years of groundbreaking research in blood...

issues in oncology

Physicians and the Threat of Nuclear War

The Hippocratic Oath calls on physicians to “use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment,” but not all versions of the oath call on us to prevent disease. Here we urge our colleagues to acknowledge that additional mandate and renew their commitment to preventing what could ...

Has the Promise of Precision Medicine Been Oversold?

Recently, the term “personalized medicine” in oncology care has been overtaken by the more contemporary concept of “precision medicine.” According to the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the newer terminology shifts the focus to improving...

issues in oncology

What Precisely Is Precision Oncology—and Will It Work?

We know from chaos theory that even if you had a perfect model of the world, you’d need infinite precision in order to predict future events. —Nassim Nicholas Taleb The term “precision oncology” is used to describe diverse strategies in cancer medicine ranging from the use of targeted therapies...

pancreatic cancer

Recent Progress and Concepts in Pancreatic Cancer

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the impetus for this article. Pancreatic cancer is a huge health challenge. It's the eighth most common cancer in the United States and the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths but is expected to become the second most common cause of...

The Age of the Atomic Hematologists/Oncologists

Every longstanding culture has ages: The Minoans were followed by the Mycenaeans and, later, the Hellenistic peoples. And so it is with hematology/oncology. A descriptive age dominated predominately by histopathologists was followed by an age of experimentalists. Development of the atomic bombs...

issues in oncology

Will Oncologists Be the First to Cure Heart Disease?

Oncologists love jargon—a language peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group that facilitates communication among members. Our day-to-day communications, medical notes, and journal reports are filled with this type of jargon. Other definitions of jargon are less flattering, including...

2014 Featured Columnists

The ASCO Post wishes to acknowledge and thank all contributors to the publication during 2014. Here we recognize those who shared their personal thoughts in our Op-Ed department. If you are interested in contributing to The ASCO Post in 2015, write to   Robert Peter Gale, MD,...


Transplants for AML in First Remission: A Great Leap Forward, Sideways, or Backward?

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” —George Bernard Shaw (Annajanksa, 1918)   Until about 15 years ago, persons with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) were considered candidates to receive a blood cell or bone marrow allotransplant in first remission only if they had had an HLA-identical...


Does Low-Dose Radiation Cause Leukemia?

Data from A-bomb survivors, persons with ankylosing spondylitis and neoplasms treated with radiation therapy, and many other sources show a strong association between exposure to ionizing radiation (particles or electromagnetic waves with sufficient energy to cause an ionization such as photons and ...