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global cancer care

C.S. Pramesh, MS, FRCS, Seeks to Bring Equity to India’s Sprawling Cancer Care System

In this installment of The ASCO Post’s Living a Full Life series, Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, spoke with C.S. Pramesh, MS, FRCS, Director of the Tata Memorial Hospital and Professor and Head of Thoracic Surgery at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India. Dr. Pramesh is the Convener of the...

Before Becoming a Leader in Multiple Myeloma Research, Sarah A. Holstein, MD, PhD, Considered a Career in Music

Myeloma expert Sarah A. Holstein, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Iowa City, a college town in eastern Iowa along the banks of the Iowa River. “The town itself is small, but it doubles in population when all the college students are present. Both my parents had a PhD in humanities, so I had no...

prostate cancer

A Urologic Surgeon Shares His Insights on Robotic Radical Prostatectomy

In 2000, the da Vinci Surgical System broke new ground by becoming the first robotic surgery system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for general laparoscopic surgery. In its early years, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy was characterized by some in the surgical community as an...

Saul A. Rosenberg, MD, FASCO, a Pioneer in the Field of Lymphoma, Dies at 95

For anacademic oncologist, there is no greater reward than to be part of the clinical research that turns a fatal cancer into a highly treatable disease. Saul A. Rosenberg, MD, FASCO, was one such researcher who pioneered advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of lymphoma,...

V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, the ‘Father of Tamoxifen,’ Recounts a Life of Adventure and Science

In 2019, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appointed V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, Companion of the Most Distinguished order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG), honoring his extraordinary scientific work in the development of selective estrogen receptor modulators, most notably...

global cancer care

A Surgical Oncologist From Afghanistan Discusses the Challenges of Delivering Cancer Care in a War-Torn Nation

In this installment of The ASCO Post’s Global Oncology series, Guest Editor Chandrakanth Are, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FACS, spoke with Ahmad Bashir Barekzai, MD, FACS, Consultant Surgical Oncologist at Ali Abad Teaching Hospital, an affiliated hospital to Kabul University of Medical Science, Kabul,...

His Grandmother’s Death Inspires a Career in Oncology for Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, MD, MBA

In this installment of Living a Full Life, Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, MD, MBA, Deputy Director, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chief of Solid Tumor Medical Oncology at Miami Cancer Institute, where his research focuses on the development of new therapies for...

global cancer care

Noted Oncology Surgeon Kevin Billingsley, MD, MBA, FACS, Uses Life Experiences to Mold His Leadership Philosophy

In this installment of The ASCO Post’s Global Oncology series, Guest Editor Chandrakanth Are, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FACS, spoke with Kevin Billingsley, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer of the Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Although interracial marriage is common in the United States...

Ariela L. Marshall, MD, Advocates for Equity and Reproductive Health in the Hematology-Oncology Community

In this installment of Living a Full Life, Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, spoke with Ariela L. Marshall, MD, Director, Women’s Hemostasis and Thrombosis Program at Penn Medicine. Along with her clinical and research activities, Dr. Marshall is also an advocate for women’s health and equity in ...

Turning Point

On a cool, gray November morning, I took the call from a walk-in doctor about Carla, a 26-year-old woman with progressive lymphadenopathy who was refusing investigations because of severe needle phobia. Carla was willing to meet with me to discuss treatment options for a suspected diagnosis of...

An International Leader Bridges the Political Divide in the Name of Humanity and Cancer Care

Michael Silbermann, DMD, PhD, was born on January 19, 1935, in the old quarter of Acre, a northern Arab city stretching along the north end of the Bay of Haifa in present-day Israel. “Acre, which was developed more than 4,000 years ago, was one of the primary harbors of the Phoenician people....

Growing Up in a House Filled With Science Leads to a Career in Breast Cancer and Health Outcomes Research

Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Texas Oncology, was reared in Plano, Texas, a city in the sprawling Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. “My father was an electrical engineer with a PhD, and all throughout my childhood, I was exposed to the wonders ...

A Community Practitioner and Policy Advocate Who Stresses Holistic, Patient-Centered Care

Community practices have long been a keystone of our nation’s oncology care delivery system by allowing patients with cancer to receive specialized treatment near their homes and places of business. Innovative clinicians in the community setting are also leading efforts to create a more efficient...

A Nationally Regarded Pediatric Oncologist Found His Passion Early

ASCO Past President, Michael Link, MD, who has pioneered new strategies for treating common childhood cancers, was born and reared in a suburb of Cleveland. “My first significant exposure to medicine was my own family doctor, Dr. J.W. Epstein. Looking back, I was impressed by the combination of...

A Fascination With Bats Leads to a Career in Oncology and a Role in Championing Equity in the Workforce

According to internationally regarded neuroendocrine tumor specialist, Pamela Kunz, MD, her career path was kickstarted by childhood bat-hunting expeditions in barns and caves throughout rural New England. “My father was an environmental biologist at Boston University who studied bats. Although at...

From the Segregated Tennis Courts of Washington, DC, to a Leadership Role in Surgical Oncology

Success in tennis demands precision timing, extraordinary hand-eye dexterity, and commanding mental and physical vigor. According to Harold P. Freeman, MD, the discipline and skills he learned on the tennis courts at an early age stood him in good stead during his remarkable life’s journey. “My...

hematologic malignancies
immunotherapy

A Leader in Oncology Balances Philosophy, Medicine, and Humility

"The reality is that closure is a myth. My personal and professional experience with those who have lost friends and family, including children, has taught me that going on with life is not the same as gaining closure. The wound of loss is a part of each person’s life forever,” wrote...

A Personal Cancer Journey Shifts a Career in the Arts to a Career in Radiation Oncology

It is safe to assume that most oncologists take a fairly straight career path, beginning with the decision to become a doctor. Along the educational journey from medical school to fellowship, an event or mentor usually incites the passion to pursue the challenging field of oncology. Although Fumiko ...

solid tumors

An Emergency Room Physician Offers Hands-on Perspective for Treating Patients With Cancer

According to research in the literature, adults with cancer generate high rates of emergency department visits, leading to hospitalization roughly 60% of the time—nearly four times the rate of the general population. Although many of these visits could be prevented, this phenomenon offers numerable ...

breast cancer

An Early Love of Science Led to a Career in Breast Cancer Research for Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH

In this installment of Living a Full Life, Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, a faculty member of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she is Chief of the Breast Cancer Program. Her current research focuses on the development of novel ...

From a Small Village in China to Cutting-Edge Clinical Cancer Research for Cynthia X. Ma, MD, PhD

Cynthia X. Ma, MD, PhD, was born in a small village in Hebei, a province in the Central China region. “I grew up in a poor village with less than 1,000 people. We had no medical services in our village, so we had to travel to the city to see a doctor, which was quite some distance away. In the...

issues in oncology

Brazilian Oncologist Antônio Drauzio Varella, MD, Rises From the Streets of São Paulo to International Fame

In this edition of Living a Full Life, Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Antônio Drauzio Varella, MD, a Brazilian oncologist, educator, scientist, and medical science popularizer in the press and television, as well as a best-selling author. Antônio Drauzio Varella, MD, was born in 1943 in ...

issues in oncology

Emerging Issues Regarding Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Research and Clinical Practice

Artificial intelligence (AI) has captured society’s imagination and generated enthusiasm for its potential to improve our quality of life, especially in the health-care arena. The availability of high-dimensionality data sets along with innovations in high-performance computing and deep-learning...

pain management

Studies Show That Laws to Limit Opioid Prescribing Have Hampered Pain Control for Patients With Cancer

In 2015, an unprecedented phenomenon occurred in the United States: according to the World Bank Group, the nation’s average life expectancy fell from 78.8 years in 2014 to 78.7 years in 2015, then to 78.5 years in 2017. The last time our life expectancy registered a similar decline was in the years ...

issues in oncology
covid-19

Challenges for Oncologists as They Reach Retirement Age

In 2014, The ASCO Post spoke with Mark J. Clemons, MB BS, BMedSci, MSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPC, of Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, about the retirement challenges faced by many oncologists. With market demand expected to exceed supply of oncologists soon, it is clear retirement is...

From the Vietnam War to the Stanford Cancer Institute: The Professional Journey of Quynh-Thu Le, MD

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor, Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, spoke with Quynh-Thu Le, MD, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Co-Director of the Radiation Biology Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute, and one of the Group Chairs of the NRG Oncology...

Passionate About Surgical Oncology, Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, Is a Leader in Japanese Clinical Trials

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, a clinical breast cancer expert who is keen on research that translates basic science into clinical study. He is involved in various innovative research projects on the development ...

hematologic malignancies

Ronald S. Go, MD, on Managing Histiocytic Neoplasms: New NCCN Guidelines

Ronald S. Go, MD, of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, discusses the new NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for the most common types of histiocytic neoplasms in adults—Erdheim-Chester disease, Langerhans cell histiocytosis, and Rosai-Dorfman disease, all considered rare among hematologic...

Early Experiences in the United States Helped Shape an International Oncology Career for Aleix Prat, MD, PhD

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Aleix Prat, MD, PhD, Head of the Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. Dr. Prat, a breast cancer researcher, is currently working to identify strategies to tailor treatment for...

Franco M. Muggia, MD, Internationally Regarded Chemotherapy Pioneer, Dies at 85

Today’s life-saving chemotherapeutics originated from the vision and indefatigable work of pioneers in the field whose unwavering vision challenged the status quo. One such pioneer was Franco M. Muggia, MD, who, in a career lasting more than 50 years, had a hand in the development of some of the...

Emily K. Bergsland, MD: Specializing in Neuroendocrine Tumors, With a Broad Focus on Collaborative Research

Gastrointestinal oncologist Emily K. Bergsland, MD, was born and spent her formative years in La Crosse, Wisconsin, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River. “No one in my family was in the medical field; however, both my parents valued higher education. In fact, when I was in high school, my ...

An Oncologist’s Prescription: Humanity and Love

Cancer care is one of the most technical and scientific of all medical disciplines. Oncologists must keep abreast of a dizzying array of novel treatment options coming out of the laboratory while delivering empathetic care for the physical and emotional needs of their patients with cancer....

Gastrointestinal Oncologist Focuses on Both the Art and Science of Treating Patients With Cancer

Chloe Atreya, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her mother is a poet, and her father is a planetary physicist and a professor at the University of Michigan. “Some of my early memories that influenced my decision to go into medicine stem from conversations I had with my father...

neuroendocrine tumors

Neuroendocrine Tumor Specialist Pamela Kunz, MD, Looks to Promote Equity in the Workforce

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Pamela Kunz, MD, Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Kunz is an international leader in the clinical care of patients with neuroendocrine...

global cancer care

Early Adopter of Breast Conservation, Surgical Oncologist Augusto Leon, MD, Reflects on Cancer Care in Chile

In this installment of the occasional department on Global Health-Care Equity, Guest Editor, Chandrakanth Are, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FACS, spoke with Augusto Leon, MD, a surgical oncologist and Head of the Program of Cancer at Pontifical University of Chile, Santiago. Dr. Are is JL & CJ Varner...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Addressing Sexuality Challenges Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum

Multiple studies have shown that sexuality and intimacy problems are common among patients with cancer, often beginning at the time of diagnosis and persisting through the continuum of care into the survivorship setting. Although these problems have been well documented, many patients and survivors ...

palliative care

The Daughter of a Fighter Pilot Becomes a Leader in Compassionate Cancer Care

Jamie H. Von Roenn, MD, FASCO, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago as the middle child of three girls. She was, by her own account, extremely shy by nature. Her mother was a graduate of the University of Chicago, but her father’s college education was preempted by his service as a fighter pilot in...

hematologic malignancies

After a Flirtation With Infectious Disease, Hematology Calls, Leading to a Notable Career

High-quality cancer care is a complex mixture of science and art, made even more challenging by the dizzying array of coding, billing, and data collection regulations that must be taken into account. Synthesizing all the parts into value-based, whole-patient care across the wide spectrum of the...

head and neck cancer

A Pioneer in Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Whose Career Was Founded on Passion and Dedication

The term “head and neck surgery” had little meaning until the 1940s, when it was used by groundbreaking surgeon Hayes Martin, MD, in one of his publications. Dr. Martin was then Chief of Head and Neck Services at Memorial Hospital, later renamed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), where...

A Career in Cardio-oncology Founded on Simple Principles Taught by Her Immigrant Parents

Cardio-oncology focuses on the detection, monitoring, and treatment of cardiovascular disease occurring secondary to cancer treatment, and the mechanistic and epidemiologic intersection between cardiovascular disease and cancer. With the advent of targeted agents and immunotherapies,...

lung cancer

Serendipity Plays a Role in a Journey to a Noted Career in Surgical Oncology

Over the past 2 decades, the oncologic mantra “early detection leads to cure” has taken on special meaning in lung cancer, persistently a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. “Over a 25-year period, we’ve seen a revolution in early detection, understanding of tumor biology, and...

geriatric oncology

A Pioneer in Geriatric Oncology Leaves His Mark and Marches Forward

The field of geriatric oncology has developed steadily over the past several decades, thanks to the dedication of a close-knit community of oncologists who have devoted their careers to advancing multidisciplinary care for older patients with cancer. One such leader is Silvio Monfardini, MD, past...

A Brooklyn Girl Bucks Her Old-Fashioned Upbringing to Become a Leader in Bone Marrow Transplantation

In the face of old school mores, self-motivation and perseverance were needed to build a career as a nationally regarded blood and bone marrow transplant expert. “I was born and reared in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest of seven children of Irish-Italian parents who did not espouse professional...

A Doctor’s Daughter Becomes a Pioneer in Cancer Survivorship

Although quality of life has been an implicit medical outcome since the time of Hippocrates, integrating the explicit effort to assess the effects of cancer treatment on the patient’s quality—and not quantity—of life was spearheaded by dedicated pioneers. One such trailblazer is Patricia A. Ganz,...

pancreatic cancer

A Love for Surgery Underpins a Career Devoted to Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

There are few, if any, more difficult clinical challenges than pancreatic cancer, a disease that continues to confound the oncology community’s quest for cure. Yet, incremental progress and unflagging optimism drive the way forward, thanks to the researchers and clinicians who have dedicated their...

Enduring Cancer and Its Treatment With Resilience and Humor

Most cancer memoirs have a similar thread: life suddenly interrupted by arguably the three most dreaded words in the English language, “You have cancer.” Readers anticipate the high-drama uncertainty leading to diagnosis, treatment, and hopefully survivorship, with multiple human storylines woven...

geriatric oncology

An Epiphany During Fellowship Led to a Career in Geriatric Oncology for Heidi D. Klepin, MD, MS

Geriatric oncologist Heidi D. Klepin, MD, MS, was born and reared in Pearl River, a hamlet on the west side of the Hudson River in New York. “My parents are German immigrants who came to the United States in the 1960s looking for prospects. Growing up in post-war Germany, neither had the...

Drive, Curiosity, and a Love of Science: One Nurse’s Road to a Leadership Role in Oncology

For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, FAAN, noted for her work in patient-reported outcomes, symptom management, and comparative effectiveness of radiotherapy modalities. Her current research is focused on...

A Physician-Scientist’s Mother, Who Nursed Those With Chronic Diseases, Fueled His Passion for Biomedical Research

For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, MACP, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Rodgers, a physician-scientist,...

breast cancer

An Oncologist and His Wife Share a Personal Cancer Story

Gastrointestinal oncologist John Marshall, MD, is well known for his candid observations about cancer treatment and research. In 2006, all the scientific intricacies and sociopolitical dramas of oncology coalesced in Dr. Marshall’s life when his 43-year-old wife, Liza, was diagnosed with breast...

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