Commentary

ASCOconnection.org is a forum for the exchange of views on topical issues in the field of oncology. The views expressed in the blogs, comments, and forums belong to the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Please read the Commenting Guidelines.

29 Jun 2015 03:36 PM
I see patients in three kinds of supportive scenarios. There are those who come to their visits with me by themselves. I understand why they come alone to address their sexual problems; they think that the problem is theirs to fix.
26 Jun 2015 01:24 PM
Few readers will remember Kenneth Feinberg. A lawyer by profession, in the wake of 9/11 and more recent tragedies such as the Boston Marathon bombing, he was responsible for answering the unanswerable question: How much is a human life worth?
18 Jun 2015 12:55 PM
The AMA House of Delegates (AMA-HOD) convened a few days after the ASCO Annual Meeting.  It was, in many ways, a continuation of many of the concerns reviewed at the annual ASCO gathering. The delegation representing ASCO is now composed of ASCO staff, along with Drs. Thomas Marsland, Ray Page,...
18 Jun 2015 09:51 AM
One of the best things about ASCO’s Annual meeting is the opportunity to catch up with colleagues. For me, oncology has always felt like a small community of like-minded clinicians who choose to dedicate their lives to the treatment and care of people with cancer. So, with each year, I look forward...
From the President
01 Jun 2015 01:55 PM

In 1964, when the first seven physicians who founded ASCO met, I doubt they imagined what a successful Society they were forming. At that time, cancer treatments were just beginning to have some early successes with a few cytotoxic therapies, new radiation modalities, and improved surgical techniques. Over the ensuing 50 years, the advancements in cancer care and research have been extraordinary. Fast forward to 2015 when ASCO has over 35,000 members from over 120 countries, and the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago has in excess of 37,000 attendees. Our founders would be so proud of what ASCO provides in education, information, support, mentorship, and research funding. I am very honored to be the 52nd President of ASCO and to represent our membership. I chose the theme of “Collective Wisdom: Patient-Centered Care and Research” to represent the importance of the multimodality care that is necessary for our patients. As this figure demonstrates (Fig. 1), the patient is...

05 Jun 2015 02:45 PM
Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy. Physicians, of course, focus on helping patients. Unfortunately, I often see patients’ frustrations with the health care system itself directed toward doctors. Doctors are under increasing pressures on multiple fronts. Yes, we’re imperfect, but making...
04 Jun 2015 12:29 PM
At a reception well attended by many prominent thoracic oncologists this week, after the last lung cancer sessions of this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting had ended, the atmosphere was jubilant. Some were relieved that their presentations had gone well and that they could finally relax. Most were glad...
04 Jun 2015 10:15 AM
Now that the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting has drawn to a close, it is with restrained optimism that I have returned home. While we have just spent the last few days learning about exciting innovations in cancer care, it is difficult to think of these advances without considering their cost, and one...
03 Jun 2015 01:59 PM
As someone who is interested in prostate cancer almost exclusively in my practice, listening to Dr. Nicholas James present the data from the STAMPEDE trial was of high interest.
01 Jun 2015 07:56 AM
You never forget your first time . . .The sense of trepidation is overwhelming, the fear of rejection intense. You wonder about your own worthiness, but with some encouragement, you reach out—never anticipating reciprocation. But then it happens . . . almost out of the blue . . . the embrace you...
30 May 2015 02:59 PM
At the 2015 Annual Meeting, I have the honor of discussing three posters regarding social media and online communication.
29 May 2015 11:20 AM
“Value” will be front and center at the ASCO Annual Meeting this year, so much so that it has earned its own search category as a cross-cutting theme in the ASCO Meeting iPlanner. While the word itself is now ever-present in our discussions of advancing cancer care, defining value is not so easy. ...
27 May 2015 12:34 PM
I am pleased to announce that nearly 6,000 abstracts were submitted for the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, a 7.5% increase from last year’s record total. This explosion of data and knowledge is why I chose the 2015 Annual Meeting theme “Illumination and Innovation: Transforming Data into Learning.” With...
26 May 2015 10:50 AM
Communication is at the very heart of palliative care. Understanding the patient, their family, and their goals is the bedrock upon which all palliative care is built. But how do we teach our colleagues, fellows, residents, and students? 
30 Apr 2015 02:19 PM
The NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) is a national network of cancer care investigators, providers, academia, and other...
24 Apr 2015 08:10 PM
Dear Colleagues: For many of us, the ASCO Annual Meeting is simply known as “ASCO.” It’s when we can count on learning about new scientific advances—some that will be truly practice changing. It’s where we come together to absorb and debate the many changes in our field, and most importantly...
16 Apr 2015 05:17 PM
One day in clinic, recently, I reviewed my daily schedule with the oncology fellows who were working with me that day.
13 Apr 2015 04:08 PM
ASCO is the most important oncology meeting in the world, with more than 30,000 attendees and hundreds of presentations. Over the last few years, we posted tips on how to navigate the ASCO Annual Meeting to get the maximum benefits of the events.
30 Mar 2015 10:57 AM
It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since my second blog. If you’ve been reading along, you know that I recently began a dialogue regarding challenges to the profession of medicine and the delivery of health care.
29 Jan 2015 12:26 PM
By Tina Atkinson, Lauren Burns, and Richard Penson.  LB sports a perky, punky, quiff of hair that is testimony to the fact that she is a survivor, but never as long as she’d like. No chips on her shoulders, no moss on her street. She is savvy, and racey, and fun. Her hairstyle is gelled and glossed...
12 Nov 2014 06:42 PM
By Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer of ASCO. During the past six weeks I’ve had the opportunity to attend cancer meetings in four countries on three continents. In September, I represented ASCO at the annual meeting of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) in Xiamen,...
24 Oct 2014 08:54 AM
As the first Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium kicks off, it is striking to think how this meeting has taken shape and how it intersects with ASCO during its 50th year of existence. Like me, ASCO was born in 1964. Interestingly, that same year, Dame Cicely Saunders (the founder of the modern...
12 Aug 2014 01:15 PM
A few days ago I had the opportunity to fly in a small passenger (9-person) plane. I’m not a good flyer in general and really small planes make me nervous. I sat directly behind the pilot and decided he must be a good pilot based on his appearance and demeanor (the only data I had). He looked old...
29 Jul 2014 01:46 PM
I am writing because I really want everyone’s input—comments, email, phone calls, written notes—on an issue that has been a slowly growing concern for all of us at ASCO: Our election and specifically our members’ participation in it. While we may pat ourselves on our collective backs for selecting...
06 Jan 2014 10:18 AM
Perhaps the most evocative essay that I have ever read is David Steensma's piece entitled "Reassurance" in the Art of Oncology section of the JCO, published in August 2004. Dr. Steensma writes an emotionally and visually powerful essay...
18 Oct 2013 01:36 PM
Last month the Associate Editors of Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient education website, met for the annual editors’ meeting. This was my first meeting since I became Editor-In-Chief in June after serving as an Associate Editor. The meeting was terrific—the editors were...
25 Jun 2013 11:48 AM
I looked ridiculous. Dressed in the black-and-white-striped soccer referee shirt, I looked like roadkill on a black asphalt road with the white sidewalk markings. It reminded me of how uncomfortable I looked in my interview suit and tie as a medical student interviewing at residency programs....
28 Mar 2013 10:34 AM
I am so excited about the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, and I hope that you will join us in Chicago—or if you can’t make it, through Virtual Meeting—to bring ideas, inspiration, and treatment options back to your patients.
16 Mar 2013 03:17 PM
Like many other readers of ascoconnection.org, I was inspired by ASCO president Sandra Swain’s blogs on “Women in Oncology.” Those blogs and the recent publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s empowering book, “Lean In,” have gotten me thinking about the plight of the female oncologist.
15 Jan 2013 07:28 AM
The Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) is in its eighth year of publication and has remained focused on presenting data-oriented articles highlighting issues related to the mechanisms of oncology care delivery.
17 Sep 2012 10:21 AM
Each year, ASCO presents awards to leading scientists, clinicians, and advocates whose contributions to our understanding and treatment of cancer and to the delivery of cancer therapy have bettered the lives of the patients for whom we care. Most of these awards are presented at the ASCO Annual...
13 Feb 2012 11:15 AM
Reading the news about the current shortage of methotrexate filled me with shame and anger and sorrow. Sometime during the past few years my country, which developed the drugs and regimens that cured most of childhood leukemia, became part of the third world. Parents in the United States now know...
20 Apr 2011 09:46 AM
In early February, my new patient was a middle-aged woman from here in Silicon Valley with a self-discovered 2 cm right breast mass. Her internist was all over this. She quickly had a core needle biopsy, was evaluated by one of our breast surgeons, and was referred to me for an opinion regarding...