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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.

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In a previous blog, I discussed “Hill Day,” the annual pilgrimage that your ASCO volunteers make to our nation's Capitol in support of federal cancer research funds. Hill Day was...
One of the more astonishing and unexpected developments of the past two decades has been the expansion of the clinical cancer research universe from a relatively few countries (the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia, to be precise) to an essentially global enterprise. This expansion...
Many thought the budget battle was over after Congress struck a deal in April to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2011. The cancer community collectively breathed a sigh of relief when the numbers came out and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received only a 0.8% reduction...
Two articles in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine should get you thinking about where we are as a profession.  Both have to do with prostate cancer, and while unrelated in their subject matter they both require us to address the same issue:  whom do we treat?
A few nights ago, I was invited to speak to the Board of Directors and Major Donors of the Breast Cancer Alliance. A hush came over the crowd as I described the real advances we are making in breast cancer research and treatment – how we are now able to sequence the human genome, determine genes...
I have been in the DC area the past three days and am now heading home to Indianapolis. Tuesday I spent at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD, where I was invited to give Grand Rounds at the NCI. Wednesday I took the Metro down to ASCO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. Today (...
In the practice of Oncology as well as the whole of Medicine, mentoring relationships are essential. Do you recall some of the mentors that have had the most impact on your training? Your clinical practice? I highly suspect there are some good stories out there!
Every year our Society salutes members with at least 20 years of service to our Society with the ASCO Statesman Award. This year’s 20 awardees, who will be honored at the Annual Meeting, are listed on the ASCO Connection...
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...
Just a brief note on the FLASCO meeting this past weekend. Our Florida colleagues met at the Tampa Airport Marriott for their annual state society meeting and were kind enough to invite me, for which I am grateful. The meeting was an interesting mix of the medical (...
The TCM cable channel is having a retrospective on the career of Elizabeth Taylor, showing several of her best films from the 1950s. It had been many years since I had seen her and Paul Newman in the film version of Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She and Newman light up the screen, with...
Many oncologists have probably been following Dr. Peter Bach’s moving and beautifully written series, recently concluded in the New York Times, about his wife Ruth's breast cancer...
What is old, is new again. Off-label use of oncology drugs is common; and has long been the focus of controversy. Payers are often confused by the broad use of a therapeutic across seemingly unrelated diagnoses. They look to the FDA label for guidance on the specific use of a drug. Yet the FDA-...
A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending Carnegie Hall in New York City, where I heard a concert by the Toronto Orchestra, with a guest solo by the famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. Perlman was magical, a true delight to listen to. My first thought that night was that God puts certain people...
ASCO and its members, whether we recognize it or not, are in the quality business. Our members, because society has an expectation of a high standard of care from physicians; our Society, because we are charged with helping establish the standards by which our members' claims to quality care are...
As an organization of clinical oncologists, ASCO has a special and lasting interest in the fate of the nation's ...
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting in San Antonio. This is always a busy meeting for me—between recruiting new talent, meeting with research collaborators, presenting and hearing the latest data, networking with friends and colleagues, and cheering on mentees...

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