Blogs

Blogs

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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Odds are that you have been faced with a similar dilemma. I have a new patient, not yet 40 years old, who was recently diagnosed with bilateral locally advanced breast cancer. Staging scans did not reveal metastatic disease. I recommended systemic therapy with doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, a...
I’m not sure when it started, but I have a favorite tradition of New Year’s Day bookstore browsing. And buying. Yes, I often buy enough books each January 1st to get me through a couple of years of leisure reading (at least). And there is much to be said for a book browsing visit to Harvard Square...
Earlier this week I passed my friend and colleague, Dr. Ekaterini Tsiapali, in the stairwell. We rarely get to catch up these days, so it was really quite a nice surprise to see her."What...
This is probably the question I get asked the most when I tell people that I am an oncologist. It’s a question I have asked myself a number of times in the past as well. Now it’s a question I am facing again... My first exposure to this was when my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in...
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...
At age 24, Will Reiser started to have some back pain and lose weight. After what I am sure most of us would consider way too long a time, he was evaluated and diagnosed with a neurofibrosarcoma. After some upfront treatment, his disease was resected and he is, by all reports, doing well. Sounds...
Around this time each year I find myself thinking about patients usually—and especially those that have passed away. I wonder how their families are coping, how their children are, and whether each day has gotten easier. I think about how my patients died—and whether or not I did enough to ensure...
I had a phone call last week that I was expecting but dreading. Like many oncologists, I travel to smaller area hospitals for outreach clinics. This was a call from one of those hospitals telling me that they could not get one of the chemotherapy drugs for a patient there. This is a patient being...
A recent article in the ASCO Post has me thinking quite a bit about information and communication and the application of these concepts to...
In my first blog post on this topic, I discussed the challenges of creating a culture of cure. It seems that the first hurdle we have to overcome before we talk further about...
This week the FDA decided to withdraw bevacizumab's indication for treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The earlier indication had been approved under FDA's accelerated approval process wherein final approval was conditional on the generation of confirmatory evidence based on clinical trials.
The November 3rd edition of the NEJM features a Perspective article on drug shortages by Mandy Gatesman and Thomas J Smith (NEJM 365:18 page 163) that address many of the causative issues that underlie this growing national problem.  
From age six through high school, I played baseball. Playing baseball ended, rather abruptly it seemed, when I went to college, but the lure of the game has always remained. To my colleagues, it must seem that I can hardly understand the world without the comfort of baseball analogies. I was...
What does a healthy medicine and oncology “ecosystem” look like?
I am writing this blog while sitting in my favorite chair at Gate 44 in Reagan National Airport. Why, you might ask, would I have a favorite chair at an airport? Because after four years of service on various ASCO committees, I ride an intellectual and professional high after each meeting. I sit in...
I had written about abandonment of care among children in the developing world as a grave concern for oncologists everywhere because of its implications for our failure to deliver the...
It is with great anticipation that the Results of the ASCO Study of Collaborative Practice Arrangements has now been published in the JOP. Key findings in this important study include: Physician and nonphysician practitioner (NPP...
During the past year, I became an avid reader of the Journal of Oncology Practice. This was not to the detriment of either the JCO or any of the other scientific browsing I perform. It was, instead, recognition that being a good clinician now...

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