Plumbing the Core and Nibbling at the Margins of Cancer

Cancer Commons Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, is the face and curator of this invitation-only column

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    How an Expert Would Manage His Wife’s Metastatic Breast Cancer

    With: Richard B. Schwab, MD

    For most people with breast cancer, a lump is the first sign that leads to diagnosis. But some cases are not detected until after spread has already occurred. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Richard B. Schwab, MD, how he would approach such a case if his own wife were the patient. Dr. Schwab is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and… Read more »

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    How Would an Expert Handle His Own Cancer of Unknown Origin Causing Severe Back Pain?

    With: Marc B. Garnick, MD

    Treating cancer that has been fully diagnosed can be a complex challenge. But sometimes the process of diagnosis itself presents an urgent puzzle. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Marc B. Garnick, MD, how he would approach his own case of an unknown form of cancer. Dr. Garnick is the Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Beth Israel Deaconess… Read more »

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    How an Expert Would Treat Her Own Metastatic Melanoma

    With: Pauline Funchain, MD

    Cancer patients often ask their doctors, “What would you do if you were me?” Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Cleveland Clinic oncologist Pauline Funchain, MD, how she would handle her own diagnosis of advanced melanoma. Curious Dr. George: What would you do if you personally were discovered on a routine exam to have abnormal liver function tests that led to scans and the… Read more »

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    The Latest in Melanoma Treatment: A Guest Perspective

    With: Ryan Sullivan, MD

    What’s new in melanoma treatment? Our chief scientist Emma Shtivelman, PhD, recently outlined the latest options. Here, our Curious Dr. George invites a response from Ryan Sullivan, MD, Associate Director of the Melanoma Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Curious Dr. George: As a melanoma expert, what are your thoughts on the treatments outlined in our… Read more »

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    Helping Patients Access Investigational Treatments

    With: Lea Ann Browning-McNeeSusan C. Winckler, RPh, Esq.

    For some advanced cancer patients, the best course of action may lie beyond standard treatment options. Some of these patients can enroll in clinical trials that investigate promising new treatments. But others may find their best option is to apply for individual “expanded access” to an investigational treatment. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks two leaders from the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and… Read more »

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    When is the Best Time to Seek a Clinical Trial for Glioblastoma?

    With: Eric Wong, MD

    For some people with glioblastoma brain tumors, enrolling in a clinical trial enables access to cutting-edge treatment. Here, our Curious Dr. George talks clinical trials with Cancer Commons Expert Physician Advisor, Eric T. Wong, MD. Dr. Wong is also Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Curious Dr. George: Malignant… Read more »

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    How Can Detection of Tumor DNA in the Blood Aid Advanced Cancer Treatment?

    With: Alexey Aleshin, MD, MBAPaul Billings, MD, PhD

    As a tumor grows, it may shed fragments of its DNA into the patient’s bloodstream. After treatment, if part of the tumor remains or it begins to grow again, more of this circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) may enter the blood. That raises the possibility that detecting ctDNA could help clinicians monitor molecular or minimal residual disease—cancer that remains after treatment and cannot be detected… Read more »

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    Can Really Big Data Inform Precise Decisions for Individual Patients?

    With: Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA

    New technologies are transforming cancer research. By optimizing research protocols and leveraging data more efficiently and intelligently, these tools hold the promise to improve personalized cancer care. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA, VP of Informatics at TriNetX, LLC, about the capabilities of his company’s platform. Curious Dr. George: Translational medicine has evolved to include personalized medicine and… Read more »

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    How an Expert Would Treat His Own Advanced Lung Cancer

    With: Jack West, MD

    A new cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. Patients often ask their doctors, “What would you do if you were me?” Here, our Curious Dr. George asks lung cancer expert Howard (Jack) West, MD, how he would handle his own diagnosis of advanced lung cancer. Dr. West is a Princeton- and Harvard-educated oncologist with additional training and experience in Boston and Seattle focusing on lung cancer.… Read more »

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    How an Expert Would Manage Her Own Advanced Ovarian Cancer

    With: Summer Dewdney, MD

    Cancer patients often ask their doctors, “What would you do if you were me?” Here, our Curious Dr. George asks oncologist Summer Dewdney, MD, how she would handle her own diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. Dr. Dewdney is Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Curious Dr. George: You are an expert clinical oncologist treating patients… Read more »