OBR Daily Commentary

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Pursuing a New Palliative Care Paradigm

(ASCO Connection Magazine) Jan 7, 2011 - Palliative care is frequently perceived as an end-of-life measure, an option only when curative or life-prolonging therapy is no longer beneficial.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 10, 2011)

quotesThe concept of "palliative" care and end-of-life care definitely needs more discussion. We should not be put off by the politicizing of the so-called "death panels." I remember an old professor telling me a long time ago that there is a big difference between prolonging the living and prolonging the dying. We definitely want to do the former but not the latter. Better training and education are critical in help with this. I applaud ASCO's efforts....quotes

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When Insurers Put Profits Between Doctor and Patient

(New York Times) Jan 6, 2011 - A 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan was in desperate need of a transplant after receiving aggressive treatment that cured her recurrent leukemia but caused her liver to fail.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 10, 2011)

quotesI see this as a growing problem. As we transition more and more into "evidence"-based pathways, I become concerned about patients who fall outside of the guidelines. Whose evidence takes precedence??? I have never provided a treatment for which there was at least some evidence, yet today many of these treatments would probably be denied since they may not have been based on the gold standard of randomized Phase III trials. Payers have to understand that not every patient will fit the protocol. I share the concerns that ultimately cost and not patient care will be driving the decision-makers. quotes

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The New Republic: Why Avastin Repeal Isn't Harmful

(NPR) Jan 5, 2011 - You wouldn't know it from the commentary, but the FDA has been rejecting drugs without proven benefits and with such serious side effects since long before the phrase "Obamacare" was even part of the political lexicon.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 06, 2011)

quotesMost drugs used in clinical oncology are "off label" meaning for non-FDA approved indications. Avastin may yet be a useful drug in breast cancer for selected patients. The key will be in identifying those patients. I hope the payer community does not decide to just deny payment for "all" patients with breast cancer. quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Health Policy
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Joseph Bailes, MD

National Health Policy Expert...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Professor and Physician-in-Chief of the Ohios State Uni...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...