55 episodes

The ASCO Education Podcast features expert conversations on the most talked-about topics in oncology today from physician burnout, medical cannabis, COVID and cancer and more…

ASCO Education American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.4 • 29 Ratings

The ASCO Education Podcast features expert conversations on the most talked-about topics in oncology today from physician burnout, medical cannabis, COVID and cancer and more…

    Cancer Topics - Career Paths in Oncology (Part 1)

    Cancer Topics - Career Paths in Oncology (Part 1)

    In part one, of this two-part ASCO Education podcast episode, host Dr. Jeremy Cetnar (Oregon Health & Science University) interviews two very accomplished physicians and researchers, Dr. Lauren Abrey and Dr. Jason Faris. We’ll hear about their motivations for pursuing medicine and how they arrived at the different positions they’ve held in academia and industry. 
    If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at https://education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org.
    Dr. Jeremy Cetnar: Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Education podcast episode on career paths and oncology. My name is Jeremy Cetnar. I’m a Medical Oncologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. I’m delighted to introduce today’s two guests, whose careers in oncology have crisscrossed academia and industry. Dr. Lauren Abrey and Dr. Jason Faris, I’m excited to chat with you about the inspiration and motivations that drive you, people you’ve leaned on, how you’ve made your career decisions, challenges you’ve faced, and more. 

    So let’s start by asking each of you, could you share a little bit about your early life and background, what attracted you to medicine, and who are some of your early mentors and role models? Let’s start with you, Dr. Faris. 

    Dr. Jason Faris: Yeah, I’d be happy to. Thank you. So, I grew up in a small town in South Jersey in Greater Philadelphia. My mom was a registered nurse in pediatrics in the maternal infant unit for many years at Cooper Hospital. I was always interested in science and medicine and my mom’s dedication to her patients. Her altruism and compassion served as a real inspiration for me, for my eventual decision to go to medical school. But I took a long time to get there. I had a bit of a circuitous route to arrive to my career in medicine though it started off conventionally enough. I was initially geared towards a premedical track in college, majoring in biology, but an exciting summer research project, working on the biochemical mechanisms underlying osmoregulation in a marine crustacean with mentoring from my first true mentor, Dr. Don Lovett, led me to apply to and attend graduate school in molecular biology at Princeton. 

    This was followed by a position at Merck as a molecular biologist in the genetic and cellular toxicology group. I went to veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania where I met my future wife. And then finally, back to the original plan of attending medical school, but I have to say with a much better sense of why I wanted to attend medical school in the first place, now in my late 20s, which was a bit unconventional at the time. I really did my fair share of exploration of Allied Health careers. That’s for sure. I attended Johns Hopkins for medical school, where I quickly discovered a passion for internal medicine. And that was far and away my favorite clerkship and sub-internship. That's the background to how I got to medical school. 

    Dr. Jeremy Cetnar: Dr. Abrey? 

    Dr. Lauren Abrey: Interesting. I love your story. We share... I grew up in a small town, not so far away, but I was in upstate New York. And I think there were two influences that kind of got me to my ultimate passion for brain tumors. And this sounds a little quirky to start with. But I had a pretty serious head injury as a tween. So I guess I was about 12. I had a skull fracture, epidural hematoma. And while I would never have said I woke up at that moment and thought I have to be a doctor, I think I became fascinated about things to do with the brain. 

    In parallel, something that I think tinged a lot of my childhood was a number of family members who had cancer. So both of my grandmothers had breast cancer, while I was well aware of the fact that they were sick and battling this. And two of my aunts also had cancer. And I would say it's an interesting split in my family. So about

    • 26 min
    Advanced Practice Providers - APPs 101: What and Who Are Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)?

    Advanced Practice Providers - APPs 101: What and Who Are Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)?

    Partners in cancer care – who are advanced practice providers? In the first episode of ASCO Education’s podcast series on Advanced Practice Providers (APPs), co-hosts Todd Pickard (MD Anderson Cancer Center) and Dr. Stephanie Williams (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine), along with guest speaker, Wendy Vogel (Harborside/APSHO), discuss who advanced practice providers are, share an overview of what they do, and why they are important to oncology care teams. If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at https://education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org
    Todd Pickard: Hello everyone, and welcome to the ASCO Education Podcast, episode number one of the 'Advanced Practice Providers' series, 'APPs 101: What and Who Are Advanced Practice Providers?'
    I'd like to introduce my co-host for this series, Dr. Stephanie Williams. My name is Todd Pickard. I'm an advanced practice provider, I'm a PA, and I work at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. I'm also the Executive Director of Advanced Practice and my clinical practice is in urology. Dr. Williams, how about you introduce yourself?
    Dr. Stephanie Williams: Thanks, Todd, and thanks for this opportunity to present this incredibly important topic. I am currently retired from clinical practice. I had been in practice for over 35 years both in an academic setting, a private practice, and more recently in a large institutional, multi-specialty institutional type of practice. My primary clinical care has been in stem cell transplants and cellular therapy. And we have used APPs, both PAs and NPs for a couple of decades in our particular area.
    Todd Pickard: Great, thanks for that. I'd also like to introduce you to our guest panelist today, Wendy Vogel from Harborside, who is a certified oncology nurse practitioner with over 20 years of clinical experience and expertise.
    We're excited to be chatting with Wendy today about the basics of advanced practice providers and who they are. This will be an introduction for the rest of the upcoming episodes of APP Podcasts. Wendy, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice.
    Wendy Vogel: Thanks, Todd. It is a pleasure to be here. I appreciate you asking me to talk. I am an oncology nurse practitioner as you said. I do a high-risk cancer clinic and do that a couple of days a month. And I am also the executive director of APSHO, the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology.
    Todd Pickard: Great! We're looking forward to a robust and informative discussion today between the three of us. So, I’d like to get started with some basics. Wendy, do you want to always start with a definition of advanced practice registered nurse?
    Wendy Vogel: Okay, great question! So, APRNs or advanced practice registered nurse include nurse practitioners. It can include clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives.
    And generally, APRNs hold at least a master's degree in addition to some initial nursing education as a registered nurse. Some APRNs have doctorates like the DNP or Doctorate of Nursing Practice. But licensure for APRNs generally falls under the State Board of Nursing.
    So, we're also required to have a board certification, usually as some sort of generalist as in family medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, women or acute care. But in oncology, many APRNs also carry oncology certification.
    Todd Pickard: Excellent! Thanks for that. I'll go ahead and add to the conversation by defining physician assistant. So, physician assistants are individuals who are trained in the medical model and are licensed to practice medicine in team-based settings with physicians.
    Very much like advanced practice registered nurses, we come from a variety of backgrounds, and our education model is really focused on thinking about the patient the same way that our physician colleagues do.
    We're trained in really taking a very broad look at patient care

    • 37 min
    Oncology, Etc. - In Conversation with Dr. Richard Pazdur (Part 1)

    Oncology, Etc. - In Conversation with Dr. Richard Pazdur (Part 1)

    In part one of this ASCO Education Podcast episode, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Oncology Center of Excellence Dr. Richard Pazdur talks with hosts Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Patrick Loehrer about his upbringing in Indiana, his family, and his circuitous route to oncology. If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at https://education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: Hi, I’m Pat Loehrer. I'm the director of the Center of Global Oncology and Health Equity at Indiana University.
    Dr. David Johnson: I'm Dave Johnson at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. Pat, great to be back with another episode of Oncology, Etc, an ASCO educational podcast. We have a very special guest today, Dr. Richard Pazdur, from the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence.
    I’m really looking forward to this conversation.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: This will be terrific.
    Dr. David Johnson: Yeah. You were telling me before we got started about a little event that occurred this week, maybe you want to elaborate on that for us.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: Yeah, we always start out this by talking about books, and one of the books I'm drawn to today is a book called, The Emperor of All Maladies, which was written by Dr. Mukherjee several years ago.
    I want to read a little bit from this because it has pertinence. This is about a guy named John Cleveland. Dr. Mukherjee writes, he goes, ‘In 1973 Cleveland was a 22-year-old veterinary student in Indiana. In August that year, two months after his marriage, he discovered a rapidly enlarging lump in his right testis. He was whisked off to the operating room for surgery and returned with a scar and he was diagnosed with metastatic testis cancer.
    This was right around the time that Larry Einhorn came to Indiana University where he was treated with a three-drug cocktail of actinomycin-D, bleomycin, and oncovin ABO. And then he had a brief remission progressing and was treated with mithramycin mithrymicin.
    And then in October of 1974, he once again developed progressive disease, and Larry approached him about a new cocktail with the drug cisplatin, that had never been used before in combination, and Larry's thought was to put it together with another couple of drugs.”
    So, I'll just finish reading this. “In October 7, 1974, Cleveland took the gamble, he enrolled as patient zero for BVP, an acronym for the new regimen containing Bleomycin, Vinblastine and cisplatin. 10 days later, he returned for routine scans and the tumors in his lungs had vanished. He was ecstatic and mystified. He called his wife from the hospital phone. I can't remember what he said, but I told her the results.
    So, John was the first one cured of testis cancer. Back then it was a 5% cure rate. Today, it's 95%. He is really the hero of heroes. Last week, at this time, John had asked me to come to his hospital room because he was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of a different type. He knew that this was basically the final hours of it. And so he wanted to say goodbye to me, and it was the most touching reunion I had.
    Two days ago, John passed away. So, my thoughts are with him, especially his family. But also, when we think about heroes, John was one of them, and if it wasn't for him, and his first treatment, Larry might not have gone on and treated other patients with this regimen.
    This drug cisplatin was experimental back then it caused a lot of nausea and vomiting and didn't work in many tumors, but this was a drug that was really highlighted and approved for the treatment of bladder cancer so Hubert Humphrey could get treated, and then in testis cancer, and it's really one the really success stories of all success stories in terms of oncology, and it started out with this experimental drug from the NCI that was approved by the FDA.”
    So, this leads us to our guest today, Rick Pazdur who I've known for many years. He grew up in Calumet City, Illinois, which is famous as the

    • 25 min
    Cancer Topics – Financial Toxicity

    Cancer Topics – Financial Toxicity

    In this ASCO Education episode moderated by Dr. Rami Manochakian (Mayo Clinic), two-time cancer survivor and patient advocate Ms. Samantha Watson and medical oncologist Dr. Lidia Schapira (Stanford) discuss the multifaceted impact of high cancer care cost on patients and survivors. They also review communication strategies and resources oncology providers can offer to help alleviate financial toxicity.
    If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org.
    Dr. Rami Manochakian: Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Education Podcast Series. My name is Dr. Rami Manochakian. I'm a thoracic medical oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
    As today's host, I'll be moderating a discussion on what I believe is a very important topic when it comes to cancer care and its financial toxicity. I am very excited to have two wonderful guest speakers who are joining us today. Dr. Lidia Schapira, who's a medical oncologist with a focus and specialty in breast cancer and cancer survivorship. She's a professor of medicine and oncology and director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Stanford University.
    We also have with us, Miss Samantha Watson. She's a two-time cancer survivor, patient advocate, and Managing Director of Stewardship at Expect Miracles Foundation, which is an organization dedicated to providing emotional and financial assistance to people with cancer. It's a pleasure to have you both with us today.
    Samantha Watson: Thank you so much for the opportunity.
    Dr. Rami Manochakian: Miss Watson, I'm going to start with you. Your story that I got to learn about is very inspiring. You had cancer twice as a young adult. You've gone through a lot. Can you tell us what was it like to go through that journey with two cancers, and a lot of treatments? Also, during that journey, definitely, you must have experienced a lot of financial and other social challenges. I'd like to hear more about that, please.
    Samantha Watson: So, I was a senior in college, and I'd had recurring knee pain that nobody could really diagnose for any reason. And it would come and go throughout my years of college. And finally, when I was a senior in college, I had extensive testing and they found Ewing sarcoma, which I had never heard of.
    My mom actually was an oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering. And so, I don't think it was on anybody's radar screen, but she understood the language way better than I did.
    What I came to learn was that Ewing sarcoma was typically diagnosed in boys under 20. And I was female and 21 at that time, and it was diagnosed about 300 times a year. So, I had no frame of reference for this. I had been around Sloan Kettering when I was a kid because my mom worked there, but I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know what cancer felt like. And I certainly did not know anybody else who had gone through it.
    But at that age and life stage, I was getting ready for my future. I was looking forward to graduating from college, I was looking forward to living on my own and everything stood still.
    So, the cancer was in my leg. When I was diagnosed, I went through nine months of high-dose chemotherapy. I went through a 12-hour surgery. I had to relearn how to walk and did a lot of PT. In that time, my friends graduated and they started moving forward and they started creating their lives. And I sat back and watched.
    I spent about four months at home after my treatment for Ewing's and I did my physical therapy. And I tried to figure out where to place cancer in my life as a young adult. And I went back to school and I had one semester left and I started to catch every cold that went around and strep. Just everything that goes around a college campus, I was constantly down and my doctors kept saying, ‘Don't worry, your immune system just has been devastated by this chemo and you just need time to recover.’
    The day before my 23rd birthday, they did a

    • 34 min
    Oncology, Etc. - Rediscovering the Joy in Medicine with Dr. Deborah Schrag (Part 2)

    Oncology, Etc. - Rediscovering the Joy in Medicine with Dr. Deborah Schrag (Part 2)

    In the second of this two-part conversation Drs. Patrick Loehrer and David Johnson sit down with Dr. Deborah Schrag, the current Chair of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to continue the discussion of her roles as a leader, researcher, oncologist, public health expert, and more.
    If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at https://education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org.
    Dr. Dave Johnson: Hi everyone, welcome back to Oncology, Etc. an ASCO educational podcast. My name is Dave Johnson. I'm at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. And I'm here with my good friend Dr. Pat Loehrer who serves as a director of Global Oncology and Health Equities at Indiana University. In the second half of our conversation with Dr. Deborah Schrag, the current chair of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
    In part one, we heard about Dr. Schrag's early life and background, as well as the importance of affordable cancer care and much more. Let's jump back into the conversation and hear about her current goals and initiatives at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
    I have a question for you. Jumping ahead a little bit. But I mean, you're such a role model for all of us. But you're now in a very powerful position as head of medicine at the preeminent cancer center in the world. So, I'd be interested in knowing what are your top initiatives? What did you come to this role wanting to do short-term and long-term? I'd be curious to hear from you about that.
    Dr. Deborah Schrag: Yeah. So, I have lots of specific initiatives, all the things that are probably very similar across medical cancer centers. We have to figure out the role of immuno-oncology. We have to figure out the role of CAR T-cell Therapy.
    There are lots of specific things, but let me tell you about three sort of overarching principles and things that I think we need to think about. So, one of the reasons why I decided to leave my job where I really focused on training researchers and building a research program to lead a department of medicine that has a mix of clinicians, educators, and investigators is that there's really a profound sense of exhaustion and disconnection. I'll use the word even burnout or people get the sense of losing the joy in the practice of medicine.
    And as corny as it sounds, and I know I'm going a little corny here, Dave. But I really want to help bring back and connect people to the joy in the practice of medicine. It's the joy that we experience when we crack a tough case, when we help a patient, when our patients make us laugh, when our patients and their families make us cry, when they drive us bananas, when they cook us food that is inedible, just reconnecting us to the joy, to the stories.
    I really wanted to try to be a different kind of leader because I felt that I could make a contribution to the field of academic medicine in general and oncology in particular, by working with faculty to set them up to tap into that joy, because I know they all started with it. I know they all went into medicine because they care about those human stories, because they do want to make a difference.
    This past week, a fellow intern of mine who you may know, passed away. His name was Paul Farmer. He was the head of Partners in Health and he was an infectious disease physician. There's a book about him by Tracy Kidder that's really moving. There's also a documentary about him called, Bending the Arc, which I would highly recommend.
    Paul was an incredible inspiration, just incredible, but he brought so much joy to the practice of medicine. I remember when Paul was going to some of the poorest places on the planet, specifically Cange, Haiti. He got an idea that he needed to bring chemotherapy because there were large cancers that were untreated. And he wanted to get leftover chemotherapy from the Dana-Farber.
    So, in the 1990s, when I was a fellow, he would ask me whethe

    • 30 min
    Oncology, Etc. – Rediscovering the Joy in Medicine with Dr. Deborah Schrag (Part 1)

    Oncology, Etc. – Rediscovering the Joy in Medicine with Dr. Deborah Schrag (Part 1)

    In part one of a two-part conversation, Drs. Patrick Loehrer and David Johnson sit down with Dr. Deborah Schrag to discuss her roles as a leader, researcher, oncologist and public health expert. The current Chair of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Dr. Schrag discusses the joy and passion she has found throughout her career, and more.
    If you liked this episode, please subscribe. Learn more at https://education.asco.org, or email us at education@asco.org.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: I'm Pat Loehrer. I'm the Director of the Center of Global Oncology and Health Equity at Indiana University.
    Dr. David Johnson: Yes. And hello, I'm David Johnson. I'm at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: And welcome to another version of Oncology, Etc.
    Dr. David Johnson: Yeah, great guest today, before we get started with our guests, though, Pat, what are you reading these days? What can you recommend to me?
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: Well, I'm reading Jamie Raskin's book, which is about his son and about the insurrection. It's really a wonderful read so far, particularly I think about the family nature and how much he deeply respected his son who unfortunately committed suicide.
    Dr. David Johnson: Right before one of the impeachment trials as I recall, right?
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: It was right before the January 6 insurrection.
    Dr. David Johnson: Yeah, terrible situation. I have a book I've been meaning to recommend for a while. It's one that I've given to all the chief residents I've worked with over the last several years. And today's guests made me think about this book. It's entitled, Osler: Inspirations from a Great Physician. It's written by Charles Bryan, who's the former Chair of Medicine at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
    Dr. Pat Loehrer: You trained with Osler, didn't you?
    Dr. David Johnson: I was a couple of years behind him. He was my senior resident. For anyone who's an Oslerphile, it's a great book to have. But even if you're not, it's got some wonderful lessons to be learned about how to interact with one's colleagues, and a lot of information about leadership, which is why it made me think of today's guest, Dr. Deborah Schrag who we're really excited to welcome to Oncology, Etc.
    Dr. Schrag is the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She's a highly accomplished healthcare leader, clinician-researcher, and expert in public health and population science.
    Deborah received her medical degree from Columbia University and completed her residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's. She obtained her medical oncology training at Dana-Farber in Boston and also received an MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.
    After a brief stint on the faculty at DFCI and Brigham and Women's, she joined the division of gastrointestinal Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where she was an associate member and Associate Professor of Public Health and Medicine.
    In 2007, I believe it was, she returned to Dana-Farber and Brigham, where she continued her work focused on improving the delivery, quality, and effectiveness of cancer care. While there, she served as chief of the Division of Population Sciences until this past year when she returned to Memorial to chair the Department of Medicine.
    I also think she's the first woman to hold this position, but we'll learn about that momentarily. Deb is internationally recognized as a pioneer for her work engaging patients in reporting outcomes as a way to improve care.
    She has led pragmatic trials using informatics strategies to optimize patient and clinician wellbeing, efficiency and quality, and equity of care. In short, she's a true superstar, leading the department, the major department, in one of the world's foremost Cancer Institutes.
    Deb, welcome to Oncology, Etc. Thank you so much for accepting our invitation. This is a relatively new oncology p

    • 27 min

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