Going Behind the Headlines: Cancer Research & Analysis

This is why I started my blog in the first place: for an opportunity to get behind the headlines and explore some selected topics in cancer research that might have huge impacts on the average person, but for which the average person may have little direct exposure.

You can return to the Blog Main (all Posts) or jump to any other blog category at any time via the menu in the sidebar at the right.

 

Terry Fox Heritage Minute

I don’t usually do this, but this whole post is going to be for the sole purpose of highlighting the new video below – a Canadian Heritage Minute – that was published yesterday, which commemorates the 35th Anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. There is an interesting backstory to the production of this one minute video that can be found here:  The making of the Terry Fox heritage minute. Canadians and all those around …

     

Thirty-Five Years Ago Today an Entire Nation Deflated…

TerryFoxMemorial

On September 1, 1980 one of the most courageous endeavors that the country, if not the world, has ever seen came to a tragic and unexpected end. Terry Fox announced that his inspirational, and some would say, impossible, Marathon of Hope, was sadly over. The cancer that had taken his leg a few years earlier had now returned in his lungs, and he had to stop. He was running in Thunder Bay Ontario, but when …

     

Allowing Fear to Dictate Cancer Treatment Decisions

Fear

  Last week saw the publication of a study on ductal carcinoma in situ. It engendered a lot of mixed messages as I wrote about here.  Following on from that study, also last week (August 27, 2015) the New York Times published an Op-Ed piece from Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum entitled, Let Fear Guide Early Stage Breast-Cancer Decisions. A version of this same article was printed in the New York edition with a similar, but slightly …

     

And We Wonder Why Patients Get Confused…

1020px-S10-5263_H&E_20x_DCIS

How often have we heard people lament about the inherent contradictions in cancer research? How often do people throw up their arms and say “I don’t know what to believe anymore”. Too many people harbour the feeling that whatever some study shows today will be contradicted by a study published next month and so on and so on. What too many folks fail to appreciate is that this is actually science and research working as …

     

Pay No Attention to that (Dr.) Oz Behind the Curtain

DrOzatSenatehearings1_thumb.jpg

Almost two years ago on these very pages I wrote about Dr. Mehmet Oz and how I felt that his celebrity, and the incessant need to ‘feed’ that celebrity, was driving him into quackery and snake oil sales. I was scarcely alone in this view – one has but to Google “Dr. Oz huckster” or similar term to see that most of us who believe in science and evidence are not among Dr. Oz’s huge …

     

Of “Ground-Breaking” and “Breakthrough” and “Blockbuster”: Endpoints Matter

Breakthrough

This week in San Diego the American Association for Cancer Research is holding its annual meeting. When I was an active cancer researcher this was one of the premier meetings that I made sure I attended if at all possible. The meeting itself is high enough profile that many top researchers from around the world wait to announce significant results at this meeting, because they know that the rest of the cancer research world will …

     

Dr Janet Dancey Appointed as Director of Canada’s Pre-Eminent National Clinical Trials Group

DANCEY

After the departure last summer of Dr. Ralph Meyer as the Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) (which I wrote about in these pages), the search has been on to find a new Director for the Group. The search was a joint one by Queen’s University and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI) I am delighted that Dr. Janet Dancey has just today been announced as Dr. Meyer’s successor. Janet is a …

     

New Promise for Detecting Ovarian Cancers Earlier

Some very encouraging news broke today in the fight to detect ovarian cancers earlier. Often called “the silent killer” or the “disease that whispers” ovarian cancer often first presents itself when it is already at an advanced stage and when the prognosis is not very favourable. The irony is that women whose ovarian cancers are caught early in Stage I have excellent 5-year survival rates, in excess of 80-90%. In this case, the earlier the …

     

Research Funding: Are We Going Down the Wrong Path?

right-path

Two weeks ago the world lost one of its shining science stars, Canada lost an icon of international repute, and many of us (myself included) lost a friend and colleague when Dr. Anthony (Tony) Pawson died. I wrote about Tony on these pages at that time in a personal remembrance. Mine was not the only tribute, of course. A sample of some of the other heartfelt sentiments can be read here, here and here. But …

     

A Fond Remembrance of Dr. Tony Pawson

I was shocked beyond belief, and saddened beyond words this afternoon (August 8, 2103) to learn of the death the night before of Dr. Anthony (Tony) Pawson. The Toronto Star had this piece on Tony tonight, and no doubt there will be many more tributes flowing over the next days. But I wanted to give a bit of my own personal memoir of Dr. Tony Pawson. I have known Tony for at least 25 years, …