At the same time, new breakthroughs in understanding the genetic and cellular roots of cancer have also led to an exciting new chapter in precision medicine, a type of treatment that doctors and government officials want to make more widely available to patients.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET, hear from renowned oncologists Jeffrey Drebin, MD, chair of surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Noopur Raje, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, on the innovative new approaches they’ve created at two of the nation’s most acclaimed cancer centers. Actress and author Lisa Ray will also join to share her personal story of being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer at the height of her career and how a then-controversial treatment saved her life. Watch video highlights from the first of this two-part series here.
Jeffrey Drebin, MD
As Chair of the Department of Surgery, I oversee a team that is world-renowned for its innovation and expertise in cancer surgery. In addition to my administrative duties, I am also a surgeon and scientist. I specialize in treating people with pancreatic cancer, gallbladder and bile duct cancers, liver cancer, and stomach cancer.
I knew from a young age I wanted to be a doctor, and losing a number of relatives to cancer gave me a personal stake in finding better ways to treat the disease. But it wasn’t until I was almost finished with medical school, going through my final rotations, that I decided to change paths and become a surgeon. I was inspired by how quickly and substantially surgeons are able to help people.
I came to MSK not only because it is the preeminent cancer institution in the country, but also because it is a place where people are committed to going above and beyond the scope of their work. Everyone here is simultaneously dedicated to caring for patients and advancing our knowledge of this disease.
When I meet patients, they’re often frightened. I find the best way to deal with that is by giving them accurate information. While I am always honest, I lean on the side of hopeful: I have treated many people with very bad cancers who are alive and well years later. This is an exciting time to be in the field because I believe the areas of immunotherapy, which harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, and targeted therapy, which directly attacks the altered biochemical pathways in cancer cells, hold great potential for pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers. MSK has a number of clinical trials that are looking at how we can add immunotherapy and targeted therapies to conventional treatments so that, in essence, we’re giving people tomorrow’s treatments today. We are also looking at ways to improve early detection methods.
When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my family, ski, and read. While I am always honest, I lean on the side of hopeful: I have treated many people with very bad cancers who are alive and well years later.
Read More: Chasing Cancer with Jeffrey Drebin, MD, Noopur Raje, MD & Lisa Ray