I am writing this from a conference of pharmaceutical executives meeting in my hometown of Barcelona, Spain. I was a speaker here at the Eye for Pharma conference trying to drive home the point that the pharmaceutical industry (“pharma”) needs to support, without control, ongoing education programs for patients. I hope the message begins to sink in. For many years “pharma” has spent billions on educating top physicians and researchers, people they call “key opinion leaders” or “KOLs.” These are the people other doctors listen to for guidance. Now it’s time to recognize an increasing number of patients are leaders...

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I have written here many times of my excitement about progress in treating blood-related cancers, so called “liquid tumors.” And. like me, many of our visitors have one of them. But many men also worries about prostate cancer. I am happy to report that here, too, there’s a lot of progress in an unfolding story. As any doctor will tell you, most men will die WITH prostate cancer rather than FROM it. Autopsies show it in many older men. But, of course, some men get news that their PSA is elevated or the doctor feels something on a physical exam. What can follow is now,...

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More than 800 people from around Europe who work with pharmaceutical companies gather in Barcelona March 18 and 19. Among the speakers is Patient Power founder and two-time cancer survivor Andrew Schorr, who makes his home in Barcelona. Andrew’s message to pharma: Patients today are increasingly online and searching weekly – even daily – for credible, expert information about their condition and for tools to help them have em powered discussions with their doctor. Andrew’s prescription to pharma: spend less on projects and web sites you control, that may have limited credibility, and provide more support to independent channels of...

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I have always admired ESPN sports anchor Stuart Scott, 48, of West Hartford, Connecticut. Maybe it’s because he’s originally from North Carolina, where I lived for 12 years. Maybe it’s because we both attended and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. Or maybe it’s because both of our broadcasting careers got a start at the student radio station on campus. Lately, we’ve had something else in common: recurring bouts of cancer. As I have mentioned here, I was diagnosed with CLL leukemia in 1996 and have had a long remission. In 2011 a second cancer, myelofibrosis was diagnosed. I am doing...

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I have always admired ESPN sports anchor Stuart Scott, 48, of West Hartford, Connecticut. Maybe it’s because he’s originally from North Carolina, where I lived for 12 years. Maybe it’s because we both attended and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. Or maybe it’s because both of our broadcasting careers got a start at the student radio station on campus. Lately, we’ve had something else in common: recurring bouts of cancer. As I have mentioned here, I was diagnosed with CLL leukemia in 1996 and have had a long remission. In 2011 a second cancer, myelofibrosis was diagnosed. I am doing...

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I have written here many times of my excitement about progress in treating blood-related cancers, so called “liquid tumors.” And. like me, many of our visitors have one of them. But many men also worries about prostate cancer. I am happy to report that here, too, there’s a lot of progress in an unfolding story. As any doctor will tell you, most men will die WITH prostate cancer rather than FROM it. Autopsies show it in many older men. But, of course, some men get news that their PSA is elevated or the doctor feels something on a physical exam. What can follow is now,...

Read Blog

Dear Tom (I am calling you that instead of “Mr. Brokaw" because, like millions of Americans, I feel like I know you personally), I read that you have announced you have cancer, multiple myeloma, and that you and your doctors are optimistic. At 74, no one knows how much time they have left, but I am writing to tell you as a two-time cancer survivor myself, and a medical journalist who covers myeloma, that this is truly a “good time” to have this cancer. It was a lot tougher for your peer, Peter Jennings of ABC, who died of lung...

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Dear Tom (I am calling you that instead of “Mr. Brokaw” because, like millions of Americans, I feel like I know you personally), I read that you have announced you have cancer, multiple myeloma, and that you and your doctors are optimistic. At 74, no one knows how much time they have left, but I am writing to tell you as a two-time cancer survivor myself, and a medical journalist who covers myeloma, that this is truly a “good time” to have this cancer. It was a lot tougher for your peer, Peter Jennings of ABC, who died of lung...

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This week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as expected, approved ibrutinib, now known as Imbruvica, for CLL patients who have tried at least one prior therapy. It gives the hope of being a one-pill-a-day treatment and giving a new lease of life for some of the sickest CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) patients and could, over time, be a good choice for a wider group of patients. My friend, Dr. Brian Koffman, is one such patient who attended, as a family doctor and patient, the 2011 conference of the American Society of Hematology in search of a clinical trial...

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This week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as expected, approved ibrutinib, now known as Imbruvica, for CLL patients who have tried at least one prior therapy. It gives the hope of being a one-pill-a-day treatment and giving a new lease of life for some of the sickest CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) patients and could, over time, be a good choice for a wider group of patients. My friend, Dr. Brian Koffman, is one such patient who attended, as a family doctor and patient, the 2011 conference of the American Society of Hematology in search of a clinical trial...

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