Accelerating Innovation in Cancer Care

Thursday, Oct. 3, 11 am

Moderated by The Atlantic’s James Fallows, the next panel discussion centered on innovations in cancer care.


Scott Lippman

Scott Lippman, director of the John Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego, on the growing importance of genome sequencing knowledge:

“As doctors, we’re not trained in this kind of biology. Now, I recommend that all doctors spend time in a laboratory because you have to understand the biology yourself and then be better able to treat  patients with that knowledge.”

Lippman, on alternative cures: “I’m a believer in different types of alternative medicine for cancer and I didn’t used to be. For example, there’s a study that says if you can reduce stress in your life, that it can be helpful. There are a lot of examples of those kind of alternatives that deserve to be considered.”

Greg Sorensen, CEO, Siemens Healthcare North America, on the costs of cancer care: “It’s very true that we spend a lot of money on cancer therapies that don’t work. I’ve had patients say, even though it costs me $10,000 a month, I’ve got to do it. That’s a mythical world. The issue is, how do we start having hard, ethical conversations with ourselves and our patients on the effectiveness of treatments we’re now able to offer.”

Kristina Vuouri, president & interim CEO, Sanford-Burnham Research Institute, on the often-futile search for cures: “The key is still prevention and early detection. The major cost is, we are treating patients with major drugs and we know that most of these drugs do not work. And the cost is a very big burden. We need to find out the likelihood of patients who can’t be cured by these high-cost drugs that don’t have a good outcome, as well as those who can be cured.”

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