Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care was launched in 2007. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The fields of supportive and palliative care are divided into 12 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.
Dr James Beattie is Consultant Cardiologist at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust which is a teaching hospital group linked to the University of Birmingham. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, he undertook initial cardiology training in the University Department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He later pursued periods of research at the University of California at Davis and the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. He returned to the UK as Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham and was appointed to his current position in 1990. He is engaged in general acute adult cardiology practice which includes participation in the primary angioplasty programme. He is heart failure lead for the Trust. He holds fellowships of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Glasgow and London and is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology.
He has had a long interest in palliative care for heart failure and is a National Clinical Lead with the NHS Heart Improvement Programme tasked with developing this aspect of heart failure care across England. Currently he is also a member of the Heart Failure Policy Group of the National Council for Palliative Care and a member of the Department of Health End of Life Care Strategy Group.
Dr Tisdale graduated in chemistry from the University of Hull in 1967, after which he undertook postgraduate studies on the synthesis of antitumour agents at the Institute of Cancer Research, London University, which led to the award of a PhD degree in 1970. After further postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Cancer Research, which involved studies on the mechanism of activation, by the liver, of the antitumour drug cyclophosphamide, he moved to the position of lecturer in Biochemistry at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School in 1972. During his period there he conducted studies on the mechanism of cytotoxic action of nitrogen mustards towards tumour cells, and the mechanism of methionine sensitivity of tumour cells, as a means of therapy. Unlike normal cells a number of tumours cannot sustain their methionine requirements by using homocysteine alone, probably because they have a higher requirement for methylation. In 1980 he moved to Aston University to join the newly formed Cancer Research Campaign Experimental Chemotherapy Group, which led to the discovery of the drug Temodol, which is currently used for the treatment of gliomas and melanoma. In 1983 he was awarded a DSc by the University of London for his work on Cancer Biochemistry. In 1984 he was promoted to Reader and in 1985 became interested in the mechanism and treatment of cancer cachexia, since it was a poorly researched area that was responsible for up to 25% of cancer deaths. Using an experimental mouse tumour he was able to isolate and characterize two factors involved in tissue degradation in cachexia: proteolysis-inducing factor (PIF), which acts on skeletal muscle inducing atrophy by inhibiting protein synthesis and increasing protein degradation, and a lipid mobilising factor found to be homologous with zinc α2-glycoprotein, which increases lipolysis in adipose tissue, and also increases lipid utilisation by the body. These studies also led to the discovery that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is capable of attenuating the development of cachexia in the murine model, through interfering with the signalling action of PIF. In 1989 he became Professor of Cancer Biochemistry at Aston University and was Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences between 1992 and 1995.
Dr Tisdale has authored over 200 peer-reviewed research publications, the majority of which are on cancer cachexia and is actively involved in elucidating signalling pathways which may prove useful in new drug development for the treatment of this condition.
Aminah Jatoi, MD is a practicing oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota USA. She carries a strong interest in a variety of cancer-related palliative care issues, including the management of weight loss in patients with advanced cancer.
Dr Allan Lipton is Professor of Medicine & Oncology at the M.S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Dr Lipton has a longstanding interest in the natural history and treatment of bone metastases. His group was the first in the US to treat a patient with pamidronate for bone metastases and also the first in the world to treat patients with zoledronic acid.
James R Berenson
Dr Berenson is the Medical & Scientific Director as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR) and Oncotherapeutics. He also has his private practice located in West Hollywood, California. He serves as a member of the National Institutes of Health - Center for Scientific Review, Clinical Oncology Study Section and on the Scientific Boards of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the International Myeloma Foundation as well as working with many other groups known for their work in multiple myeloma and bone metastases.
After earning his Doctorate in Medicine from the University of California at San Diego, Dr Berenson completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Utah Medical Center and fellowships in hematology/oncology at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both internal medicine and medical oncology. Currently in private practice, he has been affiliated most recently with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as the Director of the Multiple Myeloma & Bone Metastasis Programs in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr Berenson has performed research as a member of the Departments of Medicine and Biological Chemistry at the UCLA School of Medicine and has served as Chief of Medical Oncology and Cancer Research as well as Director of Research at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Healthcare Systems. Dr Berenson has authored and co-authored numerous books, articles, and abstracts in journals including Blood, Cancer, Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Clinical Oncology, New England Journal of Medicine and Science. His research interests include antibodies, T-cell receptors, cytokines, oncogenes, viruses, bone disease and stem cell transplantation in lymphoid malignancies. Dr Berenson has conducted many clinical trials related to multiple myeloma and the treatment of metastatic bone disease. He has also given many lectures throughout the years and is internationally known for his expertise on multiple myeloma and bone metastasis.