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. 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 Circulatory Forum 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.
Andrew G. Messenger
Andrew Guy Messenger obtained his medical degree from Newcastle University, UK in 1973, and his MD from the University of Sheffield, UK in 1986. Following this he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1993. He is currently Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield in addition to being Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sheffield.
He was the Associate Editor of the British Journal of Dermatology from 1988 to 1998; a member of the British Association of Dermatologists from 1998 to 2001; President of the North of England Dermatological Society from 2008 to 2009; and is currently the Regional Specialty Advisor of the Royal College of Physicians – a position he has held since 1998.