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Eric Rosenthal Reports

Thoughts and observations about issues, trends, and controversies in the cancer community.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Evening Filled with Good Feelings in New York, Followed by Overkill Ads in Philly


On Tuesday, nine nights after attending the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards ceremony in Los Angeles, I was in New York City attending CancerCare's 30th Partnerships in Hope Annual Awards Dinner, hosted once again by actor and cancer advocate S. Epatha Merkerson, whose costar in Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones won SAG's Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, as did Lincoln himself, Daniel Day-Lewis as outstanding male leading actor.


The event held at the Yale Club is somewhat reminiscent of a floating poker game insomuch as it changes locations each year and helps raise revenue for the hosting organization.


Takashi Owa, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer with Eisai Product Creation Systems, received the Partnership Award from Susan S. Smirnoff, President of CancerCare's Board of Trustees; and Pamela Oguagha spoke poignantly of her experiences as a recipient of the psychosocial  services provided by the 68-year-old cancer nonprofit.


I spoke with CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller, LCSW, ACSW, as well as with James F. Holland, MD, and Jimmie C. Holland, MD, who said that they would be attending this year's AACR Annual Meeting in April only briefly because they would be heading off to Moscow, where they had lived and worked for a year some 40 years ago.


The couple -- pioneers in medical oncology and psycho-oncology, respectively -- had been invited back to Moscow 20 years ago and this was to be their third outing to meet with their Russian colleagues.


Jim noted that he would be the guest of a leading Russian oncologist he had trained in the early 1970s; and he and Jimmie both promised that upon their return to the states they would report  back to me about the changes in both oncology and psychosocial services they had observed over the decades in the former Soviet Union.



…And speaking of observations: Upon returning home later that night to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station I felt bombarded by the overwhelming display of ads placed throughout the train station promoting Penn Cancer Center’s proton beam radiation therapy program (these are just two of many examples) -- perhaps an escalation in the already seemingly relentless cancer center marketing wars in this town.