About Us

The Cancer Letter, an independent weekly newsletter, is the leading source of information on development of cancer therapies, cancer research funding and health care finance, legislation and policy.

The Cancer Letter reaches the key opinion leaders in academic oncology and in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Our audience includes faculty and staff members at cancer centers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies, and Wall Street professionals.

Based in Washington, D.C., The Cancer Letter provides in-depth coverage of events at cancer centers, the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Food & Drug Administration, U.S. Congress and the pharmaceutical industry.

Over the past four decades, The Cancer Letter has earned acclaim and numerous journalism awards for its investigative coverage of issues that shape oncology.

Our work has been profiled and cited in The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, 20/20, CNN, NPR, Science, Nature and many other news outlets. Our coverage has triggered investigations by Congressional committees, the Institute of Medicine, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice, and contributed to federal action by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Government Accountability Office.

We invite you to peruse a selection of our best-remembered stories.

The Cancer Letter was founded in 1973 by journalist Jerry D. Boyd, two years after Congress passed the National Cancer Act of 1971. Boyd retired in 1990, turning over the company to his daughter Kirsten Boyd Goldberg, who served as editor and publisher for the next 20 years. Paul Goldberg became publisher in January 2011.


Editorial Policies

  • The Cancer Letter provides fair and balanced coverage of events in oncology.
  • The Cancer Letter publisher and staff are prohibited from holding individual stock positions in healthcare, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology companies.



Paul Goldberg (paul@cancerletter.com) is the editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter. He joined the publication in 1986.

Many of his stories had a profound impact on the field of oncology, leading to Congressional investigations and changes in policy. Most recently, Goldberg’s coverage focused on the controversies at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas.

He uncovered a key element of a scandal at a genomics research group at Duke University. This led to retraction of papers in the world’s premier medical journals and appointment of a committee of the Institute of Medicine.

Goldberg broke the story that led to the ImClone scandal and the key stories in the controversy over erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. His reporting has been recognized by the Washington DC Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Gerald Loeb Awards, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Foundation.

His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Monthly, and he has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, CNN and NPR.

Goldberg graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in economics in 1981.

His books include:

  • “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Break Ranks About Being Sick in America” with Otis Brawley, (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
  • “The Yid” (Picador, Macmillan Publishers, 2016) and “The Château” (Picador, Macmillan Publishers, 2018)
  • “The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era” (Little, Brown, 1990; and in paperback, University of Pittsburgh Press) with Ludmilla Alexeyeva
  • “The Final Act” (William Morrow, 1988)
  • “To Live Like Everyone,” translation of a memoir of the late dissident Anatoly Marchenko (Henry Holt, 1989)


mugshotMatthew Ong (matthew@cancerletter.com) joined The Cancer Letter as a reporter in 2012.

His reporting has been recognized by the National Press Club, the national Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, the American Society of Business Publication Editors, the American Association of University Professors, and the Washington, DC Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Most recently, Ong’s coverage focused on reporting of adverse outcomes in a multi-year series, “How Medical Devices Do Harm,” and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, led by former Vice President Joe Biden. Ong has appeared on a number of public radio programs, and was interviewed on KQED San Francisco, NPR’s largest member station, for an hour-long show on the first anniversary of the Cancer Moonshot.

Ong has been chosen as an fellow for the inaugural 2016 class of the National Cancer Reporting Fellowships, a collaboration between the Association of Health Care Journalists and the National Cancer Institute, the 2017 Comparative Effectiveness Research Fellowship, a joint effort by AHCJ and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and as a senior fellow in the 2017 California Health Journalism Fellowship, organized by the Center of Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. He has also served as a speaker for AHCJ fellowships and at the 2018 Health Journalism conference. 

Ong graduated from Marquette University in 2012, majoring in journalism, psychology, as well as women’s and gender studies. He has a certificate in business administration from Georgetown University, and is the recipient of the 2016 Washington Media Institute Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ong has worked as a multimedia producer, reporter and editor for various news organizations. His work has appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he contributed to a series that won a 2013 George Polk Award and inspired an $8.3 million donation to the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University for the creation of a public service journalism fellowship program.