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 have had a profound impact on the field of oncology, leading to Congressional investigations and changes in policy.

Paul 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.

Paul 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.

Paul 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)


Matthew Ong (matthew@cancerletter.com) is associate editor of The Cancer Letter. He joined the publication in 2012.

His reporting has been recognized by the:

• National Press Club
• Society of Professional Journalists
• Association of Health Care Journalists
• Society of American Business Editors and Writers
• National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation
• American Society of Business Publication Editors
• American Association of University Professors
 • Washington, DC Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Most recently, Matt’s coverage focused on minimally invasive surgery and reporting of adverse outcomes in a multi-year series, “When Surgical Innovation Kills” and “How Medical Devices Do Harm.” His in-depth coverage of precision medicine and oncology bioinformatics has been cited by the President’s Cancer Panel, which advises the White House and provides recommendations and findings to the President of the United States.

For his coverage of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, led by former Vice President Joe Biden, Matt was interviewed on KQED San Francisco, NPR’s largest member station, for an hour-long feature on the first anniversary of the Cancer Moonshot.

Matt has been chosen as a 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.

He was also invited as a fellow for the 2017 Comparative Effectiveness Research Fellowship, a joint effort by AHCJ and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and as a senior fellow for the 2017 California Health Journalism Fellowship, organized by the Center of Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. He serves as a speaker for AHCJ fellowships and at the association’s annual Health Journalism conferences. 

Mattt 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.

Matt 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.


alex headshotAlexandria Carolan (alex@cancerletter.com) is a reporter with The Cancer Letter. She joined the publication in 2019. 

Alex has worked as an editorial associate at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, where she wrote for The ASCO Daily News, and edited ASCO Educational Book and meeting programs. Alex holds a B.A. in multiplatform journalism and English language and literature from the University of Maryland (2018), where she wrote for the university’s independent student newspaper, The Diamondback. She minored in creative writing.

She has written for local newspapers and magazines, where she covered city affairs, crime, science and technology, and bias-related issues. Alex’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Capital News ServiceAsbury Park PressBethesda Beat and Bethesda Magazine.


katie headshotKatie Goldberg (katie@cancerletter.com) is operations manager and illustrator at The Cancer Letter. She joined the publication full-time in 2018, and has been providing editorial illustrations since 2015.

Katie manages all operational and business development functions of The Cancer Letter, including subscription services, advertising, publishing, and strategy.

Katie’s editorial art appears weekly in The Cancer Letter and has been recognized by the Washington, DC Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2018 and 2019, winning a total of four awards. Her work has also appeared in The Huffington Post.

Katie holds a BA from the University of Chicago (2012) and an MFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2016). She comes to management from a past career in theater, where the deadlines are even more intense than breaking news.

She has written for The Cancer Letter only once: Jerry D. Boyd, founding editor of The Cancer Letter, pioneer of cancer journalism, dies at 91