publication date: Nov. 6, 2015
20151106 - Nov. 6, 2015
ISSUE 41 – NOV. 6, 2015PDF

DeVita: 50 Years of Stories

On Cancer Wars and Skirmishes


Vincent T. DeVita Jr. has seen the cancer field as a confident young doc eager to challenge the system, as a general in the War on Cancer, as an academic oncologist and, most recently, as a patient.

“I’ve been in a unique position. Partly, the War on Cancer happened because of what we were doing. I watched it grow, and then I ran it at the NCI. And then I came out of the NCI and I watched it from a private cancer center and a university cancer center,” said DeVita, co-author, with his daughter, Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, of The Death of Cancer: After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine, a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals Why the War on Cancer Is Winnable—and How We Can Get There, a just-published memoir.

“There are very few people who have been in that position. But I felt I owed it to the field to give a description of how I saw it, from the beginning to watching it from the outside—watching the field go through some very exciting times.”


Book Review

DeVita’s History of Oncology

Told with Candor and Optimism

By Otis W. Brawley

“The Emperor of All Maladies” was a history of oncology, and a good one. “The Death of Cancer” is a memoir of one of the greats of medical oncology. It is a history from someone who was there, making history.

In scientific terms, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book has the limitations of a retrospective study; Vince DeVita’s book is more like a prospective clinical trial.

I trained at the NCI in the 1980’s. I openly admit that Otis Brawley the medical oncology fellow was intimidated by the mere mention of “Dr. DeVita.”

    Judge Rebukes Brigham for Placing
    Morcellation Critic Under Guard
    While His Wife Underwent Surgery

    A Boston judge ruled Nov. 3 that Brigham & Women’s Hospital had violated the First Amendment rights of a couple who led an aggressive national campaign to stop power morcellation, a surgical procedure routinely used by gynecologists.

      NCI Funds Eight SPORE Grants

      NCI awarded eight new, competing and renewed grants as part of its funding for its Specialized Programs of Research Excellence. The grantees will receive $2,185,000 per year for five years.


        Funding Opportunity

        NCI Taking Applications for Research Specialist Award

        NCI is taking applications for its Research Specialist Award, which is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for scientists who want to pursue research within the context of an existing cancer research program, but not serve as independent investigators.

          In Brief

          • Edith Perez steps down as vice chair of Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology; named VP for Genentech and Roche

          • Stand Up To Cancer, Cancer Research UK and Lustgarten Foundation form pancreatic cancer dream team

          • NCI names 11 winners of its Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards

          • AACR launches international genomic data sharing project

          • CancerCare announces co-payment assistance for pancreatic cancer patients

          • SRI International awarded contract for NCI PREVENT program
          Drugs and Targets

          • TCGA Researchers identify seven subtypes of prostate cancer; two drivers of renal cell carcinoma

          • FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy designation to pexidartinib

          • MD Anderson and CytomX launch collaboration

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