publication date: Feb. 19, 2021

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

Lori Pierce: Therapies are of no use when patients can’t get off work to be treated


Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO

President, American Society of Clinical Oncology;

Professor of radiation oncology,

Vice provost for academic and faculty affairs,

University of Michigan


As she became president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Lori J. Pierce decided to focus on equity in cancer care as her year-long presidential theme.

“As African Americans, we are acutely aware that for almost every metric, we see a disparate outcome, with Black and brown people doing worse. Cancer is certainly no different,” Pierce, professor of radiation oncology, vice provost for academic and faculty affairs at the University of Michigan, and the first African American to be elected president of ASCO, said in an interview.

“Before the pandemic, before the most recent acts of racism shown on the internet, I picked equity as my presidential theme. And I knew it was a good theme for ASCO, as equity of care is foundational for so much that ASCO does.

“And I also discovered that although equity is fundamental to ASCO’s mission, equity had never formally been a presidential theme. So, I thought, Okay, this is the time. And then, a few months later, the world changed.”

Pierce said the oncology community has recognized the urgency to address social determinants of health care.

“We … Continue reading Lori Pierce: Therapies are of no use when patients can’t get off work to be treated

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