The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference met virtually at the end of May, a growing trend with medical and scientific conference organizers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a Nature News article, participants in a number of online conferences discussed their experiences with these virtual gatherings. MSK graduate student Emily Costa commented that the online format made asking questions less intimidating, especially for new researchers, and led to higher quality engagement. Many believe that even after the pandemic ends, conferences will retain more online components.
The online-only format of ASCO’s 2020 conference did not hinder the presentation of advances in cancer research. Here are some highlights from MSK researchers, from MSK’s News & Information team:
On April 28, 2020, Dr. Paul Marks died at age 93. From 1980 until 1999, Dr. Marks was MSK’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
His New York Times obituary recalls his contributions to MSK:
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s research and hospital arms had historically been separate; Dr. Marks merged them. Within the hospital, he encouraged the creation of integrated medical teams to coordinate patient care; created a research and treatment center devoted to breast cancer; and established the first center devoted to pain management for cancer patients.
He also continued his own research while running the institution, finding genetic connections to the blood diseases known as thalassemias and developing a targeted therapy for some cancers.
Read the full obituary here.
Numerous news sources have consulted MSK staff, researchers, and physicians on a range of topics related to COVID-19. Here is a selection from recent weeks:
- Jocelyn Sanchez, an MSK shuttle driver, discusses her experience as a patient with the disease with NBC New York (March 27).
- Dr. Peter B. Bach, Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe recommending the banning of alcohol sales due to increased domestic violence during the pandemic (April 2).
- Blima Marcus, Nurse Practitioner, wrote an essay on her experiences caring for people with COVID-19 and offering spiritual care to Orthodox Jewish patients and their families for the Times of Israel (March 31). She is also quoted in an article in The Daily Beast on the challenges of providing public health information to ultra-Orthodox communities (April 3).
- Dr. Allison Betof Warner, Medical Oncologist, on the ethical challenges of using immune checkpoint inhibitors during the pandemic for Cancer Letter (April 3).
- Dr. Mark G. Kris, Medical Oncologist, on cancer patient concerns in light of COVID-19 for Medscape (April 3).
- Dr. Nicole Saphier, Radiologist, on COVID-19 and chronic disease (April 4) and likely extent of spread (April 7), both for Fox News.
- Dr. T. Jonathan Yang, Radiation Oncologist, on compiling recommendations for delaying palliative radiotherapy in light of COVID-19 for Medscape (April 6).
- Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, Infectious Disease Specialist, on a fourth wave of the pandemic (April 1) and COVID-19 and the Indian Health Service (April 7), both for CNN.
- Dr. Tobias Hohl, Chief, Infectious Diseases Service, on challenges of controlling extreme immune responses to COVID-19 for NPR (April 7).
- Dr. Kelly Trevino, Psychologist, co-wrote a piece for USA Today on how seniors are not a monolithic group when it comes to COVID-19 outcomes (April 7).