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JCO's Cancer Stories: The Art of Oncology podcast series consists of author interviews and readings of the section’s content. This platform provides authors with the opportunity to comment on their work, offers better accessibility for readers, and stimulates more conversations. Art of Oncology publishes personal essays, reflections, and opinions in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, giving our readers a chance to reflect on important aspects of practice and help shape our professional discourse. We hope you enjoy listening to these thought-provoking stories.


Dr. Lidia Schapira

Cancer Stories is hosted by Dr. Lidia Schapira, MD, FASCO.

Dr. Schapira is the Associate editor for JCO’s Art of Oncology. She is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine where she serves as the Director of the Cancer Survivorship Program. 

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. Guests' statements on the podcast do not express the opinions of ASCO. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

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Oct 22, 2020

Dr Hayes interviews Dr Ganz on pioneering quality of life studies.

Dr. Daniel F. Hayes is the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. Dr. Hayes’ research interests are in the field of experimental therapeutics and cancer biomarkers, especially in breast cancer. He has served as chair of the SWOG Breast Cancer Translational Medicine Committee, and he was an inaugural member and chaired the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Tumor Marker Guidelines Committee. Dr. Hayes served on the ASCO Board of Directors, and served a 3 year term as President of ASCO from 2016-2018.


PRESENTER 1: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

PRESENTER 2: Welcome to JCO's Cancer Stories: The Art of Oncology, brought to you by the ASCO Podcast Network, a collection of nine programs covering a range of educational and scientific content and offering enriching insight into the role of cancer care. You can find all of the shows, including this one, at

DANIEL HAYES: Today, my guest on the podcast is Dr. Patricia A., Patti Ganz. Dr. Ganz has been a pioneer in establishing an entire field in our discipline, the discipline of survivorship. And really, this has been based on studies of quality of life and toxicities of therapy in patients with established active cancers that Dr. Ganz was involved with for really, the last four decades.

Dr. Ganz was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree at Radcliffe, graduating in 1969. And correct if I'm wrong, Patti, I understand you were in the last class before the merger with Harvard. But I see you got your degree from Radcliffe and Harvard. So she received her medical degree and completed her residency and incidentally was chief resident and then medical oncology fellowship, all at UCLA. She then joined the faculty at UCLA and spent much of the early part of her career at the UCLA associated VA hospital.

In 1992, she moved back to the mothership where she is now professor of medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine, a professor of health policy and management in the Fielding School of Public Health, a distinguished professor of medicine and health policy and management, and the associate director for population science research in the Johnson Scott Comprehensive Cancer Center, again, all at UCLA.

Dr. Ganz has authored over 400 peer reviewed papers, way too many chapters and reviews for me to recount here. And since 2017, she served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, one of the leading journals in oncology. She has an enormous list of honors that, again, is too long for me to go through today, except for a few I'd like to highlight.

She's received two of ASCO's highest honors, the American Cancer Society award in 2008, and the Joseph B. Simone award for excellence in quality and safety in the care of patients with cancer in 2016. She was also the recipient of the Ellen L. Stovall award for the advancement of cancer survivorship care. She was a founding member of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and she was inducted into the Institute of Medicine, now designated the National Academy of Medicine, in 2007. And she's really played a major role in the efforts of the Academy to improve quality of care in medicine and particularly in oncology. Dr. Ganz, welcome to our program.

PATRICIA GANZ: Thanks, Dan. It's great to be with you.

DANIEL HAYES: So just to start out, there are so many things I'd like to talk to you about. One of those, in my opinion, you've been the epitome of role models for women in academics. And a lot of this series has mostly been men, because it was mostly men who started a lot of what we do way back 40, 50, 60 years ago. I know you grew up in LA. What shaped your decision to go into medicine in the first place, and then to stay in academics?

PATRICIA GANZ: I went through college at Harvard and Radcliffe in a very turbulent time, in the late 1960s. Social issues were very important to us then, political issues just as they are now. And I was a biology major. And I was thinking about what I would be doing in the future. And for me, I really felt that I had to do something connected with people. And that was part of my decision.

But of course, I had a major influence from my father, who was a physician. He actually went to the University of Michigan. And he always encouraged me to think about medicine, although he said ophthalmology, radiology, those are good careers for women. So you know, I had this lurking in the background. I didn't want to necessarily do exactly what my parents said to me. My mother was someone who also had been working in a family business for many years. So I had them behind me saying it was possible to have a career and to move forward in medicine.

And of course, summers, doing various kinds of research that was involved with a potential career in medicine. So it wasn't a big surprise. Now why did I come back to LA? I guess that's a good question. Nowadays, when people actually are applying to medical school, I think they apply to 20, 30, 40. In those days, I think I only applied to six, if you can believe it. And three of them were UCs, and three or four of them I guess where on the east coast, or Northwestern with another one. It was a tough time. It was just on the feminist movement, also social change in terms of more African-Americans being admitted to medical school. And it was a tough time for those who were underrepresented, such as women.

And in fact, at Harvard Medical School, I think family took 10 women. UCSF maybe took seven or eight women, where I'd gotten accepted there. And when I finally went back to school at UCLA, there were only three women in my class. So again, quite a striking difference than the way things are now. But I did come back to LA because UCLA was pass/fail. Having heard about the competition and medical school people being pretty cutthroat, I said, mm, probably good to go to a place where that wasn't the big issue. In addition, I actually met my future husband in a lab, working in a lab before my senior year in college. And I guess that might have been a motivation as well.

DANIEL HAYES: And have you seen major change in attitudes regarding sex/gender in academics now? Do you feel that we've really made advances, or is it all just covering of a system that still exists?

PATRICIA GANZ: I could speak for an hour on that, so I'm not going to do that. But I have to say that being a minority in the class was not unusual. Because at Harvard and Radcliffe, there were 300 women in my class at Radcliffe, and 1,200 men. And obviously, in the science classes I took, the women were in the minorities as well. But for women at that time, getting into medical school, they were actually a lot smarter and a lot better than the men because we were highly selected. However, my class, the three women-- one was me coming from an elite Ivy League school. One was a blonde valley girl who was coming from a California State University and another was a Korean immigrant. So we were all quite diverse-- yeah, even then.

But by the time I graduated, we had a few women who transferred in. And actually, my husband who was a physicist at that time, went to medical school at UCLA five years later, and his class had about 25% women. So things were rapidly changing then.

DANIEL HAYES: So I understand you really started doing hospice care when you were at the VA initially. And how has that colored what you ended up doing in terms of your career? I mean, in the 1980s, there wasn't a lot of hospice care. It must have made you think about and led to what you're doing now, what you've done.

PATRICIA GANZ: That's an excellent question, Dan. And it was actually the late-- 1978, where I joined the faculty. And the chief of medicine said, you know, we have this kind of intermediate care unit. We'd like you to start a hospice for our oncology service, et cetera, et cetera. And there was actually a national hospice randomized trial that was going on at one of the other VAs here in Los Angeles. And having come out of my oncology training and thinking about it, I really thought well, you know, lot of those things that we're offering people at the end of life, like pain control and psychosocial support and things like that, we should really be doing that earlier for people. Because why should it just be reserved for those last few weeks?

And so as I develop my unit at the VA, I actually called it a palliative care unit, a palliative care ward. Because at the VA I worked at, we had patients who actually often were in the hospital for five or six weeks getting their radiation, traveling by bus to the radiation facility. So they would be in for five days a week and then go home on the weekends. And these-- again, this was 1978, what were we seeing? We were seeing lung cancer. We had men with widespread prostate cancer who needed palliative radiation to the bones. We had a lot of colon cancers. So I was taking care of those patients. And while they weren't in imminent need of end-of-life care, they had trajectories which clearly were not good if they had advanced cancer.

And it seemed reasonable-- I had a wonderful team, a physiatris, a psychologist, a social worker, even the pharmacist made rounds with us. It was just wonderful. And I essentially took all of the things that the palliative care end-of-life focus that hospice used and brought it up to the earlier part for some of these patients who, in fact, could be cured.

I can think of someone who had localized small cell carcinoma who I took care of for many, many years. He was in getting chest radiation and whole brain. And you know, he lived a long time but he got all the tender, loving care that our nurses and our team were able to provide early in his course.

DANIEL HAYES: You know, it segues really into my next question, which is in my own training, in the early 1980s at the Dana-Farber, especially led by Dr. Fry, Tom Fry, who's one of the fathers of medical oncology. We were really trained to learn how to treat and hopefully cure cancer. And there was very little regard to the toxicities. Dr. Fry used to tell us, cure the cancer first, we'll figure out the toxicities later. And at least the shackles begin to fall from my eyes as I began to see what you and others started to say. Well, you know, these people are going to survive. We need to worry about that.

And personally, I think you almost-- not quite, but almost single-handedly taken our field beyond just treating the cancer, but worrying about the quality of life of survivorship. When you were starting that, either at the Bay area or when you went back to the main campus, what were the hurdles? Were there people who told you, you were wasting your time? Most have been told this is a fool's errand. You'll never get promoted by doing this kind of research. And you have done OK, I think.

PATRICIA GANZ: Yeah. You know, I actually wanted to even go back to my training, you know? Because in the late '70s, there was actually-- in my heme/onc division, it was mostly liquid hematologists who were the leaders. And there were one or two solid tumor oncologists. And because I was interested in medical oncology primarily, I was the mentee of this person in his clinic. And essentially, what happened-- this was in the early days of adjuvant TMF chemotherapy. And you know, I was giving women chemotherapy for 12 months. And they didn't want to take it. They wanted to stop because of the toxicities of treatment.

And he typically had me see those patients who needed that kind of support and symptom management and things like that, which were rather primitive, obviously, at that time. Because he was very technocrat in terms of knowing the literature and making those kind of decisions about therapy, but not managing all of this. So because of this collaborative relationship in his clinic for a couple of years, that's essentially where I began to see these issues because patients felt comfortable talking to me about it.

Early on actually, at the VA, I was very fortunate, first of all, just to say I was a biology major in college. I never took a psychology class, ever. I took maybe a sociology class, which was on China at the time, but really wasn't trained in behavioral science. And I was very fortunate because there was a psychiatrist who was very interested in understanding the impact of cancer and its treatment on patients. And again, mind you, the five year survival was less than 50% at that time. And certainly, for the patients we saw with lung, colon, prostate that was metastatic, very much shorter.

And he got a grant from the VA to do an intervention trial in the veterans and their spouses. But in order to be able to understand what patients were experiencing, Ian, the psychologist he hired as a project director, said, well, we've really got to interview patients and talk to them and find out what they're dealing with. And the psychological or psychosocial literature at that time was rife with issues related to coping. And coping is a concept that is not easy to explain to people. And certainly, it isn't necessarily universal in terms of many cultures.

So it was difficult, then, to kind of operationalize this. And again, because I work with this great team, they began to interview our patients in clinic, and really, in detail, understood the day-to-day things that people were dealing with in terms of their cancer and the side effects from the treatment and their social relationships. And then we, all of a sudden, began to think of ourselves as a multidisciplinary team. And in fact, the person, Joe Collin, who was the associate director for population science at the Cancer Center at that time at UCLA, kind of said, gee, you make the ideal multidisciplinary team, you know-- a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and some medical oncologists. And it was from that time forward, that we began working together and I got my first grant. And really, they taught me so much about measurement, reliability, and validity.

And in fact, we published our first paper together in JCO the second volume, which was on the Karnofsky performance status we visited, where they compared their ratings of the Karnofsky with my ratings of the Karnofsky for the clinic patients. And because they did a systematic interview about what patients were experiencing, noted that the function of patients was much worse than what I as even a sympathetic clinician would rate them. So that was really so important for me and working with them.

And again, I think that's been the hallmark of my career to have had so many psychologists and psychiatrists, behavioral scientists, who embraced working with me, partly because I gave them access to patients if they wanted to study them, but I was also interested in really understanding, in a very rigorous way, how we could measure some of these things.

DANIEL HAYES: Yeah, that raises another issue. In my career as a clinical investigator and translational investigator, pretty much inherited the tools to do what I want to do, how to do a clinical trial. It's always struck me that you, and I guess, Charles McKinsey and others had to make up your own tools, basically, to get it out of the realm of touchy-feely, if you will, and into the realm of true quantitative science so you could describe what you've done and how you've done it. How did you go about building those tools?

PATRICIA GANZ: So again, a lot of these strategies or approaches to measurement were available in the social science literature. And they were just beginning to be translated into medicine. And again, this goes back to when I was training at UCLA. The Rand Health Insurance Experiment was going on in the '70s. My attendings in clinic were all involved in that. And John Ware, who was a great psychologist/methodologist, developed huge measures to look at patient outcomes in that big insurance experiment trial, which then got adapted into many other instruments that are widely used, such as the SF-36, and more recently, the Promise measures, which are publicly available.

So I kind of was-- again, I had these kind of parallel streams of exposure. Health services research was very prominent at UCLA. These were my clinic attendings. And there was a very robust community of health services and health outcomes researchers. So I saw myself as kind of being an oncologist who could use those methods and apply them to the cancer problem. And there certainly weren't too many people out there.

In addition, I had good fortune to begin to work in the cooperative groups, Ware and SWOG, with someone like Carol Moinpour, who led the efforts there in terms of patient-reported outcomes for many years, and then actually had a sabbatical in Switzerland, working with some of the IBCSG people and really having a time to just self-educate myself about this methodology. So I'm really self-educated, but have had wonderful collaborators who have kind of held my feet to the fire and said, you know, that's not rigorous enough, on occasion, certainly.

DANIEL HAYES: So you were doing team science before the word came up, before the term.

PATRICIA GANZ: Yeah, exactly. Certainly, when you have certain gaps in your knowledge, you need those collaborators.

DANIEL HAYES: You know, this brings up-- I alluded to her just a moment ago. But when I think of cancer survivorship and quality of life, I think of you. But I think a lot of the late Jimmie Holland, who sadly passed away before I was able to interview her for this series. Can you just-- I think maybe some of our listeners don't know of her, haven't heard of her. We've got a lot of people young people listening to this. Can you just give a little background about Dr. Holland and the things she did?

PATRICIA GANZ: Sure. Dr. Holland was a psychiatrist who really invented the field of psycho-oncology. And really, because she was working almost always in a cancer hospital, cancer setting-- I believe first at Roswell Park with her husband, James Holland-- she began to notice the neglect, if you will, of the impact of the cancer on the whole person and on the psychological aspects of cancer. And because of her being within a cancer hospital setting and then later moving to New York and obviously leading this effort at Memorial Sloan Kettering-- and really being very involved with CALGB and now the Alliance-- was able to introduce very early into the cooperative groups, the need for not just looking at the disease and its treatment, but to look at the after effects or show what were going on in the patient and how they were dealing with the illness.

And she actually developed one of the first collaborative groups in psycho-oncology, which had people like Gary Morrow, who's at Rochester and who's had one of the big ENCORE research bases and has really continued to carry on a lot of psycho-oncology research across the country. Following what was really an early innovative approach, she developed a whole training program at Memorial. She trained many outstanding psychologists, psychiatrists working in this field and textbooks. I had the good fortune to work with Julia Rowland for a number of years.

Julia was a direct descendant, if you will, Dr. Holland, having been at Memorial working with her and leading some of their early survivorship work. But she just trained probably more than a generation of people to take this seriously. As I kind of mentioned in an email to you, just as I would go to the ASCO meeting to listen to what Dr. Fisher or Dr. Bonadonna had to say, because I was interested in breast cancer and it was very exciting to hear the new reports of adjuvant therapy, I would also go to hear her and to Barry Castle, who was another leader in the field at the University of Pennsylvania, who basically were bringing rigor and clinical expertise to characterizing the patient experience, and publishing papers often in high profile journals like the New England Journal.

So they were really role models for people who wanted to go into this field, although they weren't oncologists. And I think that's where I had kind of a double opportunity. Number one, I was perceived as a card-carrying oncologist. I was treating patients. I was in a cooperative groups. I was involved in trials, but I was also saying what about this secondary objective to our trial to look at the experience of the patients? So having entree to the patients, being perceived as one of the oncology community was, again, a really good thing to do. Although I must say that there were dozens and dozens of conferences where I was the last speaker on the program because quality of life was down there at the bottom-- not so much anymore.

DANIEL HAYES: Your stories are great. I have one brief anecdote again, for the younger listeners. Jim and Jimmie Holland where as different as night and day. And Jim Holland, who was one of the three guys with Dr. Fry and Dr. Freireich-- who decided to put two drugs together and suddenly, we were able to cure some cancers-- was blustery. You might even call him a blowhard.

I loved him, but I will never forget as a very junior person in CALGB, and I was appointed to be chair of a committee. And I was running my first committee meeting-- and needless to say, I was nervous anyway. And all of a sudden in the back of the room, Jim Holland, without a microphone, screams out something about, Hayes, if this is the way you think it's sounding, when I'm reading to you now, duh, duh-- so I went ahead and got through the reading. And later, Jimmie walked up to me and said, you know, he really loves you. His bark is much worse than his bite.

PATRICIA GANZ: No, and you know, I think the early days of oncology were so much like that. Because again, we would have these wonderful people come to the microphone and ask a question. In the case of Dr. James Holland, he didn't need a microphone. But the point is, that we actually saw these people in real life, posing questions, challenging sometimes what was presented in a meeting, but also being very collaborative. And I think it was wonderful. And I think it's good that we have-- you know, our meetings today, obviously, are quite different because of the pandemic. But in our large meetings, we have scheduled discussions which is good, but it doesn't have the same spontaneity that we obviously were fortunate to experience in an earlier time.

DANIEL HAYES: Yeah, I agree. You know, I think probably, of the many, many contributions and things you're known for, I believe your role in the Institute of Medicine then, now the National Academy of Medicine, regarding survivorship may be your greatest impact on what we do. How do you think that's translating now, to use the word translational science, which it really is? And when I was present, I was struck. There are probably 15 million cancer survivors in the United States right now. Have we really changed how they do based on your report, or is that falling on deaf ears? What do you think's going on with that?

PATRICIA GANZ: Well, you know, there's several things that have happened. So the report that was in 2006 was led-- actually, Ellen Stovall was actually one of the co-leads of that committee. And you know, that was very seminal in that it was-- it's called the lost in transition report. And it really called out-- at that time, there were 10 million survivors, and that this whole large body of the population didn't really know, didn't have much direction about what to do after treatment and were kind of lost, because the oncology care system didn't really give them any guidance. And if somebody went to their primary care doctor, they would say, uh-oh. I don't know what that's about. You go talk to your oncologist.

And then the oncologist would say, oh, that's a weird symptom, but it's not-- you know, you don't have any evidence of disease. That would be the typical thing. But it was usually an ongoing long-term effect of the treatment or possibly a late effect that was emerging, you know, such as a cardiac problem or a neurological problem that might be a secondary to previous treatment. And so the patients really weren't getting good care. And they kind of said we need there to be a group of people-- whether it's an oncologist or someone else-- who will take an interest and really tell us what do we need to be on the lookout for.

And that was kind of a way to say, we need an end-of-treatment discharge summary. And it became actually very apparent. I was on the ASCO board actually during that time with the NICCQ report. I don't know if you remember that, but it was a report that ASCO did looking at the quality of care for breast and colorectal cancer patients. And what they found was you could find the op report from the surgeon. You could find the radiation therapist's summary note. But the chemotherapy flow sheets-- and this is, again, before electronic records-- were the only way you could even find out if somebody a series of treatments. And that went on, sometimes, over several years.

So there was kind of no summary after the medical oncologists finished their treatment. So they try and figure out, even if you were the treating physician many years later and you needed to retreat someone, it was hard to know what was happening. So in some ways, the treatment summary and care plan had two roles. One was to say, well, what did they actually get? And the patient should know what they got in case many years later, you find out there's the late effects. But also, what do we need to look out for? And so really, again, building on what the childhood cancer survivor people had been doing for many, many years in terms of long term and late effects, this became an issue.

Now Ellen Stovall, who was really focused on quality of care for cancer patients, and again, unfortunately, passed away a few years ago from complications of her Hodgkin's disease, really wanted there to be treatment planning and not just the treatment summary and care plan at the end of treatment. So I was actually fortunate in 2013 to lead another-- to lead, at this time, a report on quality of care and quality of care for cancer patients. Because Joe Simone had done one in the late '90s, and this was kind of a catch-up report. But it was also focused on the large and growing number of cancer patients, and many of them older.

And with the baby boomers going into an age where cancer is very common, you know, how was our health care system going to approach this? And so we were, in that report, in many ways, echoing what had come about in the earlier survivor report, but saying you need to do this right from the very beginning. And it is very important for survivors. If we're going to be worried about fertility preservation, we need to do it right upfront. If we're going to be worried about potential complications in terms of cardiac toxicity occurring later, we need to be thinking about it in terms of planning the treatment for patients so that maybe they don't need to get chest radiation if they're a lymphoma patient. But chemotherapy and the very targeted therapies and the sensitive PET scans might help us avoid using unnecessary radiation to those individuals.

So it has to be upfront thinking about what's going to have happen afterwards. And as part of the 2013 IOM report, we basically had many different recommendations which were kind of, I would say-- I kind of want to say pie in the sky, but futuristic. And one of them was that the insurers-- primarily Medicare, but other insurers-- should insist on patients having a treatment plan at the time of diagnosis, that their needs should be met, that they should have an understanding of the financial impact of the treatment decisions they're making, and that this should be part of a quality of care assessment strategy.

And again, the thought was OK, maybe three, four, or five years from now, that will come about. But lo and behold, a year later, CMS picked this up and we had the development of the oncology care model, which in essence, took from our report the 10 or 13 point items that need to be part of initial coordinated care, which also included our survivorship care plan and treatment summary at the end of treatments.

So I think to me, actually, that's one of the most significant accomplishments because now I see there's going to be a second version of the oncology care model, that many practices across the country have adopted these things. And as they've been part of the oncology care model, they're delivering this care to everyone, whether patients are insured by CMS or a private insurer. So I think this is an example of how long it takes to implement anything. Again, part of what I see our role, or my role as a health services researcher, is implementation science. If we know what works and what's important, it may take 15 years before it happens, but you need something like CMS to have a bundled payment plan. Or in the case of the treatment summaries and care plans, we have the American College of Surgeons who have championed that.

And without these external regulatory policymaking organizations and payers, we don't get a lot of change. A long-winded answer, but to me, that's where the rubber hits the road.

DANIEL HAYES: Well, I agree completely. I think that'll be your legacy, among many things. I mean, isn't it also part of the QOPI designation for QOPI accreditation in ASCO, isn't the survivorship plan?

PATRICIA GANZ: Yes, the treatment summaries and care plans. I don't know-- I haven't seen any data. Recently, when I was more involved with the ASCO quality care committee, I saw some of those results. I don't know how compliant or adherent people are. But actually, part of the complaints that people have had has been, oh, it's hard to do this treatment summary. But if you actually start out with your initial treatment plan-- and we're actually doing this now on our Epic system at UCLA. There's something called the oncology history.

And if you actually begin documenting from the beginning of treatment, you can actually move toward a treatment summary that's easily generated from the electronic record. But it's hard when you have to go back and do it retrospective.

DANIEL HAYES: I was going to say, for all the young people who, at the end of a very long day, find themselves also having to do this long-term care plan for their patients, you could blame Patti Ganz for the work she started 30 years ago.


DANIEL HAYES: Actually, in the few remaining moments we've got, I want to bring up your new role as editor-in-chief of JNCI, the Journal of National Cancer Institute. I believe that you and Dr. Disis are the first women who have been editors-in-chief for major oncology journals. In fact, I don't believe it, I know it. You've been in the role now about three years. JNCI has always sort of had a niche that the other journals don't cover very well, in my opinion, and that they do. In taking it over, what are you keeping and what's your vision for the way you'll mold it in new ways and take it in new ways?

PATRICIA GANZ: So I've been very fortunate, I was-- you know, I actually had a lot of experience at JCO as an associate editor for many years. And then I was also on the editorial board, and then deputy editor or associate editor and deputy editor of JNCI for quite a while as well. And Carmen Allegra took it over when Barry Kramer stepped down seven, eight years ago. And I knew Carmen from NSABP and RG. We had worked together closely. And I was kind of amazed when he took it over with all the obligations that he had as head of a heme/onc division and other roles, both leading gastrointestinal cancers at the NCI and NSABP Foundation. So he was doing a lot, and I thought, oh my gosh, you know? This is a difficult job to do as well.

He basically moved the Journal a bit more towards a clinical perspective. And again, the history really is that JNCI was one of the first cancer journals. And maybe there was cancer research, but it was one of the first journals. And it essentially covered everything from soup to nuts, a lot of basic science. If you go back and see some of the highest cited papers, many different fundamental assays and so forth were published in JNCI.

But if you look at the space in oncology, now there are 240-250 cancer journals so that we have many more outlets where some of the more basic science and translational science-- certainly, AACR has many wonderful journals-- so that we actually moved away, I think with Carmen's tenure, from the more basic work. And we really are taking almost no basic work. Things have to be clinical, in a sense that there has to be a translational component, cell line studies. And in vitro and animal models are not something that we're covering anymore.

And again, that's a transition that I think occurred in prior years. I'm certainly continuing that. But I think because of my interest in breast cancer, obviously, and outcomes research in psychosocial work, we get more of those papers than perhaps when Carmen was the JNCI editor. But it's stiff competition, you know. We've had a strong epidemiological bent. We still get a lot of epidemiological and genetics papers.

And I guess when I think about what I'm doing, it's really cancer prevention and control. That's what I've been doing for over 25 years, both in my academic research leadership position at UCLA, in my own research, and it's very broad. It's really applying all of the disciplines, if you will, of public health to the cancer problem, which means epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral science, health outcomes research, you know, all of these things-- environmental science. All of these things are very important in both the etiology of cancer, the prevention of cancer, as well as the management of cancer.

And so it's this cancer prevention and control swath that I think is our niche, if you will. So it's not as narrow as some journals. We're not just doing clinical trials, although we have them. But we're trying to have the broad scope of cancer prevention and control. That's pretty much how I see it.

DANIEL HAYES: OK, thank you so much. Our time has come to an end. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking time to talk with us today. But more importantly, taking time to change the field of oncology in the way you have over the last 40 years. I think a lot of the things that our doctors are doing in clinic every day are a direct result of one person, and that's you. And there aren't many people who can say that. So thanks for all you do. Thanks for all your contributions, and I very much appreciate your sharing your history with us today.

PATRICIA GANZ: Thanks so much, Dan. It was really a pleasure to speak with you and share what I've learned over time. Thanks so much.

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