Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology

January 2019 - Volume 17, Issue 1

Letter From the Editor: Clinical Advances: Past and Present

Daniel J. George, MD


This issue kicks off the 17th year of publication of Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology, with more than 2000 articles now listed in PubMed. As the new co–editor-in-chief, I feel compelled to review some of the history of this journal. Not surprisingly, I have found a few key takeaways from the first articles listed in PubMed, which date back to 2004. 

My first observation is that the journal has always covered diverse subject matter. The topics (eg, “Update on Cancer-Preventive Therapeutics,” by Dr Dean Brenner; “Approaches to the Reactivation of Hemoglobin F as a Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease,” by Dr Joseph DeSimone) have ranged from broad (cancer prevention) to specific (hemoglobin F biology). The fact that this journal has embraced both hematology and oncology from the beginning means that whether you are a young trainee preparing for a board examination or a seasoned community practitioner caring for patients, all the topics that you will need to understand are covered. 

My second observation is that the authors have always been really impressive. From Drs Brenner and DeSimone (probably legends even then) to experts such as Drs Roy Herbst and Lee Ellis (internationally recognized clinical researchers) and Dr Joseph Bailes (a nationally known community practice leader and former ASCO president), the early authors of articles appearing in Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology were some of the most diverse and influential leaders in our field. (Side note: Being chosen to write an article for Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology was and is advantageous for the advancement of one’s career.) This journal does not merely list the information that can be found on a website or in a panel guideline. Instead, it provides pearls of knowledge culled from the perspective of insiders who are experts on the subtleties of a specific disease or drug. 

My final observation after a perusal of these early publications is how consistently relevant to the field the content has always been. From Dr Bailes’ insights regarding changes in Medicare reimbursement, and the effects they would have on practice, to Dr Lawrence Kaplan’s insights on managing HIV-associated lymphoma, the topics were current and evolving in 2004, and the articles were written by experts. That is the bar that has been set by Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology. No need to remind me of why I agreed to accept this position.

I am pleased to report that my immediate predecessor, Dr Brad Kahl, has set me up splendidly with an amazing issue. Near and dear to my heart (I am a prostate cancer specialist myself) are Dr Alicia Morgans and her colleagues from Northwestern University; these -researchers have authored a comprehensive review of the current state of adjuvant therapy for prostate cancer. An insightful and practical interview with Dr Josef Prchal discusses the practical workup of polycythemia and erythrocytosis. (Another side note: You will see the interview format used quite a lot in Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology; one of the more practical aspects of the journal, this format fosters a conversational style that is both engaging and informative.)

Additionally in the current issue, an interview with Dr Robert Andtbacka highlights the use of intralesional therapy for melanoma. Dr Constantine Tam leads us through the pharmacology and clinical development of zanubrutinib, a novel BTK inhibitor for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dr Steven Horwitz addresses treatment advances in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Drs Anteneh Tesfaye and Philip Philip provide a review of clinical progress in surgically resectable pancreatic cancer and the adjuvant use of combination chemotherapy and radiation. The issue also includes an interview with Dr Jean-Charles Soria, who recently moved from academia to the pharmaceutical industry; Dr Soria discusses his motivations, perspectives, and insights regarding his career change.

A relatively new addition to Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology is a focus on career experiences. One of the most challenging times in our careers as hematologists and oncologists is the transition from training fellowship to attending physician, whether in academics or community practice. The new series, “My First Year in Practice,” allows recent trainees to offer perspectives on their new positions, and to discuss what they have experienced and would like others to know. In this issue, Dr Thomas Regenbogen shares his thoughts regarding a Michigan community practice.

Thank you all for your support of Clinical Advances of Hematology & Oncology. I hope I can serve you well as the co–editor-in-chief, and emulate the inspiring model of those who have gone before me—most notably Dr Bruce Cheson, who served in this role for more than a dozen years. Next month, please welcome my hematology colleague and co–editor-in-chief, Dr Richard Furman.


Daniel J. George, MD