The Emperor of All Maladies
documentary did a great job of capturing the innovative genius of mankind and the heroism of both oncologists and the patients who participated in their research. There has certainly been a miraculous evolution in cancer care, from nearly uniform hopelessness to genetically targeted treatments that in some cases, eradicate the disease.
The film was not just inspirational for the story it told, but also for the reaction it generated in the oncology community. Each of the 3 nights it aired, social media lit up with enthusiastic tweets from patients, caregivers, family members, and even those who were learning the story of oncology for the first time. Several oncologists even tweeted that it felt as though they were viewing the film together with their colleagues in their living room.
It is this communal effort, this unified front in the oncology community, that will lay the foundation to forge continued advancement in cancer care. Keywords in the next chapter in oncology will not only be genetics
, and precision medicine
, but also collaboration
, team science
, and multidisciplinary
Indeed, the motto of OncLive
, the network that houses Oncology & Biotech News
is “Bringing the Oncology Community Together.” We understand the significance of collaboration and promote interaction through our affiliate’s scientific meetings (GoToPER.com
), our OncLive Peer Exchange
), and several other platforms. Progress in the War on Cancer
, or more appropriately, Cancers
, requires a unified effort among caregivers, patients, researchers, industry, regulators, and donors.
Fortunately, what The Emperor of All Maladies
experience has demonstrated is that we are “a community in unity.” Now, we must sustain this spirit to evolve beyond the history that was so eloquently captured in the film. I have full faith in our limitless capacity to do just that. As Emperor
author Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, concluded in the film’s final words, “If the cancer cell is evolving, then so are we.”