Dr. Jack West Part 2: Bridging the Gap Between Academic and Community Oncology for Better Precision Medicine Outcomes
In Part Two of our two-part interview with Dr. Jack West, Associate Clinical Professor at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, we discuss the differences between how community oncologists are applying—or in many cases not applying—precision medicine as opposed to how it is applied by academic oncologists.
Dr. West makes clear that it is not a matter of one group being superior to the other, but rather a matter of differences in how different oncologists work that is affecting the use of molecular testing and targeted therapies. As discussed in Episode 1, Dr. West points out that community oncologists often treat between 10-15 different types of cancer in a single day, and they are time-pressed by expectations to treat quickly with well-established approaches. Add to that the fact that the field of precision medicine is exploding with new information, new biomarkers, new targets and tons of trials, and it makes it extremely difficult for community oncologists to keep up.
Dr. West suggests that working in concert with academic centers and having greater access to the information they need through a "sub-specialist on demand" type of concept could help bridge that gap in order to maintain or improve the quality of care as precision medicine grows.
It was a fascinating discussion and one you don’t want to miss.
Listen to Part 2 above. And be sure to check out Part 1 here.
Download the full transcript of the episode here (pdf).
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About Our Guest
Dr. Jack West, City of Hope
Associate Clinical Professor, Medical Oncology
Executive Director, Employer Services
Dr. West is an Associate Clinical Professor in Medical Oncology, a specialist in thoracic oncology, and serves as Executive Director of Employer Services at City of Hope. He was previously Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.
Dr. West received an MPhil in Experimental Biology from Cambridge University on a Fulbright Scholarship and a medical degree (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School, where Dr. West also conducted research as a Howard Hughes Medical Student Fellow. His postdoctoral training included an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA, followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
In late, 2002, he moved to Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, where he served for over 16 years as Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, overseeing a broad array of clinical care and research responsibilities. In March, 2019, he moved to the Los Angeles area to dedicate his focus on innovative approaches to delivering sub-specialist expertise across a broader geography, using tools such as remote case reviews and telemedicine consultations.
He has authored dozens of papers and chairs several CME programs and symposia internationally on thoracic oncology, novel educational approaches, and social media in cancer care.
In addition to these activities, he is the Founder & President of Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE); Web Editor for JAMA Oncology; regular correspondent for Medscape; and contributing author and section editor in Lung Cancer for UpToDate.
Connect with Dr. West:
On Twitter: @JackWestMD