Two Strategies

Two Strategies: Is Either Any Good?

By

Leonard Zwelling

            The
following appeared on the External Communications daily list of articles that mention
MD Anderson.

http://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/practice-management/news/online/%7BDAB95034-47A6-441C-AC17-D5E9E565302D%7D/Collaboration-essential-to-rapid-transfer-of-knowledge-from-trial-to-clinical-practice

            If I
understood the article, it described how our former President John Mendelsohn
continues to lead the world in the exploration of ways to chop up tumors in an
attempt to understand how the pieces fit together. The hope is that such
understanding will eventually lead to ways to eradicate the cancer, which is,
after all, the MD Anderson mission. Who was among the 30 member organizations
he was leading was not clear from the article and precisely where the money was
coming from to do all this work was equally unclear, but that is not the fault
of Mendelsohn or the other scientists involved. The multi-institutional
approach makes a great deal of sense, especially when it includes, as it seems
to here, several different types of organizations from industrial to academic.

            What struck
me is that this Mendelsohn Model appears to be the exact opposite of the strategy
being pursued by the DePinhos-led Institute for Advanced Cancer Sciences. IACS
appears to have a go-it-alone approach based on some secret knowledge that the
DePinhos and company have graciously brought with them from Boston to enlighten
the Cancer Cowpokes in Houston. We await the revelation of the secret.

            Given the
recent track records of these last two MD Anderson Presidents with regard to
cancer drug development, I personally would bet on Mendelsohn if I were a
betting man. But I’m not; so I won’t. 

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