Chapter 07: The Relationship Between the Department of Developmental Therapeutics and Department of Medicine at MD Anderson

Title

Chapter 07: The Relationship Between the Department of Developmental Therapeutics and Department of Medicine at MD Anderson

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Description

Dr. Gehan talks about patient referral practices and perspectives between the Department of Medicine, headed by Dr. Clifton “Cliff” Howe, and the Department of Developmental Therapeutics headed by Dr. Emil Frei III. He discusses direct referrals to Dr. Frei III and Freireich, Dr. C. C. Shullenberger (chronic leukemias), and Dr. Raymond “Ray” Alexanian (multiple myeloma).

Identifier

GehanE_01_20030328_C07

Publication Date

2003

Publisher

The Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Institutional Processes; Institutional Politics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Transcript

Lesley W. Brunet:

Do you mind if we back up and go over a few things?

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

Yes. I might have an extra copy of that, but I don’t have an extra copy of that memo. Did I give you two copies?

Lesley W. Brunet:

No. Do you mind if we back up and go over a few other things?

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

Now what is that you have there?

Lesley W. Brunet:

This is the chronology of Developmental Therapeutics. As we go through the documents, make notes and (?) a time line.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

Yes. Is it being taped right now?

Lesley W. Brunet:

Yes, but I edit the tapes.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

Maybe we should say that this is the afternoon of Friday, March 28, about 2 p.m. and Ed Gehan is continuing the some of the historical discussions.

Lesley W. Brunet:

I’m trying to clear up some little things and get some additional information. I’d like to talk about the relationship between DT and Medicine from your perspective. Obviously it is complicated.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

Oh you mean to comment on that?

Lesley W. Brunet:

To comment on that. I know there was tension and I wondered if you could see if from your end or a number of things that occurred at the time.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

I didn’t see much of it. I guess Dr. Cliff Howe (?) was head of the Department of Medicine, I believe, and I guess Dr. Schulenberger (?) was in that department who took care of chronic leukemias. I think you would have to check with the clinicians. My impression is roughly the following: We have talked a lot about Frei and Freireich coming in and going into the modern area of therapy for cancer. But if a patient just came to M. D. Anderson with breast cancer or leukemia or whatever, they went on a track to be taken care of by the Department of Medicine, I believe. However, Drs. Frei and Freireich were very well known, so other times patients would be referred specifically to Dr. Frei or Freireich or maybe people on their team. So my general impression is that [the Department of] Medicine sort of controlled the entry of patients that weren’t referred to any particular doctor. This kind of limited the ones that would come specifically to Developmental Therapeutics, and I think that was a source of tension.

Lesley W. Brunet:

Especially in the early years it seemed to be the repeated reference is to not getting a sufficient number of patients because they would come in through a diagnostic clinic and not to DT.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

I had no direct connection with that, but I told you what I thought. I think it may have sorted out in different ways. I know Dr. [Raymond] Alexanian in multiple myeloma, I think he is the longest serving physician here. He dealt with multiple myeloma. I think that was not in competition with things that Frei and Freireich were doing. I think they worked together with Ray Alexanian as part of the Southwest Oncology Group. I think Dr. Schulenberger, who I think is still around here.

Lesley W. Brunet:

Yes.

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

I believe he dealt with chronic leukemia and maybe some acute leukemia. And I think that there might have been some competition, but you know, it would be better to talk to others on this subject.

Lesley W. Brunet:

I have some (? Counter 220) (Dr. Gehan talks over you.)

Edmund A. Gehan, PhD:

In fact, I don’t know, was what I said somewhat consistent with what you have heard?

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Chapter 07: The Relationship Between the Department of Developmental Therapeutics and Department of Medicine at MD Anderson

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