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Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH


Medical Oncology

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Physician

  • Director, Older Adult Hematologic Malignancy Program
  • Senior Physician
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Centers/Programs

Clinical Interests

  • Leukemia, Myelodysplastic syndromes, Myeloproliferative disorders

Diseases Treated

Contact Information

  • Appointments617-632-6028 (new)
    617-632-1906 (follow-up)
  • Office Phone Number617-632-1906
  • Fax617-632-2933

Bio

Dr. Abel received his MD and MPH from Columbia University in 2000. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and his hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2007, he joined Dana-Farber and is a member of the Hematologic Malignancies staff, as well as the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research.

Board Certification:

  • Internal Medicine, 2003
  • Oncology, 2007

Fellowship:

  • Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Hematology/Oncology

Residency:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Internal Medicine

Medical School:

  • Columbia University

Research

Health Services Research, Outcomes Research, Hematologic Malignancies

My research aims to apply health services methods to understand the experiences of patients with cancer and to answer questions about the effectiveness of cancer care. I am also interested in evaluating how intensive cancer therapy affects outcomes other than survival, such as quality of life and financial well-being. I primarily focus on the hematologic malignancies, studying the impact of these diseases and their treatment from diagnosis to the end of life. Specific interests have included the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising in cancer care, utility of surveillance imaging for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, effects of delays in diagnosis for blood cancers, and therapeutic changes and treatment disparities for patients with multiple myeloma. I have also been fortunate to receive a grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for a longitudinal study to compare the effectiveness of treatments for older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Another project aims to characterize the financial burden experienced by patients who undergo stem cell transplantation, and whether an increase in that burden is associated with compromised outcomes. Finally, I am interested in expanding and improving the tools available for outcomes research in hematologic oncology. For example, I am developing a new disease-specific measure of quality of life for patients with MDS (the “QUALMS-1”), and have created an MDS prognostic scoring system for use with the large SEER-Medicare dataset.

Peri-transfusion quality-of-life assessment for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Transfusion. 2021 Jul 12.
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Prognostic value of disease risk score versus gait speed in older adults with lymphoma. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Jun 11; 1-8.
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Advances in Management for Older Adults With Hematologic Malignancies. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jul 01; 39(19):2102-2114.
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Prevalence and Tolerance of Prognostic Uncertainty Among Thoracic Oncologists. Oncologist. 2021 Apr 12.
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Model solutions for ethical allocation during cancer medicine shortages. Lancet Haematol. 2021 04; 8(4):e246-e248.
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Author Correction: Fit older adults with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes: who is most likely to benefit from transplant? Leukemia. 2021 Apr; 35(4):1223.
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Intensive versus less-intensive antileukemic therapy in older adults with acute myeloid leukemia: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2021; 16(3):e0249087.
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Objective performance tests of cognition and physical function as part of a virtual geriatric assessment. J Geriatr Oncol. 2021 Mar 29.
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Defining multimorbidity and its impact in older united states veterans newly treated for multiple myeloma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Feb 01.
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US State Government Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines: Implications for Patients With Cancer. JAMA Oncol. 2021 02 01; 7(2):199-205.
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Gait speed, survival, and recommended treatment intensity in older adults with blood cancer requiring treatment. Cancer. 2021 Mar 15; 127(6):875-883.
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Fit older adults with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes: who is most likely to benefit from transplant? Leukemia. 2021 04; 35(4):1166-1175.
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American Society of Hematology 2020 guidelines for treating newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia in older adults. Blood Adv. 2020 08 11; 4(15):3528-3549.
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Consensus minimum hemoglobin level above which patients with myelodysplastic syndromes can safely forgo transfusions. Leuk Lymphoma. 2020 12; 61(12):2900-2904.
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Defining Undertreatment and Overtreatment in Older Adults With Cancer: A Scoping Literature Review. J Clin Oncol. 2020 08 01; 38(22):2558-2569.
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An Action Plan for Environmentally Sustainable Cancer Care. JAMA Oncol. 2020 04 01; 6(4):469-470.
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Perspectives Regarding Hospice Services and Transfusion Access: Focus Groups With Blood Cancer Patients and Bereaved Caregivers. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2020 06; 59(6):1195-1203.e4.
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Patient-hematologist discordance in perceived chance of cure in hematologic malignancies: A multicenter study. Cancer. 2020 03 15; 126(6):1306-1314.
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Goals of care discussions for patients with blood cancers: Association of person, place, and time with end-of-life care utilization. Cancer. 2020 02 01; 126(3):515-522.
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Patient-preferred outcomes measurement after post-mastectomy radiation therapy and immediate reconstruction. Breast J. 2020 02; 26(2):319-321.
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Outcomes for older adults with acute myeloid leukemia after an intensive care unit admission. Cancer. 2019 11 01; 125(21):3845-3852.
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Practical allocation system for the distribution of specialised care during cellular therapy access scarcity. J Med Ethics. 2019 08; 45(8):532-537.
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Gait speed, grip strength, and clinical outcomes in older patients with hematologic malignancies. Blood. 2019 07 25; 134(4):374-382.
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The National MDS Natural History Study: design of an integrated data and sample biorepository to promote research studies in myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Lymphoma. 2019 12; 60(13):3161-3171.
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Relationship between paid leave, financial burden, and patient-reported outcomes among employed patients who have undergone bone marrow transplantation. Qual Life Res. 2019 Jul; 28(7):1835-1847.
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Function, Survival, and Care Utilization Among Older Adults With Hematologic Malignancies. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 05; 67(5):889-897.
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Pentito. JAMA Oncol. 2019 04 01; 5(4):580.
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Quality of life and mood of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving intensive and non-intensive chemotherapy. Leukemia. 2019 10; 33(10):2393-2402.
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Patients as experts: characterizing the most relevant patient-reported outcomes after hematopoietic cell transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 01; 55(1):242-244.
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How Do Blood Cancer Doctors Discuss Prognosis? Findings from a National Survey of Hematologic Oncologists. J Palliat Med. 2019 06; 22(6):677-684.
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The Best Medicine. JAMA Oncol. 2019 03 01; 5(3):350.
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Cognitive Impairment Among Older Patients With Hematologic Cancers-Reply. JAMA Oncol. 2018 12 01; 4(12):1784.
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What is the Role of the Arts in Medical Education and Patient Care? A Survey-based Qualitative Study. J Med Humanit. 2018 Dec; 39(4):431-445.
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Performance of the International Myeloma Working Group myeloma frailty score among patients 75 and older. J Geriatr Oncol. 2019 05; 10(3):486-489.
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Employment, Insurance, and Financial Experiences of Patients with Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease in North America. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2019 03; 25(3):599-605.
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Perceptions of Oncologists About Sharing Clinic Notes with Patients. Oncologist. 2019 01; 24(1):e46-e48.
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Impact of lenalidomide use among non-transfusion dependent patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Am J Hematol. 2018 09; 93(9):1119-1126.
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Patient-Clinician Discordance in Perceptions of Treatment Risks and Benefits in Older Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Oncologist. 2019 02; 24(2):247-254.
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Meaningful changes in end-of-life care among patients with myeloma. Haematologica. 2018 08; 103(8):1380-1389.
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Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment and Association With Survival Among Older Patients With Hematologic Cancers. JAMA Oncol. 2018 05 01; 4(5):686-693.
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Cancer drug shortages: Awareness and perspectives from a representative sample of the US population. Cancer. 2018 05 15; 124(10):2205-2211.
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Financial Hardship after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Lack of Impact on Survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 03; 27(3):345-347.
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What Does a Cancer Diagnosis Mean? Public Expectations in a Shifting Therapeutic Environment. J Oncol Pract. 2018 03; 14(3):139-140.
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Management of older adults with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). J Geriatr Oncol. 2018 07; 9(4):302-307.
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Patient-reported outcomes enhance the survival prediction of traditional disease risk classifications: An international study in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Cancer. 2018 03 15; 124(6):1251-1259.
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Frailty and the management of hematologic malignancies. Blood. 2018 02 01; 131(5):515-524.
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Risk and timing of cardiovascular death among patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Blood Adv. 2017 Oct 24; 1(23):2032-2040.
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Risk of myeloid neoplasms after radiotherapy among older women with localized breast cancer: A population-based study. PLoS One. 2017; 12(9):e0184747.
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Aptitude; Mother's Day; Winter Beach. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 20; 35(24):2848.
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Why are patients with blood cancers more likely to die without hospice? Cancer. 2017 Sep 01; 123(17):3377-3384.
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Self-reported sleep disturbance and survival in myelodysplastic syndromes. Br J Haematol. 2017 05; 177(4):562-566.
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Low-molecular weight heparin versus vitamin K antagonists for the treatment of cancer-associated thrombosis: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Thromb Res. 2017 Feb; 150:53-58.
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Assessing Quality of Care for the Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2016 12; 11(6):402-407.
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Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising in Oncology Is Not Beneficial to Patients or Public Health. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Nov 01; 2(11):1397-1398.
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Small Step for Geriatric Oncology That Could Have Been a Giant Leap. J Clin Oncol. 2016 11 20; 34(33):4048-4049.
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High Body Mass Index in Elderly Patients With DLBCL Treated With Rituximab-Containing Therapy Compensates for Negative Impact of Male Sex. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016 10; 14(10):1274-1281.
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Comparative clinical effectiveness of azacitidine versus decitabine in older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Br J Haematol. 2016 Dec; 175(5):829-840.
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Modest improvement in survival of patients with refractory anemia with excess blasts in the hypomethylating agents era in the United States. Leuk Lymphoma. 2017 04; 58(4):982-985.
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Relationship between physician and patient assessment of performance status and survival in a large cohort of patients with haematologic malignancies. Br J Cancer. 2016 09 27; 115(7):858-61.
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Barriers to Quality End-of-Life Care for Patients With Blood Cancers. J Clin Oncol. 2016 09 10; 34(26):3126-32.
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Potentially avoidable hospital admissions in older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia in the USA: a retrospective analysis. Lancet Haematol. 2016 Jun; 3(6):e276-83.
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Financial Hardship and Patient-Reported Outcomes after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016 08; 22(8):1504-1510.
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Novel Data Sharing Between a Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Private Payer to Better Understand Care at the End of Life. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 08; 52(2):161-9.
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Prospective international validation of the Quality of Life in Myelodysplasia Scale (QUALMS). Haematologica. 2016 06; 101(6):781-8.
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Influence of patient and provider characteristics on quality of care for the myelodysplastic syndromes. Br J Haematol. 2016 06; 173(5):713-21.
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Intensity of end-of-life care for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes: Findings from a large national database. Cancer. 2016 Apr 15; 122(8):1209-15.
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Timeliness of End-of-Life Discussions for Blood Cancers: A National Survey of Hematologic Oncologists. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Feb; 176(2):263-5.
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Integrating Frailty, Comorbidity, and Quality of Life in the Management of Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2016; 35:e337-44.
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Potentially avoidable hospitalizations in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). J Clin Oncol. 2015 Oct 10; 33(29_suppl):206.
View in: PubMed

Impact of sleep disturbance in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). J Clin Oncol. 2015 Oct 10; 33(29_suppl):99.
View in: PubMed

Hospice Use Among Patients With Lymphoma: Impact of Disease Aggressiveness and Curability. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Jan; 108(1).
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Accessibility and Quality of Online Cancer-Related Clinical Trial Information for Naïve Searchers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Oct; 24(10):1629-31.
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Non-hematologic predictors of mortality improve the prognostic value of the international prognostic scoring system for MDS in older adults. J Geriatr Oncol. 2015 Jul; 6(4):288-98.
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Health care utilization and end-of-life care for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer. 2015 Aug 15; 121(16):2840-8.
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Does surveillance imaging after treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma really work? J Clin Oncol. 2015 May 01; 33(13):1427-9.
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Radiation for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era: analysis of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network lymphoma outcomes project. Cancer. 2015 Apr 01; 121(7):1032-9.
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Prevalence and impact of financial hardship among New England pediatric stem cell transplantation families. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Feb; 21(2):312-8.
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Novel data sharing between a comprehensive cancer center and a private payer to better understand care at the end of life. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct 20; 32(30_suppl):1.
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Quality of end-of-life care: Are blood cancers different? J Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct 20; 32(30_suppl):195.
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Measuring quality of life in chronic hematologic malignancy: The QUALMS-1. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct 20; 32(30_suppl):263.
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End-of-life care for blood cancers: a series of focus groups with hematologic oncologists. J Oncol Pract. 2014 Nov; 10(6):e396-403.
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Derivation and validation of the SEER-Medicare myelodysplastic syndromes risk score (SMMRS). Leuk Res. 2014 Dec; 38(12):1420-4.
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Limited stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: comparative effectiveness of treatment strategies in a large cohort of elderly patients. Leuk Lymphoma. 2015 Mar; 56(3):716-24.
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Financial hardship and the intensity of medical care received near death. Psychooncology. 2015 May; 24(5):572-8.
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Public advertising by cancer centers: are more data needed? Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jun 17; 160(12):870-1.
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Comparison of referring and final pathology for patients with T-cell lymphoma in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Cancer. 2014 Jul 01; 120(13):1993-9.
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Reply to quality control of bone marrow aspirates: additional steps toward a safer and more efficient procedure. Cancer. 2014 May 01; 120(9):1442.
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Patient-reported outcomes for the myelodysplastic syndromes: a new MDS-specific measure of quality of life. Blood. 2014 Jan 16; 123(3):451-2.
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Cost sharing and adherence to tyrosine kinase inhibitors for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Feb 01; 32(4):306-11.
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A novel community-based delivery model to combat cancer disparities. Healthc (Amst). 2013 Dec; 1(3-4):123-9.
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Using FastTrack to Implement an Academic Medical Center and Community Health Center Collaborative for Cancer Care Delivery. Healthc (Amst). 2013 Dec; 1(3-4):130-135.
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An enhanced International Prognostic Index (NCCN-IPI) for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated in the rituximab era. Blood. 2014 Feb 06; 123(6):837-42.
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Transformed non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the rituximab era: analysis of the NCCN outcomes database. Br J Haematol. 2013 Nov; 163(4):487-95.
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International development of an EORTC questionnaire for assessing health-related quality of life in chronic myeloid leukemia patients: the EORTC QLQ-CML24. Qual Life Res. 2014 Apr; 23(3):825-36.
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Stem cell transplantation for follicular lymphoma relapsed/refractory after prior rituximab: a comprehensive analysis from the NCCN lymphoma outcomes project. Cancer. 2013 Oct 15; 119(20):3662-71.
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Improving the quality of bone marrow assessment: Impact of operator techniques and use of a specimen preparation checklist. Cancer. 2013 Oct 01; 119(19):3472-8.
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Geriatric assessment in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia: a retrospective study of associated treatment and outcomes. Leuk Res. 2013 Sep; 37(9):998-1003.
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Multiple myeloma treatment transformed: a population-based study of changes in initial management approaches in the United States. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jun 01; 31(16):1984-9.
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Optimal positioning of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Curr Opin Hematol. 2013 Mar; 20(2):150-6.
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Patterns of use of 18-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography for initial staging of grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma and its impact on initial treatment strategy in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Outcomes database. Leuk Lymphoma. 2013 Oct; 54(10):2155-62.
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Impact of oncology-related direct-to-consumer advertising: association with appropriate and inappropriate prescriptions. Cancer. 2013 Mar 01; 119(5):1065-72.
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Comparative rates of adverse events with different formulations of intravenous iron. Am J Hematol. 2012 Nov; 87(11):E123-4.
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Referrals for suspected hematologic malignancy: a survey of primary care physicians. Am J Hematol. 2012 Jun; 87(6):634-6.
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Update on Direct-to-Consumer Marketing in Oncology. J Oncol Pract. 2012 Mar; 8(2):124-7.
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High rates of surveillance imaging for treated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: findings from a large national database. Leuk Lymphoma. 2012 Jun; 53(6):1113-6.
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Comparative outcome of initial therapy for younger patients with mantle cell lymphoma: an analysis from the NCCN NHL Database. Blood. 2012 Mar 01; 119(9):2093-9.
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Lack of benefit of central nervous system prophylaxis for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era: findings from a large national database. Cancer. 2012 Jun 01; 118(11):2944-51.
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Sunlight exposure, vitamin D, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Nurses' Health Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Dec; 22(12):1731-41.
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The real world: CLL. Blood. 2011 Mar 31; 117(13):3481-2.
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Cancer disparities in the context of Medicaid insurance: a comparison of survival for acute myeloid leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma by Medicaid enrollment. Oncologist. 2011; 16(8):1082-91.
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Timeliness and quality of diagnostic care for medicare recipients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer. 2011 Apr 01; 117(7):1470-7.
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Outcomes for lymphoid malignancies in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) as compared to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. Hematol Oncol. 2010 Sep; 28(3):133-6.
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Classification of the myelodysplastic syndrome in a national registry of recently diagnosed patients. Leuk Res. 2010 Jul; 34(7):939-41.
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Cancer-related direct-to-consumer advertising: awareness, perceptions, and reported impact among patients undergoing active cancer treatment. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Sep 01; 27(25):4182-7.
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Diagnostic delay and complications for older adults with multiple myeloma. Leuk Lymphoma. 2009 Mar; 50(3):392-400.
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Comparison of referring and final pathology for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Nov 01; 26(31):5107-12.
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Direct-to-consumer advertising for bleeding disorders: a content analysis and expert evaluation of advertising claims. J Thromb Haemost. 2008 Oct; 6(10):1680-4.
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Delays in referral and diagnosis for chronic hematologic malignancies: a literature review. Leuk Lymphoma. 2008 Jul; 49(7):1352-9.
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Clinical JAK2V617F mutation testing: Limited utility for general hospital patients with venous and arterial thromboses in common locations. Am J Hematol. 2008 Jun; 83(6):519-20.
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Chemotherapy as language: sound symbolism in cancer medication names. Soc Sci Med. 2008 Apr; 66(8):1863-9.
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Direct-to-consumer advertising in oncology: a content analysis of print media. J Clin Oncol. 2007 Apr 01; 25(10):1267-71.
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Direct-to-consumer advertising in oncology. Oncologist. 2006 Feb; 11(2):217-26.
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Effects of biochemically confirmed smoking cessation on white blood cell count. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Aug; 80(8):1022-8.
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Reporting enrollment in clinical trials. Ann Intern Med. 2002 Dec 17; 137(12):1007-8; author reply 1007-8.
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