By Looking Back, We Learn to Look Forward

Burt Zweigenhaft, BS

August 2015, Vol 6, No 7 - From the Editor

My personal journey to understanding and experiencing up close and personal the complexities in cancer care started some 20 years ago, when, like many of us, someone extremely close to you gets the dreaded news, “you have cancer.” For me, this was my mom. Regretfully, as we grow older, we all continue to hear this dreadful tale more frequently. These events have transformed my career over time to turn it into a mission—improving cancer care and seeking the cure.

Over the years of collaborating with key cancer care colleagues, we all started to develop the understanding that all stakeholder voices must be incorporated into the cancer care discussion if the ecosystem is to evolve to deliver on the promise of a better day for patients with cancer.

To this end, in 2011, Gary M. Owens, MD, along with me and many dedicated others, founded the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC), and held our First Annual Stakeholder Integration Conference and Meeting in Philadelphia. The goal of AVBCC was simple: to create an open and inclusive forum to ensure that all the different stakeholder voices, experiences, technologies, and issues could be shared across cancer care in the pursuit of improved solutions, defining value, and delivering on the commitment we all have to patients to improve care.

In taking on my new responsibility of Co-Editor-in-Chief of Value-Based Cancer Care (VBCC), I will ensure that this publication represents and extends the mission that originally started in 2011—ensuring that all stakeholders’ ideas and voices in our multidisciplinary cancer care ecosystem are heard to deliver on the promise of value for patients during their cancer journey.

To accomplish this, we are in the process of expanding our Editorial Advisory Board and contributing members to ensure full representation by current thought leaders in the cancer care ecosystem.

I thank all the cancer care communities for helping me take on this impor­tant opportunity as Co-Editor-in-Chief. I promise to deliver on the mission to further advance the multistakeholder dialogue to ensure that we all foster constructive, value-focused conversation and changes in cancer care for today and in the future.

So, by looking back, we learn to move forward for the current and the newly diagnosed patients with cancer, so that when they get the dreadful news, we can deliver the hope and the cure they deserve.

Delivering on this promise, the August issue of VBCC continues the discussion that began in the July issue—providing perspectives from a range of healthcare stakeholders on the value framework that was recently published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO),1 and the continuing focus on the ever-rising costs of cancer care. The many stakeholders that have weighed in on the ASCO new value framework discuss the pros and the cons of this approach, highlighting the different points of view of patients, providers, payers, and drug makers.

We will continue to bring you current perspectives covering the entire scope of the healthcare industry regarding the value propositions in oncology. I invite you to write to us at to let us know what this means to you.


  1. Schnipper LE, Davidson NE, Wollins DS, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology statement: a conceptual framework to assess the value of cancer treatment options. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Jun 22. Epub ahead of print. Updated 2015 July 13.