September 9th, 2010
03:58 PM ET

TEDMED: How making a movie is like curing cancer

Stand Up 2 Cancer co-founder, Hollywood producer and cancer survivor Laura Ziskin tells the TEDMED audience how   making a movie is like curing cancer. It'll require teamwork, she says, by strong, sometimes divisive personalities and single-minded focus on a common goal.

TEDMED is an annual event that brings together dozens of luminaries from a variety of fields to "demonstrate the intersection and connections between all things medical and health care related: from personal health to public health, devices to design and Hollywood to the hospital." TEDMED 2010 will take place from October 26 to 29 in San Diego, California.

Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Los Angeles for Stand Up 2 Cancer.  Watch for his report this weekend on "Sanjay Gupta, M.D."

Filed under: Cancer • TEDMED

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tracie Russell, RN, BS

    Dear Dr. Gupta,

    I felt a familiar flush of anger when I heard you referred to cancer patients “failing therapy” tonight on Larry King Live in discussion with the three major network anchors prior to tomorrow night’s Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon. I lost my mom to a glioblastoma in 2006 and my brother to esophageal cancer at age 38 in 2008. I’m a former oncology nurse, now in drug development in the biotech industry working to discover new medicines to treat cancer and other life-limiting diseases. I feel it’s my, and your (as a physician ) and the bench scientists’ responsibility—and our collective failure to do so—to provide a therapy to cancer patients that cures them. They do not fail us; we fail them. Physicians in particular use it regularly in many settings and it’s troubling to me as a nurse, a patient myself and as a family member. I respectfully ask you to consider discontinuing the use of the expression, “The patient failed therapy” and to encourage colleagues to do the same. You have a highly visible position of leadership and accessibility to both laypeople and fellow professionals and a unique opportunity to model language that accurately reflects the respectful dignity with which patients and families hope they‘re held by those who care for them. May they never feel that the surgeons and other caregivers who hold their very lives in their hands regard them as failures.

    Tracie L. Russell, RN, BS
    Marlborough, MA

    September 10, 2010 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply

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