NPR

Tweeting Oncologist Draws Ire And Admiration For Calling Out Hype

A young cancer doctor uses social media to skewer what he sees as overblown claims for "precision medicine." That doesn't make him hugely popular at cancer research meetings.
Dr. Vinay Prasad is 35 and an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where he researches health policy, the high cost of drugs and evidence-based medicine. He has more than 21,000 followers on Twitter. Source: Marvin Joseph

New advances in medicine also tend to come with a hefty dose of hype. Yes, some new cancer drugs in the hot field of precision medicine have worked remarkably well for some patients. But while many patients clamor for them, they aren't currently effective for the vast majority of cancers.

This stubborn fact has become a sticking point for an equally stubborn cancer doctor. At just 35 years old, Dr. Vinay Prasad has made a name for himself calling out the hype surrounding precision medicine and confronting other examples of hype in his field.

Prasad is a hematologist-oncologist, and an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Some have called him a professional troublemaker, a gadfly or a provocateur as he tweets to his 20,000-plus followers. He has sent nearly 30,000 tweets out to the twitterverse, putting him within hailing distance of Donald Trump,

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