About Vanessa Wasta

Posts by Vanessa Wasta:

How does diet affect lung cancer risk or treatment? Do you have a nutritionist on my care team?


“When I meet with patients, I tell them that there are three critical parts to their therapy. The first is local therapy, such as surgery or radiation. The second is chemotherapy, or systemic therapy. And the third is their overall well-being, such as nutrition,” says Russell K. Hales, M.D. Hales, a radiation oncologist at the(...)

Johns Hopkins communications student honors father’s cancer battle in 5-mile swim

Johns Hopkins communications student honors father’s cancer battle in 5-mile swim

Master of Health Communications student Brian Boyle will participate in this weekend's Swim Across America Baltimore event, which benefits the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. His father recently celebrated 25 years free of cancer and will be kayaking alongside his son in Sunday's swim event.  "Cancer has impacted our family many times, as it has for(...)

What Is Maryland’s Plan to Curb Cancer?

What Is Maryland’s Plan to Curb Cancer?

We've heard much about the national Cancer Moonshot led by Vice President Joe Biden aimed at galvanizing resources across the nation to speed the rate of cancer discoveries. The Kimmel Cancer Center’s own deputy director, Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., is co-chair of the national Cancer Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel that has provided recommendations for the initiative. But on(...)

National Cancer Advisory Board Accepts Blue Ribbon Panel’s Recommendations for Cancer Moonshot Initiative


Today, the Blue Ribbon Panel of advisers for Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative presented a set of 10 recommendations for research opportunities worthy of investment. While these recommendations do not cover every corner of cancer research, they provide a framework for building on the progress we’ve made to help more scientists collaborate, make(...)

It seems that more young people in their 30s and 40s are being diagnosed. Are any studies looking at this and can they help younger patients?


“I'm not aware of data to show that more young people are being diagnosed with lung cancer,”  says Russell K. Hales, M.D., a radiation oncologist, at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. “But anecdotally, it is what I seem to be seeing as well.  What we tend to see(...)

How do you determine what stage of cancer I have?


“Staging is a critical part of therapy,” says radiation oncologist Russell K. Hales, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. “We don’t want to focus only on a tumor in the chest, for example, if there’s something growing in another area of the body. That’s why we fully(...)

Are there any long term effects or dangers from radiation for lung cancer?


“Absolutely, yes. All of our therapies, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy for lung cancer come with risks and benefits,” says radiation oncologist Russell K. Hales, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. “We use those therapies only after careful evaluation of the risks of the therapy, versus(...)

Is it important to watch your vitamin levels during cancer treatment?


“Certainly, it’s never optimal to have deficiencies in vitamin levels,” says radiation oncologist Russell K. Hales, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. “We try to make sure that our patients are healthy, and taking a multivitamin every day.” However, Hales warns against lung cancer patients taking high(...)

What Makes Some Kidney Cancers Resistant to Immunotherapy?

What Makes Some Kidney Cancers Resistant to Immunotherapy?

Suzanne Topalian, M.D., associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, is a pioneer in the search for biomarkers that predict responses to immunotherapy. In April at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in New Orleans, Topalian and her colleagues presented data linking a virus-associated cancer, called Merkel cell carcinoma - to response(...)