Dr Deborah Mukherji highlights work of R4HC-MENA during talk at American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting

June 2nd 2019 –The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago meeting is attended by over 40,000 oncologists and pharmaceutical industry representatives from around the world. Speaking in an educational session, Dr Deborah Mukherji, R4HC-MENA Co-investigator at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and director of the AUB hematology/oncology fellowship training program, highlighted the work of R4HC-MENA during her talk on “A global perspective from an international training program”.

In the context of describing specific challenges associated with delivering cancer care and training oncologists in Lebanon, Dr Mukherji discussed the management of refugees and non-refugee patients from the region seeking treatment. Conflict-related deficiencies in healthcare may force patients with limited financial resources to travel to neighbouring countries for cancer care. In a study performed at AUB, 90% of a sample of patients from Iraq receiving cancer treatment reported high levels of financial distress (1). Shared decision-making taking this into account is essential to ensure the best use of available resources. Physicians need to develop advanced communication skills to manage discussions regarding both the potential clinical and financial toxicity of treatment.

The R4HC-MENA team will continue to explore this theme in our work to improve research capacity for cancer and palliative care in the region.

Dr Deborah Mukherji
Medical Oncologist
R4HC-MENA Co-Investigator
American University of Beirut


  1. Deborah Mukherji, Mac Skelton, Raafat Alameddine, Omran Saifi, Miza Salim Hammoud, Marilyne Daher, Maya Charafeddine, Walid Faraj, Sally Naji Temraz, Ali Shamseddine, Layth Y.I. Mula-Hussain, Mohammed Saleem, Kadhim Faruq Namiq, Omar Dewachi, Ghassan Abu Sitta. Financial toxicity associated with conflict-induced cross-border travel for cancer care: Experience of Iraqi patients in Lebanon. J Clin Oncol 36, 2018 (suppl; abstr 6562)