1. Langer, Corey J. MD

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Oncogene Addiction

Oncogene Addiction: reliance of cancer cells on multiple genetic alterations to grow and proliferate and wreak continual biologic havoc.


Risible term, LOL


Are there twelve steps for tumors?


If so, I suppose I'd be


The master of ceremonies


The facilitator at the center of the circle


Could we organize


Semi-anonymous handwringing confessionals


For cancer cells and the cytokines


They elaborate?


Could we wrest abject admissions


Of molecular malfeasance


From these invasive human monstrosities


On a first-name only basis?


Promises of repentance and repair?


While they compete with their fellow


Dysmorphic travelers in a lethal game


Of one-ups-manship,


Their puckered, immortal


Membranes clinging one to another


Manipulating all those near them


Like any other addict


Are cancer cells like their human prey?


If only remissions could be fueled


By caffeine, nicotine,




Relapse, we know


Is always one misstep


Around the corner,


We live one mutational temptation


From the brink


And like a counselor


I suppose I'll always be


Staging interventions


Often futile


Ranting, rabbinicating






By the riddle


Posed every time


I interrogate


The remorseless


Ripening mass


Rampaging through


The bodies of benighted


Souls who entrust their precious cargo


To my willing hands.


Corey J. Langer, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Chief of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.


A former President of Delaware Valley Poets, a grassroots group based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, that conducts monthly workshops and hosts monthly readings, he continues to spearhead its monthly readings, which are now done in tandem with US 1 Worksheets at the Princeton Public Library.

Corey J. Langer, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowCorey J. Langer, MD. Corey J. Langer, MD

His poetry has been widely published, including in Brooklines, A Muddy River Anthology, A Different Latitude, Thatchwork, Annals of Internal Medicine, Edison Literary Review, Quick and Dirty Poets, Identity Theory, U.S. 1, and U.S. 1 Worksheets.