Authors

  1. Langer, Corey J. MD

Article Content

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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,

 

Shame;

 

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

 

Rationalizing;

 

Riveted

 

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.