by Wayne Lewis and Dan Lacovara
Physicians and other caregivers must focus on their patients’ emotional well-being in addition to their physical health, City of Hope’s Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., told guests gathered at a recent educational event in Palm Springs, Calif. The Desert Community Forum — part of the organization’s outreach efforts in California’s desert areas — highlighted connections between mind and body in battling disease.
Levine, chief medical officer and deputy director for clinical programs of the comprehensive cancer center, discussed humanity in the treatment of HIV/AIDS before about 75 people, including local physicians, patients from the desert communities and City of Hope volunteers, at Hotel Zoso on Dec. 10.
In her remarks, Levine also reported progress on City of Hope’s innovative research into gene therapy for HIV: a treatment that would free patients from the burden of complicated daily drug regimens.
Levine is internationally recognized for her investigations into illnesses such as lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and blood and immune cancers associated with HIV/AIDS. She worked with Jonas Salk, M.D., on the development of an AIDS vaccine and, in 1995, was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. At City of Hope, Levine oversees all clinical and hospital care programs.