Last updated on: 6/15/2017 | Author: ProCon.org

Debasish Tripathy, MD Biography

Title:
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“As with other drugs that do not have a high level of evidence for effectiveness of specific symptoms, I believe more formal research is needed looking at specific endpoints. Similarly, I advocate for compassionate use of a drug when there are not other options and symptoms are dire – and I believe this might be an area where it would be medically reasonable to recommend medical marijuana to someone who has intractable symptoms (eg. nausea, pain) with documented relief with marijuana use. Since California law has a mechanism to provide this, it is important that this is not abused for a wide constellation of medical problems without a documentation that all available therapies have been tried without success. Once a better body of evidence is available, the indications can be expanded based on the findings.”

Email to ProCon.org, Oct. 30, 2009

[Editor’s Note: We believe a plain reading of the statement above is “Pro” to the question “Should marijuana be a medical option” because of Dr. Tripathy’s view that it would be “medically reasonable to recommend medical marijuana to someone who has intractable symptoms (eg. nausea, pain) with documented relief with marijuana use.”

However, Dr. Tripathy wrote in an email to ProCon.org on Oct. 29, 2009 that he would classify his views as “Not Clearly Pro or Con” because of the reasons in his statement here: “I would not necessarily put myself in the Pro column. I support more research, but the anecdotes I quoted do not constitute support as a treatment – except perhaps in someone who is terminally ill and has absolutely no options for symptom relief. So I would prefer not to be listed as pro, but to be in support of more research.” In his Oct. 30, 2009 email to ProCon.org, Dr. Tripathy again described his views as “not purely pro or con.”]

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor and Chairman, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Professor of Medicine, University of Southern California (USC), 2009-2016
  • Co-Leader, Women’s Cancer Program, University of Southern California (USC), 2009-2016
  • Member, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Member, American Association of Cancer Research
  • Member, Society for Integrative Oncology
  • Member, European Society of Medical Oncology
  • Editor-in-Chief, CURE Magazine
  • Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2002-2009
  • President, American Society of Breast Disease, 2001
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, National Institute of Health Physician Data Query, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2001
  • Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, 1997-2002
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, 1993-1997
  • Clinical Instructor in Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, 1991-1993
  • Fellowship, University of California at San Francisco, 1988-1991
Education:
  • Residency, Duke University Medical Center, 1985-1988
  • MD, Duke University School of Medicine, 1985
  • BS, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1981
Other:
  • Recipient, Greater Los Angeles Asian American Chamber of Commerce Award in Medicine Research, 2006
  • Recipient, Faculty Award for Clinical Excellence, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, 2001
  • Recipient, Department of Defense Innovative Idea Award, 1999
  • Recipient, Breast Cancer Research Program Innovative Grant Award – State of California, 1996, 1999, 2001
  • Recipient, Bay Area Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Developmental Project Award Research Program Innovative Grant Award, 1993
  • Recipient, National Cancer Institute Medical Student Research Fellowship Award, 1984
Quoted in:
  1. Is Marinol Better Medicine Than Marijuana?