Bringing Cancer Care to Those in Need: ASCO 2023 Humanitarian Award Winner Dr. Patrick Loehrer

Dr. Patrick Loehrer

Dr. Patrick Loehrer has devoted much of his career to establishing and improving cancer care in under-resourced areas, both internationally and domestically. His work expanding cancer treatment in Western Kenya began over 15 years ago when he witnessed the lack of care for cancer patients there, despite major progress being made with HIV/AIDS treatment. Loehrer helped launch AMPATH-Oncology to provide chemotherapy for curable cancers. This program has grown tremendously, now treating more than 5000 patients annually in a specialized cancer hospital staffed by oncologists across specialties.

Dr. Loehrer sees global outreach as a duty for oncologists, as cancer transcends borders. Major disparities persist in cancer survival between high-income and low/middle-income countries. He believes collaborative, multidisciplinary teams must address obstacles to care, such as limited staffing and treatment access, as well as underlying social factors. Increased funding and job creation are also crucial. Domestically, Dr. Loehrer helped found a network enabling community oncologists to participate in clinical trials.

A key lesson Dr. Loehrer has learned is that patients, whether in the U.S. or abroad, face cancer with inspiring resiliency. He sees serving cancer patients worldwide as an honor and moral calling for the field. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Humanitarian Award recognizes Dr. Loehrer’s embodiment of this spirit through his pioneering efforts to expand cancer care globally and in underserved communities.

Read the complete interview: “Our Patients Are True Heroes”: A Conversation With Humanitarian Award Winner Dr. Patrick J. Loehrer.

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Angels in Medicine is a volunteer site dedicated to the humanitarians, heroes, angels, and bodhisattvas of medicine. The site features physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other healthcare workers and volunteers who reach people without the resources or opportunities for quality care, such as teens, the poor, the incarcerated, the elderly, or those living in poor or war-torn regions. Read their stories at

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