Photo of Gregory A. Abel,  MD, MPH

Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-2304
Fax: (617) 632-2933

Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Physician, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Director, Older Adult Hematologic Malignancy (OHM) Program, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Research Abstract

My research applies health services methods to understand the experiences of patients with cancer and to answer questions about the effectiveness of cancer care. I am also interested in evaluating how intensive cancer therapy affects outcomes other than survival, such as quality of life and financial well-being. I primarily focus on the hematologic malignancies, studying the impact of these diseases and their treatment from diagnosis to the end of life. Specific interests have included the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising in cancer care, utility of surveillance imaging for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, effects of delays in diagnosis for blood cancers, treatment disparities for patients with multiple myeloma, and quality of end of life care for blood cancers. I have received a longitudinal grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to study the effectiveness of stem cell transplantation for older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Another project aims to characterize the financial burden experienced by blood cancer patients who undergo transplantation, and whether an increase in that burden is associated with compromised outcomes. I also have worked to expand and improve the tools available for outcomes research in hematologic oncology. For example, I developed a new disease-specific measure of quality of life for patients with MDS (the “QUALMS”), and have created an MDS prognostic scoring system for use with the SEER-Medicare dataset.

My most recent initiatives focus on understanding how to optimize care for older and potentially frail patients with blood cancers. In 2015, I was awarded a project grant from the American Cancer Society to compare the effectiveness of treatments for older patients with MDS. I also manage a specialized clinical and research program at Dana-Farber to assess the impact of frailty on patients with blood cancers, provide embedded geriatric management when appropriate, and supply samples to basic science colleagues engaged in studies of this population.



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  • Stuver SO, McNiff K, Fraile B, Odejide O, Abel GA, Dodek A, Jacobson JO. Novel Data Sharing Between a Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Private Payer to Better Understand Care at the End of Life. J Pain Symptom Manage 2016. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Efficace F, Buckstein RJ, Tinsley S, Jurcic JG, Martins Y, Steensma DP, Watts CD, Raza A, Lee SJ, List AF, Klaassen RJ. Prospective international validation of the Quality of Life in Myelodysplasia Scale (QUALMS). Haematologica 2016. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Cronin AM, Odejide OO, Uno H, Stone RM, Steensma DP. Influence of patient and provider characteristics on quality of care for the myelodysplastic syndromes. British Journal of Haematology 2016. PubMed
  • Fletcher SA, Cronin AM, Zeidan AM, Odejide OO, Gore SD, Davidoff AJ, Steensma DP, Abel GA. Intensity of end-of-life care for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes: Findings from a large national database. Cancer 2016. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Cronin AM, Condron N, Earle CC, Wolfe J, Abel GA. Timeliness of End-of-Life Discussions for Blood Cancers: A National Survey of Hematologic Oncologists. JAMA Intern Med 2016; 176:263-5. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Cronin AM, Earle CC, LaCasce AS, Abel GA. Hospice Use Among Patients With Lymphoma: Impact of Disease Aggressiveness and Curability. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Cronin AM, Earles K, Gray SW. Accessibility and Quality of Online Cancer-Related Clinical Trial Information for Naïve Searchers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015; 24:1629-31. PubMed
  • Fega KR, Abel GA, Motyckova G, Sherman AE, DeAngelo DJ, Steensma DP, Galinsky I, Wadleigh M, Stone RM, Driver JA. Non-hematologic predictors of mortality improve the prognostic value of the international prognostic scoring system for MDS in older adults. 2015. PubMed
  • Abel GA. Does surveillance imaging after treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma really work? J Clin Oncol 2015. PubMed
  • Tucker-Seeley RD, Abel GA, Uno H, Prigerson H. Financial hardship and the intensity of medical care received near death. 2015. PubMed
  • El-Jawahri AR, Abel GA, Steensma DP, LeBlanc TW, Fathi AT, Graubert TA, DeAngelo DJ, Wadleigh M, Ballen KK, Foster JE, Attar EC, Amrein PC, Brunner AM, Stone RM, Temel JS. Health care utilization and end-of-life care for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer 2015. PubMed
  • Dabaja BS, Vanderplas AM, Crosby-Thompson AL, Abel GA, Czuczman MS, Friedberg JW, Gordon LI, Kaminski M, Niland J, Millenson M, Nademanee AP, Zelenetz A, LaCasce AS, Rodriguez MA. Radiation for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era: analysis of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network lymphoma outcomes project. Cancer 2015; 121:1032-9. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Cronin AM, Davidoff AJ, LaCasce AS, Abel GA. Limited stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: comparative effectiveness of treatment strategies in a large cohort of elderly patients. Leuk Lymphoma 2015. PubMed
  • Bona K, London WB, Guo D, Abel G, Lehmann L, Wolfe J. Prevalence and impact of financial hardship among New England pediatric stem cell transplantation families. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015; 21:312-8. PubMed
  • Uno H, Cronin AM, Wadleigh M, Schrag D, Abel GA. Derivation and validation of the SEER-Medicare myelodysplastic syndromes risk score (SMMRS). Leuk Res 2015; 38:1420-4. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Salas Coronado DY, Watts CD, Wright AA, Abel GA. End-of-life care for blood cancers: a series of focus groups with hematologic oncologists. J Oncol Pract 2014. PubMed
  • Herrera AF, Crosby-Thompson A, Friedberg JW, Abel GA, Czuczman MS, Gordon LI, Kaminski MS, Millenson MM, Nademanee AP, Niland JC, Rodig SJ, Rodriguez MA, Zelenetz AD, LaCasce AS. Comparison of referring and final pathology for patients with T-cell lymphoma in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Cancer 2014. PubMed
  • Abel GA. Public advertising by cancer centers: are more data needed? Ann Intern Med 2014. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Jacobson JO, Abel GA. Reply to quality control of bone marrow aspirates: additional steps toward a safer and more efficient procedure. Cancer 2014; 120:1442. PubMed
  • Zhou Z, Sehn LH, Rademaker AW, Gordon LI, Lacasce AS, Crosby-Thompson A, Vanderplas A, Zelenetz AD, Abel GA, Rodriguez MA, Nademanee A, Kaminski MS, Czuczman MS, Millenson M, Niland J, Gascoyne RD, Connors JM, Friedberg JW, Winter JN. An enhanced International Prognostic Index (NCCN-IPI) for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated in the rituximab era. Blood 2014; 123:837-42. PubMed
  • Dusetzina SB, Winn AN, Abel GA, Huskamp HA, Keating NL. Cost sharing and adherence to tyrosine kinase inhibitors for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol 2014; 32:306-11. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Klaassen R, Lee SJ, Young NL, Cannella L, Steensma DP, Efficace F. Patient-reported outcomes for the myelodysplastic syndromes: a new MDS-specific measure of quality of life. Blood 2014; 123:451-2. PubMed
  • Waldman LT, Bean W, Levine AL, Cohen-Bearak A, Phelps FA, Svoboda L, Freedman R, Elfiky A, Berlin S, Abel GA, Deutsch C, Lathan CS. Using FastTrack to Implement an Academic Medical Center and Community Health Center Collaborative for Cancer Care Delivery. Healthcare (Amst) 2014; 1:130-135. PubMed
  • Ban-Hoefen M, Vanderplas A, Crosby-Thompson AL, Abel GA, Czuczman MS, Gordon LI, Kaminski MS, Kelly J, Millenson M, Nademanee AP, Rodriguez MA, Zelenetz AD, Niland J, LaCasce AS, Friedberg JW. Transformed non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the rituximab era: analysis of the NCCN outcomes database. British Journal of Haematology 2013; 163:487-95. PubMed
  • Evens AM, Vanderplas A, LaCasce AS, Crosby AL, Nademanee AP, Kaminski MS, Abel GA, Millenson M, Czuczman MS, Rodriguez MA, Niland J, Zelenetz AD, Gordon LI, Friedberg JW. Stem cell transplantation for follicular lymphoma relapsed/refractory after prior rituximab: a comprehensive analysis from the NCCN lymphoma outcomes project. Cancer 2013; 119:3662-71. PubMed
  • Odejide OO, Cronin AM, DeAngelo DJ, Bernazzoli ZA, Jacobson JO, Rodig SJ, LaCasce AS, Mazeika TJ, Earles KD, Abel GA. Improving the quality of bone marrow assessment: Impact of operator techniques and use of a specimen preparation checklist. Cancer 2013; 119:3472-8. PubMed
  • Abou-Nassar KE, Vanderplas A, Friedberg JW, Abel GA, Niland J, Rodriguez MA, Czuczman MS, Millenson M, Crosby A, Gordon LI, Zelenetz AD, Kaminski M, Lacasce AS. Patterns of use of 18-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography for initial staging of grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma and its impact on initial treatment strategy in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Outcomes databa Leuk Lymphoma 2013. PubMed
  • Sherman AE, Motyckova G, Fega KR, Deangelo DJ, Abel GA, Steensma D, Wadleigh M, Stone RM, Driver JA. Geriatric assessment in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia: a retrospective study of associated treatment and outcomes. Leuk Res 2013; 37:998-1003. PubMed
  • Warren JL, Harlan LC, Stevens J, Little RF, Abel GA. Multiple myeloma treatment transformed: a population-based study of changes in initial management approaches in the United States. J Clin Oncol 2013; 31:1984-9. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Koreth J. Optimal positioning of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Curr Opin Hematol 2013; 20:150-6. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Chen K, Taback N, Hassett MJ, Schrag D, Weeks JC. Impact of oncology-related direct-to-consumer advertising: association with appropriate and inappropriate prescriptions. Cancer 2013; 119:1065-72. PubMed
  • Okam MM, Mandell E, Hevelone N, Wentz R, Ross A, Abel GA. Comparative rates of adverse events with different formulations of intravenous iron. Am J Hematol 2012; 87:E123-4. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Vanderplas A, Rodriguez MA, Crosby AL, Czuczman MS, Niland JC, Gordon LI, Millenson M, Zelenetz AD, Friedberg JW, LaCasce AS. High rates of surveillance imaging for treated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: findings from a large national database. Leuk Lymphoma 2012. PubMed
  • Kumar A, Vanderplas A, LaCasce AS, Rodriguez MA, Crosby AL, Lepisto E, Czuczman MS, Nademanee A, Niland J, Gordon LI, Millenson M, Zelenetz AD, Friedberg JW, Abel GA. Lack of benefit of central nervous system prophylaxis for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era: findings from a large national database. Cancer 2012. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Friese CR, Neville BA, Wilson KM, Hastings BT, Earle CC, Keating NL, Richardson LC. Referrals for suspected hematologic malignancy: a survey of primary care physicians. Am J Hematol 2012; 87:634-6. PubMed
  • LaCasce AS, Vandergrift JL, Rodriguez MA, Abel GA, Crosby AL, Czuczman MS, Nademanee AP, Blayney DW, Gordon LI, Millenson M, Vanderplas A, Lepisto EM, Zelenetz AD, Niland J, Friedberg JW. Comparative outcome of initial therapy for younger patients with mantle cell lymphoma: an analysis from the NCCN NHL Database. Blood 2012; 119:2093-9. PubMed
  • Gray SW, Abel GA. Update on Direct-to-Consumer Marketing in Oncology. J Oncol Pract 2012; 8:124-7. PubMed
  • Bertrand KA, Chang ET, Abel GA, Zhang SM, Spiegelman D, Qureshi AA, Laden F. Sunlight exposure, vitamin D, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Nurses' Health Study. Cancer Causes Control 2011. PubMed
  • Friese CR, Earle CC, Magazu LS, Brown JR, Neville BA, Hevelone ND, Richardson LC, Abel GA. Timeliness and quality of diagnostic care for medicare recipients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer 2011; 117:1470-7. PubMed
  • Abel GA. The real world: CLL. Blood 2011; 117:3481-2. PubMed
  • Yung RL, Chen K, Abel GA, Gesten FC, Roohan PJ, Boscoe FP, Sinclair AH, Schymura MJ, Schrag D. Cancer disparities in the context of Medicaid insurance: a comparison of survival for acute myeloid leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma by Medicaid enrollment. Oncologist 2011; 16:1082-91. PubMed
  • Friese CR, Earle CC, Magazu LS, Brown JR, Neville BA, Hevelone ND, Richardson LC, Abel GA. Timeliness and quality of diagnostic care for medicare recipients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer 2010. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Bertrand KA, Earle CC, Laden F. Outcomes for lymphoid malignancies in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) as compared to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. Hematol Oncol 2010; 28:133-6. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Van Bennekom CM, Stone RM, Anderson TE, Kaufman DW. Classification of the myelodysplastic syndrome in a national registry of recently diagnosed patients. Leuk Res 2010; 34:939-41. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Burstein HJ, Hevelone ND, Weeks JC. Cancer-related direct-to-consumer advertising: awareness, perceptions, and reported impact among patients undergoing active cancer treatment. J Clin Oncol 2009; 27:4182-7. PubMed
  • Friese CR,Abel GA,Magazu LS,Neville BA,Richardson LC,Earle CC. Diagnostic delay and complications for older adults with multiple myeloma. Leuk Lymphoma 2009; 50:392-400. PubMed
  • LaCasce AS,Kho ME,Friedberg JW,Niland JC,Abel GA,Rodriguez MA,Czuczman MS,Millenson MM,Zelenetz AD,Weeks JC. Comparison of referring and final pathology for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. J Clin Oncol 2008; 26:5107-12. PubMed
  • Abel GA,Friese CR,Magazu LS,Richardson LC,Fernandez ME,De Zengotita JJ,Earle CC. Delays in referral and diagnosis for chronic hematologic malignancies: a literature review. Leuk Lymphoma 2008; 49:1352-9. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Deangelo DJ, Connors JM, Sholl LM, McCaffrey RP, Longtine JA. Clinical JAK2V617F mutation testing: Limited utility for general hospital patients with venous and arterial thromboses in common locations. Am J Hematol 2008; 83:519-20. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Glinert LH. Chemotherapy as language: sound symbolism in cancer medication names. Soc Sci Med 2008; 66:1863-9. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Lee SJ, Weeks JC. Direct-to-consumer advertising in oncology: a content analysis of print media. J Clin Oncol 2007; 25:1267-71. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Penson RT, Joffe S, Schapira L, Chabner BA, Lynch TJ. Direct-to-consumer advertising in oncology. Oncologist 2006; 11:217-26. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Hays JT, Decker PA, Croghan GA, Kuter DJ, Rigotti NA. Effects of biochemically confirmed smoking cessation on white blood cell count. Mayo Clin Proc 2005; 80:1022-8. PubMed
  • Abel GA. Reporting enrollment in clinical trials. Ann Intern Med 2002; 137:1007-8; author reply 1007. PubMed