The Group Room® Cancer Talk Radio Show to Present Two Broadcasts at ASCO Meeting: Live Remote Show, Sunday, May 19 and OncoLink Webcast, Saturday, May 18

Last Modified: May 15, 2002

LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2002 This year, The Group Room, the nationally syndicated weekly radio call-in cancer talk show, will present two broadcasts from the 38th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Florida's Orange County Convention Center.

On Saturday, May 18, The Group Room and OncoLink will collaborate on a webcast (From the Physician's Perspective: The Human Side of Oncology) that will also be taped and aired at a later date during The Group Room's regular broadcast. In a round-table discussion, Selma R. Schimmel, host of The Group Room, will address the personal side of medical oncology with physicians from the United States and abroad, exploring the issues and concerns that present the greatest challenges for oncologists, as well as the means for more effective doctor-patient communication. Panelists include: Drs. Robert Comis, Gregory Curt, Mario Dicato, John Glees and James Metz.

On Sunday, May 19, from 4-6 pm ET, The Group Room will broadcast its fifth live show from ASCO, one of the largest and most important scientific oncology meetings in the world. This broadcast will feature an international panel of leading oncologists and opinion leaders who will discuss highlights of the meeting and clinical updates about cancers affecting the breast, lung and prostate as well rare and pediatric cancers. Panelists include: Drs. Nasser Altorki, Paul Bunn Jr., William Gradishar, Heinz Ludwig, Edith Perez, Derek Raghavan, C. Patrick Reynolds, Maurice Schneider and Steven Woolf.

"The opportunity to broadcast from ASCO allows our listeners to get the latest in oncology clinical data and affords them a rare opportunity to speak with many of the world's most prominent oncologists and researchers," said Schimmel, who is also CEO and founder of Vital Options® International TeleSupport® Cancer Network. "We are also thrilled to be able to collaborate with OncoLink in an effort to expand the programming Vital Options will produce from ASCO. This alliance will help us reach the greatest possible audience."

"I believe this webcast is a natural collaboration between OncoLink and Vital Options as it complements each organization's goals to empower patients, families and healthcare providers through the merging of Internet webcasts and radio broadcasts," added Dr. James Metz, editor-in-chief of OncoLink, and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

The Group Room reaches more than half-a-million radio listeners each Sunday throughout the United States as well as others worldwide who hear the show simulcast live over the Internet. Callers join discussions by dialing 1-800-GRP-ROOM (1-800-477-7666).

OncoLink, founded in 1994 at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, is an award-winning cancer site on the web that provides information about specific types of cancer, research advances, cancer treatment updates, clinical trials and daily news reports.

The Group Room is produced by Vital Options in association with Premiere Radio Networks, the nation's largest radio network. The show features Schimmel and The Group Room's regular on-air medial experts--medical oncologist Dr. Michael Van Scoy-Mosher, radiation oncologist Dr. Leslie Botnick and therapist Halina Irving, MFCC--who are joined each week by callers affected by cancer as well as renowned cancer experts and advocates who provide updates on research, medical advances and advocacy efforts. All phone calls are screened by a licensed oncology social worker.

The Group Room regularly produces remote location broadcasts from the world' s leading oncology meetings, such as the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and its European equivalents, ESMO/ECCO, and from preeminent cancer centers in the United States and Europe.

Founded in 1983 when Schimmel was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, Vital Options was the first organization to address issues related to young adults with cancer before expanding to patients of all ages and issues related to everyone touched by cancer. In 2001, Vital Options was officially renamed Vital Options International to reflect its international expansion. During the week, individuals can reach Vital Options for support or to receive more information about cancer resources or stations carrying the broadcast.

In an effort to facilitate a global cancer dialogue, Vital Options is considered "everyone's best partner," and works collaboratively with other cancer organizations and groups in various cancer communication initiatives. In addition to The Group Room, other Vital Options projects include CancerTalkTM, an in-flight audio program on American and Northwest airlines produced in association with Sky Radio; The Cancer NewsMinuteTM, a cancer news radio feature; and The Professor & The SurvivorTM, an international clinical trials awareness project that will be unveiled at this year's ASCO meeting.

Vital Options International is a not-for-profit cancer communications, support and advocacy organization headquartered in southern California. Vital Options and The Group Room are supported through educational grants from founding sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and corporate sponsors Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. and Pharmacia Oncology.

Ortho Biotech is the lead sponsor of Vital Options International's growth in Europe; Pharmacia Oncology is an associate sponsor.

Contact: Eric Rosenthal, VOI public affairs and news director, 1-610-649-1375, May 18-20 at ASCO, 1-610-348-0524