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Dr. Isacoff Featured in the Huffington Post
Dear Dr. Isacoff,
There are no words to describe my appreciation for literally saving my life in the past four years since my diagnosis with Pancreatic cancer. You made the whole process of chemo , tolerant and so effective. I appreciated the care and skill of your staff. What good fortune to have you as my physician.
With much affection,
- Leah Y.
In January, 2003 I became ill and showed various alarming symptoms including jaundice. After numerous tests I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was very frightening for me and my husband. Fortunately I was able to have a modified Whipple surgery, but my cancer had already invaded several lymph nodes. While in the hospital, following my surgery, I met Dr. W. Isacoff. This proved to be an extremely important encounter for me. Dr. Isacoff has been my oncologist for the past nine years. I have found that he and his staff fight hard for their patients. He gives us hope when the situation appears to be hopeless.
Two years after my Whipple surgery the cancer metastasized into my chest cavity and lungs. Dr. Isacoff was able to fight it back, and I have been cancer free for over four years. Chemotherapy is not a "piece of cake" but Dr. Isacoff and his dedicated, professional staff have always tried to make me as comfortable as possible with medicines for such things as nausea, low red or white blood cell counts, and fatigue. Dr. Isacoff believes not only in the quantity of the time that patients have but also the quality. He encouraged and worked around my desire to continue employment for three years, travel to my son's wedding in Scotland, visit dear friends in Africa, retrace my honeymoon trip to Banff and Lake Louise, Canada with my husband of 47 years, etc.
I believe that Dr. Isacoff has extended the lives of many patients because of his unique ability to individualize the treatment for each patient according to their need. I am a woman of faith and believe that God has sent His angels to be by my side. I believe he has also given me "angels" here on earth, including Doctor Isacoff and his staff.
- Dorothea A., Patient of 9 years and 3 months
Walking into Dr. Isacoff’s office for the first time was very scary for us. My husband had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we had visions of an overflowing waiting room with many very ill patients. However, we were in for a nice surprise, the waiting room is actually very serene and comfortable. Between the very helpful office staff and comfortable décor, it is a pleasant place. Even in the back, where patients are treated with chemo, there is a sense a calm and quiet. When you are in such a state of panic, it is a welcoming environment. Dr. Isacoff would quietly take us into his office and speak with us privately. It was nice to know you had his full attention.
I came to learn that Dr. Isacoff is a brilliant physician. His vast knowledge of drugs and their interactions gave my husband eight years of a very good life we that we thought he would never see. Dr. Isacoff’s willingness, (okay, maybe not so willing), to listen to and answer all of my unending questions was much appreciated. He is a no nonsense man, (although has quite a sense of humor), and I would trust him with the care of the people I love most, in fact, I did.
- Laurie B.
As a 6 year pancreatic cancer survivor, I have learned that there is a new normal. The challenge with cancer is to find a new sense of self because the narrative of yourself has been disrupted. Dr. Isacoff has helped me with this idea of ownership… surviving each day with hope and a better understanding what this journey entails.
It is critical to have faith and trust in your doctor. I have the utmost confidence and respect in Dr. Isacoff’s dedication in providing the utmost care for his patients’, his knowledge and expertise in everything there is to know about this challenging disease and helping families and caregivers navigate the medical course of action. His staff is professional, kind and attentive to his patients needs at all times.
- Laurie M., Los Angeles, CA
My name is Chris Calaprice and I have been lucky, I am an 8.5 year survivor of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. After a successful Whipple procedure I was referred to the offices of Dr. William Isacoff M.D. Since February of 2004 I have been under Dr. Isacoff’s care. I have had the opportunity over the last few years to do comparative treatment at many other facilities, and interviewed and been temporarily cared for by other physicians while traveling the US. In my travels and interviews I have never found another facility that mixes patient togetherness, novel and unique chemotherapies. The single largest survival factor that we have found is dealing with a specialist and Dr. Isacoff is a specialist. With hundreds of patients and pancreatic cancer being the norm among them I have met few with a larger practice. Why is this important one might ask? It is important because a deep knowledge of this disease and it’s possible outcomes leads to a hopeful aggressive methodology that physicians with less direct experience may not even conceive of. I have contacted Dr Isacoff directly after hours and always receive a physician either Dr. Isacoff or a covering specialist. After founding Road2ACure and traveling the country there are few facilities I would refer a patient to. One thing we have learned this is not a disease for a general oncologist. This is not my opinion but that of other leading pancreatic oncologists. What cannot be understated is the nature of the impact of treating patients with the same disease together. Treating in a group setting or in private rooms based on the patients needs brings hope to all of those affected. Hope is contagious and the biggest weapon in battling this disease. Imagine that you went to see a general oncologist and that person told you that “you should pick out a coffin” then finding a treatment facility that not only railed at this statement but sat you next to a 9 year survivor during your first treatment at that facility. The change in the will to fight and the positive impact on the quality of life is amazing. Dr Isacoff’s dedication and caring is mirrored by that of his amazing staff. Most of whom have been there at my side for all of these years. I can never put into words the appreciation I feel for the dedication, caring, and professionalism of this amazing group of care givers. If I could have one wish for pancreatic cancer patients it is that they all had access to Dr. Isacoff and his approach and staff. You may ask why I have been on chemo for so long, it is because Dr. Isacoff beat back a reoccurrence of the disease in the remaining portion of my pancreas months after starting treatment and has kept me disease free ever since. Can I endorse Dr Isacoff? Could you recommend someone with many patients outliving statistics? I could never find words strong enough to describe my experience here. Hope, courage, quality of life, and the best care possible, are the only weapons the pancreatic cancer patient has, they exist here. With all the hope and strength I have Chris Calaprice.
- Chris C.
Approaching the Holiday Season in 2000 the future seemed bleak for my wife and myself. The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was horrible enough, and then I was directed to local facilities where treatment options were limited.
My wife’s search got me to UCLA Medical Center but the tumor proved unresectable. That dim outlook changed immediately upon meeting with Dr. Isacoff. He presented a comprehensive plan of chemotherapy and surgery that he coupled with the vast resources of the UCLA Medical Center. His confidence and quiet compassion gave us the assurance to move forward. An overwhelmingly positive response to the chemotherapy made possible a second, successful surgery.
That day he gave a gift beyond measure – Hope to fight the disease and to heal. Thank you Dr. Isacoff!
- Lee R.
My name is Maria E. Sanchez and have been a patient of Dr. William Isacoff since January 2004. When I was first diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, I was informed I had an inoperable tumor and was not eligible for the Whipple Operation. This was a very low period in my life and felt I had been given a “death sentence”! In early February 2004 I began my Chemotherapy protocol with Dr. Isacoff, he explained exactly what and how he was going to treat my illness. During this appointment I told him I didn’t want to know every detail of my illness and related issues, just what I had to do to beat this illness. Dr. Isacoff responded by telling me he was a “man of few words and that we would get along just great”. This did not mean that Dr. Isacoff did not answer or address any or all questions I have asked him over the past eight years. He has been very direct, informative, thorough and helpful in any question or concern I have had pertaining to my illness! Dr. Isacoff’s personal demeanor and professional approach to my illness has been one of the most comforting and calming effects in my battle to defeat this disease. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be a patient of Dr. William Isacoff.
What I greatly appreciate as a patient of Dr. Isacoff, is the personal care and attention given to me by him and his wonderful staff. My family and I are not treated as a number or a file, but as a member of “their family”. In each of my appointments, Dr. Isacoff always inquires how I am feeling; both physically and emotionally, giving me the feeling he really cares about me, as a person, and my progress. He is so knowledgeable and experienced in his field, that he anticipated my side effects from chemotherapy even before I experienced them. Dr. Isacoff always seemed to know and anticipate how I was going to feel before I actually did. It got to a point that I asked him to stop asking, how I was feeling, hoping I wouldn’t get the side effects. This has been our “personal joke” for over eight years. His “bedside manner” has always been one of compassion, caring and understanding. I love the fact that he listens and has a very good sense of humor. He jokes easily with us, my husband and me, and to us he is a “warm and fuzzy kind of guy who knows his stuff”.
Dr. Isacoff’s medical and office staff consisting of Afag, Joan, Fay, Arlene, Rose Mary and Sony (as well as, many other fine people over the years) are a very supportive group in helping us deal with every issue and procedure that is part of addressing my illness. These wonderful and caring individuals are a tremendous help in setting up appointments, dealing with insurance and other related issues that arise from time to time. They are all very supportive in every way possible in making one feel comfortable and relaxed as one undertakes their medical treatment. Going to my doctor’s appointment is like going to visit my family! A further example of Dr. Isacoff going the extra mile, for his patients, is his policy of answering his own phone after hours. On the few occasions I needed to speak with Dr. Isacoff after hours, he did not use an answering service; he personally took my calls and addressed my concerns or issues, directly and immediately. I have never experienced that practice with any other doctor. I think that’s great and extremely helpful to the patient!
Over the course of eight and a half years, the side effects of chemotherapy have caused several medical issues and set backs, I call them “bumps in the road”. As a result of Dr. Isacoff’s expertise, knowledge and treatment I was able to overcome them. Being at UCLA has afforded me the luxury and benefit of Dr. Isacoff’s connections to other UCLA physicians needed to treat me Dr. Howard Reber, Dr. O. Joe Hines, and Dr. Michele Hamilton. All the necessary CT Scans, PET Scans and lab work are performed at UCLA and are readily accessible and available both to doctors and patient.
My journey has not been an easy one. My “bumps in the road” were the result of chemo and Pancreatic Cancer: a. kidney failure, having to go on dialysis (I am no longer on dialysis); b. removal of my spleen; c. congestive heart failure; and d. the most devastating for a woman, going completely bald! I really feel and believe I could not have made it this far, if it wasn’t for Dr. Isacoff’s expertise in oncology, medical staff and wonderful office environment. I put my life in Dr. Isacoff’s hands! I trust him implicitly in the handling of my illness and I am living proof of his knowledge, expertise and his medical treatment.
On November 10, 2010 I had a PET Scan. The results indicated no signs of any DNA living cancer cells anywhere in my body. This was the result of God’s blessing and Dr. William Isacoff. Here we are in June 2012, and I am alive, healthy and vibrant. I plan on “being around for a very long time”. I’ve told my husband on numerous occasions, “I’m in love with you, but, I LOVE that man (Dr. Isacoff)!” This is how I truly feel about this wonderful God sent human being. I’m extremely grateful and appreciative of being the recipient of Dr. William Isacoff’s care. Without him, I wouldn’t be here enjoying life with my husband, five children and eight grandchildren!
- Maria E.
Dear Dr. Isacoff:
My name is Patty and I am 64 years old. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2004 and have been cancer free for 8 years. Many events led to my successful treatment and surgery. The most important decision you can make for yourself is the choice of an oncologist. I learned at the beginning that your oncologist is the person that can save your life or give you more time. You need to find an oncologist that treats your disease on a regular basis and is aware of the chemotherapies that are effective for pancreatic cancer, like Dr. Isacoff.
Beware of the results of your tests; endoscopic ultra-sound, blood work (specifically tumor markers, CAl9), CT scans and , if possible, pet scan. With regard to the Whipple Operation, if you have been told you are operable, I would strongly recommend you do it, but only with a surgeon who performs this particular operation at least once a month or more. I was able to go to John Hopkins in Maryland where these surgeries are done at least one or two times a week. They take a very aggressive approach when doing the Whipple and are more prepared for any complication.
After surgery and a reasonable time for recovery, regular check ups are necessary with your oncologist. Sometimes more follow chemo is recommended; I did additional chemo after surgery for 4 months. This is a very deadly disease and you need to give yourself every advantage when fighting it. I have talked with individuals as well as family members about pancreatic cancer and try to help in anyway I can. Dr. Isacoff and his staff have my permission to release my phone number or email if you want to talk with me.
- Patty B.
William Isacoff...thank you.
It was Sunday, April 25, 2010, 10 days following a shocking and devastating diagnosis of an unknown primary GI cancer with mets to the lungs. I was 57 years young, in the hospital with a chest tube due to a collapsed lung, having just been given my 1st round of chemotherapy the day before by a doctor who came in and said they better get started with chemo or I’d be gone in 3 weeks. This was happening to the girl who NEVER got a cold, sometimes hoped for a little flu to be able to have a couple of days off to rest in bed to catch-up on my life and watch movies all day (be careful what you wish for). So, after the hazmat dressed nurses finished delivering the poison, and I finished sweating through 8-10 hospital gowns that my grown son, in from New York, changed all night long, in walks this very handsome, well dressed, in a red golf sweater, right off the 18th hole at noon on that fateful Sunday. I was on oxygen, pain meds, anti-anxiety meds and could barely speak due to the cough that you wanted to suppress so no pain from the chest tube...I had lost 25 pounds in 3 weeks, (10 which were needed and a gift!) Have I painted the picture of what a complete mess I was as well as my shocked family was? At the request from a mutual friend, Dr. Isacoff received a phone call that day on the 17th hole and was sitting by my bedside less than an hour later holding my hand and telling me he had a plan. Right there he became my new oncologist, my friend and my savior. He is passionate about pancreatic cancer...passionate about raising money and awareness for finding new treatments...his patients become his extended family and although he doesn’t show a lot of emotion, there is not a more caring doctor who works endless hours overseeing all of his patients’ care. He treats his patients in new and different ways than other oncologists creating his own array of “chemo cocktails”. You know not to talk too much or ask too much as he is constantly thinking and changing the regime...but it’s working and he has more success than other doctors with this terrible disease. He is smart, loves the opera and that, I believe, is his source of relief from the stress of dealing with so many sick patients. It can’t be easy to watch all your patients struggle with a life threatening illness...but what he offers is more time and more hope to enjoy this precious life we are so blessed to have. God Bless him...
- Sharon F.
Thank you for your thoughtful, intelligent, and creative approach in treating our son Tyler. We are very grateful to you as we believe he would not have survived as long as he did in the care of any other doctor. The time we had with our son (5 1/2 years) far exceeded what we could have hoped for as he initially presented with Stage IV adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. This time was a great gift to our family. We are forever indebted to you.
- Dennis N., MD & Yvonne N.
Dear Doctor William Isacoff:
Your unique manner may tend to obscure a heart of Gold, but your compassion for your patient's welfare shines through brightly.
I came to you weak, you gave me strength:
I came to you in pain, you gave me relief:
I came to you distraught, you gave me comfort:
I came to you in fear, you gave me peace:
I came to you lost, you gave me purpose:
To you I give my most sincere THANKS!
In the belief that you will continue to use your special gift to help heal, give hope and instill optimism for life in, those that come to you, I praise and compliment you.
- Flora X.
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