Donald Abrams, MD

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

Hematology and Oncology, Hematology and Oncology ZSFG

Donald I. Abrams, M.D. is a general oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, an integrative oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He graduated from Brown University in 1972 and from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in Hematology-Oncology at the UCSF Cancer Research Institute in 1980. During his fellowship, Dr. Abrams spent eight months working in the retrovirology laboratory of Harold Varmus, M.D. during the time that the first cases of AIDS were being diagnosed. He subsequently returned to the clinical arena where he was one of the original clinician/investigators to recognize many of the early AIDS-related conditions. He conducted numerous clinical trials investigating conventional as well as complementary therapies in patients with HIV including therapeutic touch, Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions, medicinal mushrooms, medical marijuana and distant healing. His interest in botanical therapies led him to pursue a two-year Fellowship in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona which he completed in December 2004. His particular passion in the field involves nutrition and cancer. Since completing his Fellowship, Dr. Abrams has been providing Integrative Medicine consultation to people living with and beyond cancer at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He was Chief of Hematology-Oncology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General from 2003-2017. He co-edited an Oxford University Press textbook in Integrative Oncology with Andrew Weil, M.D.. He is a member of the NCI PDQ CAM Editorial Board. Dr. Abrams was President of the Society of Integrative Oncology in 2010.

Education
Fellowship, 2004 - Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona
Fellowship, 1983 - Hematology-Oncology, University of California San Francisco
Residency, 1980 - Internal Medicine, Kaiser San Francisco
M.D., 1977 - School of Medicine, Stanford University
Websites
Publications
  1. Questioning the New Drug Enforcement Administration Proposed Rule to Facilitate the Cultivation of Cannabis for Research Purposes.
  2. Effect of Inhaled Cannabis for Pain in Adults With Sickle Cell Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
  3. Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
  4. Vitamin D Levels in Patients with Colorectal Cancer Before and After Treatment Initiation.
  5. Considering abuse liability and neurocognitive effects of cannabis and cannabis-derived products when assessing analgesic efficacy: a comprehensive review of randomized-controlled studies.
  6. Priority Considerations for Medicinal Cannabis-Related Research.
  7. Improving Access to Integrative Oncology Through Group Medical Visits: A Pilot Implementation Project.
  8. Should Oncologists Recommend Cannabis?
  9. Why Insurance Companies Should Pay for Medical Cannabis.
  10. Pros and Cons of Dietary Strategies Popular Among Cancer Patients.
  11. An Integrative Approach to Prostate Cancer.
  12. The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids: An update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report.
  13. Novel tumor markers provide improved prediction of survival after diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
  14. A Guide to the National Academy of Science Report on Cannabis: An Exclusive Discussion with Panel Members.
  15. A Survey of Licensed Acupuncturists in the San Francisco Bay Area: Prevalence of Treating Oncology Patients.
  16. Perceived Stress in Patients with Common Gastrointestinal Disorders: Associations with Quality of Life, Symptoms and Disease Management.
  17. Long-term survival in AIDS-related primary central nervous system lymphoma.
  18. Using Medical Cannabis in an Oncology Practice.
  19. Integrating cannabis into clinical cancer care.
  20. Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Effectiveness Registry (PRIMIER) of the BraveNet practice-based research network: study protocol.
  21. Stromal immune infiltration in HIV-related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is associated with HIV disease history and patient survival.
  22. Inhaled Cannabis for Chronic Neuropathic Pain: A Meta-analysis of Individual Patient Data.
  23. Integrative Medicine Patients Have High Stress, Pain, and Psychological Symptoms.
  24. Cannabis in cancer care.
  25. Survival among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals with common non-AIDS-defining cancers.
  26. A comparative study of molecular characteristics of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma from patients with and without human immunodeficiency virus infection.
  27. Prostate cancer incidence and prostate-specific antigen testing among HIV-positive and HIV-negative men.
  28. Milking the evidence: diet does matter.
  29. Characteristics of cancer patients presenting to an integrative medicine practice-based research network.
  30. Non-AIDS-Defining Malignancies in the HIV-Infected Population.
  31. Correlating traditional Ayurvedic and modern medical perspectives on cancer: results of a qualitative study.
  32. Non-AIDS defining cancers in the D:A:D Study--time trends and predictors of survival: a cohort study.
  33. The medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids--an international cross-sectional survey on administration forms.
  34. The BraveNet prospective observational study on integrative medicine treatment approaches for pain.
  35. It's time for clinicians to reconsider their proscription against the use of soyfoods by breast cancer patients.
  36. Integrating dietary supplements into cancer care.
  37. Exposure to antiretroviral therapy and risk of cancer in HIV-infected persons.
  38. Patients seek integrative medicine for preventive approach to optimize health.
  39. Assessing the Association between Leptin and Bone Mineral Density in HIV-Infected Men.
  40. Epstein-Barr virus infection and expression of B-cell oncogenic markers in HIV-related diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma.
  41. What's the alternative?
  42. Yoga breathing for cancer chemotherapy-associated symptoms and quality of life: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial.
  43. Massage for children undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation: a qualitative report.
  44. Hematopoietic cell transplant and use of massage for improved symptom management: results from a pilot randomized control trial.
  45. HIV infection, immunodeficiency, viral replication, and the risk of cancer.
  46. Cannabinoid-opioid interaction in chronic pain.
  47. Colon cancer survival with herbal medicine and vitamins combined with standard therapy in a whole-systems approach: ten-year follow-up data analyzed with marginal structural models and propensity score methods.
  48. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) use and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in HIV-positive persons.
  49. Antihyperlipidemic effects of Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms) in HIV-infected individuals taking antiretroviral therapy.
  50. Cannabis in palliative medicine: improving care and reducing opioid-related morbidity.
  51. The relationship of chemotherapy-induced nausea to the frequency of pericardium 6 digital acupressure.
  52. Survival of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients with and without HIV infection in the era of combined antiretroviral therapy.
  53. Can clinicians now assure their breast cancer patients that soyfoods are safe?
  54. Not soy simple.
  55. New insights into the role of HIV infection on cancer risk.
  56. HIV infection and the risk of cancers with and without a known infectious cause.
  57. Interleukin-2 therapy in patients with HIV infection.
  58. Do antiretrovirals reduce the risk of non-AIDS-defining malignancies?
  59. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: complementary therapies and botanicals.
  60. HIV-induced immunodeficiency and mortality from AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining malignancies.
  61. Nausea at the end of adjuvant cancer treatment in relation to exercise during treatment in patients with breast cancer.
  62. Poor initial CD4+ recovery with antiretroviral therapy prolongs immune depletion and increases risk for AIDS and non-AIDS diseases.
  63. Review of acupressure studies for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting control.
  64. CD4+ count and risk of non-AIDS diseases following initial treatment for HIV infection.
  65. Symptoms, self-care, and quality of life of Chinese American patients with cancer.
  66. Risk of cancers during interrupted antiretroviral therapy in the SMART study.
  67. AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining malignancies: cancer occurrence in the antiretroviral therapy era.
  68. Vaporization as a smokeless cannabis delivery system: a pilot study.
  69. Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
  70. An overview of integrative oncology.
  71. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) effects on HIV replication and host immunity: a randomized placebo-controlled study.
  72. Integrative Oncology Practice Guidelines.
  73. CD4+ count-guided interruption of antiretroviral treatment.
  74. The efficacy of distant healing for human immunodeficiency virus--results of a randomized trial.
  75. Disadvantages of structured treatment interruption persist in patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1: final results of the CPCRA 064 study.
  76. Community-based clinical trials in hiv: the contributions of Mathilde Krim.
  77. Contrasts, conflicts, and change: A case in cultural oncology.
  78. Effect of IL-2 on hepatitis C virus RNA levels in patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus receiving HAART.
  79. Anemia and HIV in the antiretroviral era: potential significance of testosterone.
  80. Medicinal cannabis: rational guidelines for dosing.
  81. Nadir CD4+ T cell count predicts response to subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2.
  82. Continued CD4 cell count increases in HIV-infected adults experiencing 4 years of viral suppression on antiretroviral therapy.
  83. Structured treatment interruption in patients with multidrug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus.
  84. Short-term effects of cannabinoids in patients with HIV-1 infection: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
  85. Short-term effects of cannabinoids on immune phenotype and function in HIV-1-infected patients.
  86. Associations between water-treatment methods and diarrhoea in HIV-positive individuals.
  87. The evaluation of subcutaneous proleukin (interleukin-2) in a randomized international trial: rationale, design, and methods of ESPRIT.
  88. The effects of cannabinoids on the pharmacokinetics of indinavir and nelfinavir.
  89. Randomized, open-label study of the impact of two doses of subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2 on viral burden in patients with HIV-1 infection and CD4+ cell counts of > or = 300/mm3: CPCRA 059.
  90. Benefit of IL-2 therapy in HIV patients confirmed.
  91. Altered fat distribution in HIV-positive men on nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy.
  92. The rationale and design of the CPCRA (Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS) 058 FIRST (Flexible Initial Retrovirus Suppressive Therapies) trial.
  93. Use of androgens in patients who have HIV/AIDS: what we know about the effect of androgens on wasting and lipodystrophy.
  94. Epoetin alfa therapy for anaemia in HIV-infected patients: impact on quality of life.
  95. Potential interventions for HIV/AIDS wasting: an overview.
  96. A randomized study of antiretroviral management based on plasma genotypic antiretroviral resistance testing in patients failing therapy. CPCRA 046 Study Team for the Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  97. Kaposi's sarcoma and central nervous system disease: a real association or an artifact of the control group? Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  98. A randomized trial of daily and thrice-weekly trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for the prevention of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in human immunodeficiency virus-infected persons. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA)
  99. Current challenges to HIV research.
  100. Getting on with AIDS.
  101. Clinical experience and choice of drug therapy for human immunodeficiency virus disease.
  102. Community advisory boards: their role in AIDS clinical trials. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  103. Weight loss as a predictor of survival and disease progression in HIV infection. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  104. Medical marijuana: tribulations and trials.
  105. Nurses' attitudes and beliefs toward assisted suicide in AIDS.
  106. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the safety and efficacy of oral ganciclovir for prophylaxis of cytomegalovirus disease in HIV-infected individuals. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  107. Not all is dead in HIV-1 graveyard.
  108. Acyclovir use and survival among human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with CD4 cell counts of < 500/mm3. The Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA).
  109. Genotypic-resistance assays and antiretroviral therapy.
  110. Physician-assisted suicide and patients with human immunodeficiency virus disease.
  111. Zidovudine alone or in combination with didanosine or zalcitabine in HIV-infected patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter. Investigators for the Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Rese
  112. The role of critical care nurses in euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  113. Pilot randomized controlled trial of Chinese herbal treatment for HIV-associated symptoms.
  114. Current therapeutic options for Kaposi's sarcoma.
  115. Off-label drug use in human immunodeficiency virus disease.
  116. Response of CD4 lymphocytes and clinical consequences of treatment using ddI or ddC in patients with advanced HIV infection.
  117. Continuous low-dose interferon-alpha therapy for HIV-related immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
  118. Insights from monitoring the CPCRA didanosine/zalcitabine trial. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  119. Considerations in choice of a clinical endpoint for AIDS clinical trials. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA).
  120. Treatment options in zidovudine intolerance or failure.
  121. A comparative trial of didanosine or zalcitabine after treatment with zidovudine in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. The Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  122. Primary prophylaxis with pyrimethamine for toxoplasmic encephalitis in patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus disease: results of a randomized trial. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.
  123. Clofazimine as prophylaxis for disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection in AIDS.
  124. Guidelines for the design and conduct of AIDS clinical trials. AIDS Clinical Trials Group.
  125. Alpha 1-acid glycoprotein levels in AIDS patients before and after short-term treatment with zidovudine (ZDV)
  126. Tolerability of combined ganciclovir and didanosine for the treatment of cytomegalovirus disease associated with AIDS.
  127. Health beliefs and promotion of HIV-preventive intentions among teenagers: a Scottish perspective.
  128. Physicians' attitudes toward assisted suicide in AIDS.
  129. Continuous, low-dose therapy with interferon-alpha for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
  130. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and related malignancies: a topical overview.
  131. Clinical and virologic effects of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in patients receiving chemotherapy for human immunodeficiency virus-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: results of a randomized trial.
  132. Ditiocarb sodium (diethyldithiocarbamate) therapy in patients with symptomatic HIV infection and AIDS. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study.
  133. Surrogate markers for survival in patients with AIDS and AIDS related complex treated with zidovudine.
  134. Risk factors for rapid progression from hairy leukoplakia to AIDS: a nested case-control study.
  135. The usefulness of diagnostic bone marrow examination in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
  136. Alternative therapies in HIV infection.
  137. Clinical manifestations of HIV infection, including persistent generalized lymphadenopathy and AIDS-related complex.
  138. Effects of the use of AZT on the medical care costs of persons with AIDS in the first 12 months.
  139. The relationship between Kaposi's sarcoma and intestinal parasites among homosexual males in the United States.
  140. Serum beta 2-microglobulin decreases in patients with AIDS or ARC treated with azidothymidine.
  141. Anaphylactoid drug reactions to ciprofloxacin and rifampicin in HIV-infected patients.
  142. AIDS-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in San Francisco.
  143. Oral dextran sulfate (UA001) in the treatment of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex.
  144. A phase I/II study of recombinant tumor necrosis factor and recombinant interferon gamma in patients with AIDS-related complex.
  145. Intralesional recombinant tumor necrosis factor-alpha for AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma: a randomized, double-blind trial.
  146. The persistent lymphadenopathy syndrome and immune thrombocytopenic purpura in HIV-infected individuals.
  147. Peripheral neuropathy associated with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Prevalence and clinical features from a population-based survey.
  148. The pre-AIDS syndromes. Asymptomatic carriers, thrombocytopenic purpura, persistent generalized lymphadenopathy, and AIDS-related complex.
  149. Informational needs of homosexual men diagnosed with AIDS or AIDS-related complex.
  150. Tumor necrosis factors alpha and beta in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and aids-related complex.
  151. Immunodeficiency-associated thrombocytopenic purpura (IDTP). Response to splenectomy.
  152. Alpha interferon therapy of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma.
  153. Lack of response to suramin in patients with AIDS and AIDS-related complex.
  154. Relation of oral hairy leukoplakia to infection with the human immunodeficiency virus and the risk of developing AIDS.
  155. AIDS update--1987.
  156. AIDS-related benign lymphadenopathy and malignant lymphoma: clinical aspects and virologic interactions.
  157. Alpha interferon therapy of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma.
  158. Treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome with an alternating vincristine-vinblastine regimen.
  159. Lupus anticoagulant in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  160. Lymphadenopathy related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in homosexual men.
  161. Routine care and psychosocial support of the patient with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  162. AIDS-related lymphomas: evaluation by abdominal CT.
  163. AIDS-related lymphadenopathy: the role of biopsy.
  164. Abdominal CT in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  165. Antibodies to human T-lymphotropic virus type III and development of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in homosexual men presenting with immune thrombocytopenia.
  166. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of lymphadenopathy in homosexual males.
  167. The use of plasmapheresis, lymphocytapheresis, and staph protein-A immunoadsorption as an immunomodulatory therapy in patients with AIDS and AIDS-related conditions.
  168. Replication of Epstein-Barr virus within the epithelial cells of oral "hairy" leukoplakia, an AIDS-associated lesion.
  169. Target platelet antigen in homosexual men with immune thrombocytopenia.
  170. Inflammatory neuropathy in homosexual men with lymphadenopathy.
  171. Vinblastine therapy for Kaposi's sarcoma in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  172. Clinical care and research in AIDS.
  173. Impaired mononuclear-cell proliferation in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome results from abnormalities of both T lymphocytes and adherent mononuclear cells.
  174. Incidence of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in San Francisco, 1980-1983.
  175. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)--apheresis and operative risks.
  176. Asymptomatic lymphadenopathy and other early presentations of AIDS.
  177. Incidence of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in San Francisco.
  178. Interferon and interleukin-2 therapy of Kaposi's sarcoma.
  179. Isolated thrombocytopenia in homosexual men--longitudinal follow-up.
  180. Lymphadenopathy: end-point prodrome? Update of a 36-month prospective study.
  181. Oral viral leukoplakia--a new AIDS-associated condition.
  182. Indomethacin enhances the proliferation of mitogen-stimulated T lymphocytes of homosexual males with persistent generalized lymphadenopathy.
  183. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 90 homosexual men. Relation to generalized lymphadenopathy and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  184. Defective polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis in homosexual men with persistent lymph node syndrome.
  185. Persistent diffuse lymphadenopathy in homosexual men: endpoint or prodrome?
  186. The diagnosis of AIDS and AIDS related complex in the dental office: findings in 171 homosexual males.
  187. Disseminated coccidioidomycosis in AIDS.
  188. B-cell immunodeficiency in acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
  189. Kaposi sarcoma and lymphadenopathy syndrome: limitations of abdominal CT in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  190. Hematologic manifestations in homosexual men with Kaposi's sarcoma.
  191. High-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in patients with AIDS.
  192. Lymphadenopathy: endpoint or prodrome? Update of a 24-month prospective study.
  193. Complications of co-trimoxazole in treatment of AIDS-associated Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in homosexual men.
  194. Acquired immune dysfunction in homosexual men: immunologic profiles.
  195. AIDS in the "gay" areas of San Francisco.
  196. Serum vitamin B12, folate, and iron levels in recurrent aphthous ulceration.
  197. Cytomegalovirus and Kaposi's sarcoma in young homosexual men.