Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Last post: MD Anderson Cancer Center
Egidio Del Fabbro first became interested in palliative care as a practicing
internist, when he recognized certain deficiencies in his training. “I
wanted to become more accomplished at treating pain symptoms,” he said.
He felt managing patients’ symptoms in a supportive way was crucial to
caring for them.
So Del Fabbro, who earned his medical degree in
South Africa and did residencies in the UK and the U.S., headed to MD
Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a palliative care fellowship. “Six
months into the fellowship, I realized there was a real gap in
knowledge with regard to palliative care,” he said. “There was an
opportunity to do pioneering work.” He stayed on as faculty, helping to
direct the palliative care program and co-founding a clinic for patients
with cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome. His research studies
have included testosterone replacement for fatigue and melatonin
treatment for patients whose lack of appetite results in weight and
Del Fabbro became program director of palliative
care at the Massey Cancer Center last May. Initially drawn to the MCV
Campus for its comprehensive palliative care center, he’s since been
impressed by the knowledge and integration of palliative care both in
and outside of oncology. Del Fabbro says that’s a great setting in which
to do meaningful research.