Jeffrey Letzer, D.O., is a medical oncologist/hematologist with MidMichigan Physicians Group and is a member of the comprehensive cancer care team at MidMichigan Health. This team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, specialized surgeons, interventional radiologists, as well as breast nurse navigators and a genetic counselor.
Dr. Letzer went into the field of medicine in order to pursue a career that is intellectually and emotionally challenging and fulfilling. “I am very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to combat medical illness as a profession,” said Dr. Letzer.
He first became a blood doctor or hematologist in large part because it seemed that most physicians understood so little about this fascinating area of medicine. However, he realized that the pursuit of treating all cancers would be the greatest medical challenge during his lifetime. “Since I entered the field of oncology, the fight against cancer has become progressively more challenging and complicated, but with more hope for success than ever,” he said.
Philosophy of Care
Dr. Letzer describes his overall philosophy of care as compassionate, honest and straight forward.
“I believe in being hopeful when there is any chance of hope, but honest and direct when there is no chance of getting better. I believe that every patient and family deserves an honestly delivered opinion in order to make informed decisions,” he said.
According to Dr. Letzer, his medical approach varies between extremely aggressive to less aggressive, to supportive only, depending on the patient’s age, strength, circumstances and wishes or goals. “I aspire to treat my patients with the same level of care that they would receive at a large academic center like Mayo Clinic. I always treat my patients as I would want my family members to be treated.”
Dr. Letzer and his wife have three children and are excited about being part of the Midland community. In his spare time, Dr. Letzer enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife and children. When time allows, he also enjoys playing golf, listening to jazz and reading non-medical books.
Special Interests and Procedures
During his career, Dr. Letzer has been devoted to offering and enrolling patients in clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute and the Food and Drug Administration pharmaceutical trials. “I continue to believe that every appropriate patient deserves not only the standards of care, but also consideration of suitable clinical trial participation to give them the best chance of successful cancer treatment,” he added.
Additionally, Dr. Letzer served as the principal investigator on several clinical trials involving genetically targeted therapy and immunotherapy preceding FDA approval.
Dr. Letzer is the co-author of an abstract which was presented at the 2015 American Society of Hematology meeting. His abstract is entitled “An Expanded Treatment Protocol of Panobinostat Plus Bortezomib and Dexamethasone in Patients with Previously Treated Myeloma.”