Thomas William LeBlanc
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. LeBlanc is a medical oncologist, palliative care physician, and researcher.  His clinical practice focuses on the care of patients with hematologic malignancies, with a particular emphasis on myeloid conditions and acute leukemias including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs / MPDs, CML), as well as some lymphomas and multiple myeloma.  He is an active member of the inpatient non-transplant hematologic malignancies care team, based on the 9100 ward of Duke Hospital.

His research interests converge on common issues faced by patients with cancer, particularly those with high-risk or relapsed/refractory hematologic malignancies. Issues of symptom burden and quality of life are of central importance in these settings, and may lead patients to face difficult decision-making scenarios. Dr. LeBlanc’s research explores the experience of patients and families in these settings, and aims to improve the experience of patients with blood cancers, including the involvement of specialist palliative care services as part of their comprehensive cancer care, even alongside active cancer-directed therapy.  

Dr. LeBlanc is the recipient of a Junior Career Development Award grant from the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC). This grant funded his efforts to better understand the experience of patients with AML, including symptom burden, quality of life, and understanding of prognosis. This work has been mentored by a team of expert researchers, including Drs. Amy Abernethy, James Tulsky, Karen Steinhauser, Kath Pollak, and Peter Ubel.  Dr. LeBlanc's work in palliative care research led to his recognition as an "Inspirational Leader under 40" by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Dr. LeBlanc subsequently received a Sojourns Scholars Leadership Award from the Cambia Health Foundation, facilitating his career development as a palliative care expert for patients with hematologic malignancies, and a Mentored Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to fund his work to improve patients' experiences when making a treatment decision about AML. He is chair-elect of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and sits on the Scientific Review Committee of the NIH-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group.  He also represents the Duke Cancer Institute, a National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member, on the NCCN panel for cancer-related fatigue, and was granted "Fellow" status by the AAHPM in 2016.

He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke, as well as fellowships in Medical Oncology and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  He graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine, also earning a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy during that time, and served as Chief Medical Resident at the Durham VA Medical Center.  He holds board certifications in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  He is actively involved with teaching of medical students and housestaff at Duke, particularly with regards to issues of patient-doctor communication, and is mentoring several Duke trainees on research projects.

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