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The Front Line


The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair

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Getting Back to our Roots in San Francisco

February 24, 2017 - Registration opened this week for our spring group meeting, to be held April 26-29 in San Francisco. While the theme of the meeting is innovation, we will also be discussing our core mission and values. Both this spring, and this fall in Chicago, we’ll be focusing on our trials, bringing you the best in cancer clinical research in SWOG and beyond.

In San Francisco, at the general plenary, Executive Officers Drs. Julie Gralow, Susan O’Brien, and Chris Ryan will give a brief overview of the most innovative trials underway in their disease committees – those with intriguing hypotheses, new designs, exciting drugs, new partners, and/or unique funding mechanisms. Our Harry E. Hynes Speaker is Linda House, president of Cancer Support Community, the largest nonprofit cancer support network worldwide, and she’ll discuss the latest in survivorship research. Finally, Dr. Deborah Zarin who heads up ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest database of clinical studies and a major source of information for potential trial participants, will round out our Plenary II program. ClinicalTrials.gov is undergoing changes, and we’ll get an update on improvements to this critical search tool.

There will be other exciting events. These include a major palliative care symposium organized by Dr. Frank Meyskens. This is potentially a big one. The long-term goal of the event is to spark development of a research program to address palliative care and advanced care planning issues within SWOG and our partners in the NCTN. We’ll also have a translational medicine mini-retreat on biomarkers for immune therapy, much of it open to all SWOG members, thanks to organizers Dr. Mario Sznol of Yale Cancer Center, Dr. Karolina Palucka of The Jackson Laboratory, and Mikala Egeblad, PhD of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Lee Ellis has created a killer line-up for the translational medicine plenary, which includes Dr. Margaret Foti, CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research. Finally, Dr. Lisa Kachnic is spearheading a symposium on radiation oncology, which will focus on strategic planning for radiation research within SWOG.

So we’ll be focusing in 2017 on our core mission – running clinical trials – but also discussing how we can do this work in new ways that benefit patients. Get spring group meeting details at SWOG.org, where you can get the full schedule of events, along with registration and travel information. See you in San Francisco!

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