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

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In Chicago, Get Grounded in the Present

September 9, 2016 - As you know, we’ll be celebrating 60 years of SWOG history next week in Chicago. In fact, this will take up a huge percentage of the group meeting. But we won’t just focus on the past. In fact, both plenary sessions will provide an exceptional look at the here-and-now.

In our translational medicine plenary, SWOG Vice Chair Dr. Lee Ellis has lined up speakers who will tackle hot current topics – like ethical dilemmas in genomic medicine and integrative sequencing in precision oncology.

And if you want to gauge the effect of our partnerships with The Jackson Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, you’ll get information directly from none other than Dr. Ed Liu, JAX president and CEO, and Dr. Dave Tuveson, deputy director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center. These partnerships have already led to development of research proposals and intensive training opportunities for our young investigators. Learn more by attending Plenary I.

At Plenary II, our general group session, we’ll get important status updates from the National Cancer Institute. Andrea Denicoff has spent months leading an NCI-wide discussion about how to improve their informed consent template. As you all know, the process of obtaining consent from patients underpins all clinical trials. We have an ethical obligation to educate people about the risks and benefits of joining any study, and what participation might mean for their health, their time, and their financial well-being. Andrea will summarize the feedback from SWOG and the rest of the National Clinical Trials Network, and tell us about next steps.

Drs. Jeff Abrams and Sheila Prindiville also take the stage. As you know, the new National Clinical Trials Network was formed in March 2014 when the cooperative group system was reorganized. Now, with the NCTN itself coming up for review, Jeff and Sheila are visiting members to hear what is working, what isn’t, and to get your ideas on making the future better. They already met with NRG Oncology, and now it’s our turn. Bring your brightest ideas, most thoughtful critiques, and any questions you’ve got.

Note that the group meeting has gone mobile. If you’re going to Chicago, or just want to check out the program on your smartphone, click this link

If you can’t be with us, know that we will share all the best bits right here on Front Line. We’re taking a break next week – the Chicago celebration will be in full swing – but we will be back in your inbox September 23 with a full report. Also know that the group meeting talks will be posted to SWOG.org later this fall, and special anniversary content will post on the SWOG and The Hope Foundation websites.

Here’s to the past – and to the present! See you all soon.

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