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SWOG is a worldwide network of researchers that design and conduct cancer clinical trials. The group's goal is to change medical practice so it improves the lives of people with cancer. SWOG trials test new ways to diagnose and treat cancer, as well as prevent it. SWOG researchers also study ways to improve the care cancer patients receive, and improve quality of life for both patients and survivors.

SWOG is a major part of the national cancer research infrastructure.

The nearly 6,000 physician researchers in the network practice at more than 950 institutions nationwide and in six other countries. The network includes 32 of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, as well as community hospitals, private practices, and physician group networks. Formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, SWOG is one of five cooperative groups in the NCI's National Clinical Trials Network and is primarily supported through NCI grants, making it heavily dependent on federal support.

SWOG researchers routinely announce clinical trial results at major medical conferences and publish in leading scientific journals. For more information, visit the Publications page.

Our Impact
Our Group Chair
Our NCI-Designated Cancer Centers
Our Group's Leadership


Our Impact

SWOG researchers study many kinds of cancer in adults, young adults, and teens. These include cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, skin, colon, stomach, bladder, liver, kidney, and pancreas, as well as cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. SWOG researchers study new and better cancer diagnostic tools, drugs, and prevention methods. They also study ways to improve the care cancer patients receive, and improve the quality of life for both cancer patients and survivors. Approximately 100 SWOG clinical trials are underway at any given time.

Since its founding in 1956, SWOG has enrolled more than 200,000 adults in its trials, with about 20,000 enrolled at any given time. These trials have numbered more than 1,000 and have led to advances in cancer treatment and prevention that have improved the lives and health of millions, and resulted in FDA approval of at least 12 significant new cancer drugs. SWOG also manages a biorepository of 600,000 specimens with associated clinical data - assets that are routinely used by other researchers, resulting in exciting new discoveries long after trials are completed.

Click on the links to the left for more information about SWOG. Learn more about the Group's leadership at our Leadership page.


SWOG Chair Charles D. Blanke, M.D.

Charles D. Blanke, M.D. On April 14, 2012, at the group's spring meeting in San Francisco, SWOG's board of governors selected Charles D. Blanke to be the group's next chair. After serving as chair-elect for one year, Blanke became SWOG chair on May 1, 2013, at the expiration of the term of outgoing SWOG chair, Laurence H. Baker, D.O.

Blanke is professor of medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University. Until recently, he was vice-president of systemic therapy for the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, and professor and chief of medical oncology at the University of British Columbia. A member of SWOG since 1999, he served as chair of the group's Gastrointestinal Committee from 2003 to 2013. He also chairs the Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) Task Force for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Gastrointestinal Steering Committee.

He has a particular interest in pathway-driven oncology research, having been instrumental in the development of imatinib mesylate for use in patients with locally advanced and metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Blanke earned an M.D. with distinction from Northwestern University, completed residency training at the Gundersen Medical Foundation, where he served as chief resident, and was a hematology/medical oncology fellow at Indiana University, where he also served as chief fellow. He has had positions on the faculty of Vanderbilt University.

Blanke is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), an honor formerly known as the ASCO Statesman Award.


SWOG Member Institutions that are NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

Arizona Cancer Center
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
  Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan
Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii
  Cancer Therapy and Research Center
University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, Texas
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California at Irvine
Orange, California
  City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute
Duarte, California
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center
Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington
  H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
College of Physicians & Surgeons
Columbia University
New York, New York
  Hollings Cancer Center
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Huntsman Cancer Institute
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
  Jonsson Cancer Center
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Knight Cancer Institute
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, Oregon
  M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas
Houston, Texas
Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California
  University of California Davis Cancer Center
Sacramento, California
University of Colorado Cancer Center
University of Colorado Health Science Center
Denver, Colorado
  University of Kansas Cancer Center
Kansas City, Kansas
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  Universtiy of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
  Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center
New Haven, Connecticut
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