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SWOG Update
November 2010

Welcome to the November 2010 SWOG Update.

For all members and friends of SWOG, the SWOG Update will keep you informed of what's happening with the group. News to report? Send it to

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Chair's Corner  
Nurturing cancer survivorship research in the CCOPs
Laurence H. Baker photo Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOPs) are ideally suited to conduct the sort of long-term follow-up with patients that is needed to answer questions about the late effects of treatment, toxicity, and disease. [more]

Study Updates  

notched fly wings S0933: Taking a Notch out of melanoma
The Notch receptor is a key piece of the system cells use to communicate to their neighbors and is believed to be important in cell development and differentiation. SWOG's newest study aims to interfere with the control of Notch-based function on gene expression in melanoma cells. [more]

In the News  
You, your colleagues, and your cooperative group in the media ...
  • The October 1, 2010 Cancer Letter reported that David Alberts, M.D., director of the Arizona Cancer Center and until August vice-chair of SWOG's Gynecologic Committee, received the Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2010 Clinical Research Award at that group's 27th National Oncology Economics Conference. Alberts was honored for his extensive research, leadership, and commitment to individuals with cancer.
  • Laurence Baker, D.O., SWOG group chair, was quoted in the November 16 issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin in a story on the difficulties of moving a promising treatment for Ewing sarcoma into later-phase trials, in spite of its promise. Baker said "The extent of [Roche 1507's] activity in Ewing sarcoma is nearly identical to what was seen with trastuzumab (Herceptin) in breast cancer when it first went into phase II testing."
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One advocate's perspective

R. Bangs
Rick Bangs, SWOG patient advocate for bladder cancer

What follows is an excerpt from a brief talk given in August to the Bladder Cancer Think Tank, a group of leading researchers in the field, by Rick Bangs, SWOG bladder cancer patient advocate.

My transformation started four years ago this very month when I noticed faint traces of blood in my urine. My journey, like 25% of my brethren, started with muscle-invasion or what I call the Fast Track. I quickly made decisions about where I would go, what I would do, and who would do it. I have no regrets about any of these decisions, and I received exceptional care.

I remember being in the waiting area outside the clinic, completing the myriad of forms that were provided. I was asked to participate in some studies being done on bladder cancer: quality of life with a neobladder versus an ileal conduit, and some tissue bank/genetic studies.

Permission granted? Check.
Permission granted? Check.
Permission granted? Check.

I did not think twice about participating; I would gladly have signed up for more. I vowed at that moment that "some good must come of this."
"Some good must come of this" has been my mantra, my North Star, since that time.


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