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


Welcome to the new SWOG: The latest "fresh" face on the SWOG leadership team

Aug 22, 2014 - Carol Moinpour, co-chair of SWOG's Symptom Control & Quality of Life Committee, has let me know she plans to step down from that role at the end of the year. She has led the Committee with James Wade since its inception in 2008, during which time its work has included three important clinical trials of treatments to relieve aromatase-inhibitor-induced joint pain in breast cancer patients. We thank her for her exemplary service.

In my discussions with Frank Meyskens, Dawn Hershman, and other NCORP senior leadership, we identified Michael Fisch as an outstanding candidate to succeed Dr. Moinpour in this role. I am happy to announce he has accepted my offer to take this position.

Chair of the Department of General Oncology at MD Anderson, Dr. Fisch is not technically new to SWOG leadership. He has headed our Social Media Working Group for over a year, and he has been largely responsible for driving increased SWOG member participation over a range of social media -- especially Twitter. With that working group, he has also explored virtual tumor boards and telementoring models for engaging our physicians at a distance, has intensified our collaboration with patient advocates and advocacy organizations heavily engaged in social media, and has put together guidelines in sane and effective use of social media by SWOG members and staff.

He brings an equally creative and entrepreneurial outlook to his newest SWOG role. In our correspondence, he has already suggested a number of great ideas regarding the interface of cancer care delivery research and symptom control/survivorship. As an inveterate explorer of new technologies and tools, he sees symptom control and quality of life as two areas in which personal technology has distinct benefits to offer, and he has even spoken of some specific tech startups we might collaborate with in terms of our clinical trials.

We are lucky to have Dr. Fisch as Social Media Working Group Chair, and now as Symptom Control & Quality of Life Co-Chair. I have no doubt that under the guidance of Drs. Fisch and Wade, that Committee will continue to design and conduct critical clinical research that will ease patient suffering and improve patient quality of life -- like the rest of our Group.

P.S. Last week's Front Line included a call for members interested in serving as liaisons between our Adolescent and Young Adult Committee and our other research committees. Your response was highly gratifying, and I'm happy to report the spirit of volunteerism is alive and well within SWOG! Thank you.


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