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


"Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer" *

Dec 12, 2014 - The results of the leadership elections for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) were announced this week, which gives me a chance to recognize some -- really all -- of our members. While a few SWOG participants receive a small amount of monetary compensation, the vast number of volunteers donate their time to our organization. And those who do so tend to contribute to other anti-cancer efforts as well.

Our own Daniel Hayes, TM Chair for the Breast Committee, and a champion of translational medicine across SWOG, will be the next ASCO President-Elect, and of course ASCO President to follow. Our Executive Officer for NCORP, Craig Nichols, has been elected as ASCO's upcoming Treasurer. Primo Lara, whose is Chair of our Professional Review Committee, among other roles, will join already present member Lee Ellis (Vice Chair for TM) on ASCO's Nominating Committee, an incredibly important group that sifts through members' propositions and selects candidates for ASCO's Board and executive positions.

Obviously this is good news for SWOG, and great news for those colleagues (congratulations!), and it says something larger about our organization. As I started to say above, SWOG is successful only because of the passion and the exemplary work ethos of legions of highly committed researchers (i.e., you) and leaders.

So many endeavors profit from the fire and initiative our members bring. What drives them in their work with SWOG drives them to contribute to not just ASCO but also the National Cancer Institute. Another example: Some 60 SWOG members serve on the NCI Scientific Steering Committees, including but not limited to Michael Fisch, David Gaffney, David Gershenson, Eric Klein, Oliver Press, and Jerald Radich, who all co-chair their Steering Committees. And our members play major roles in AACR, ASH, ONS, SOCRA, . . . the list goes on. And on.

In recognizing your contributions, and as we barrel into the final weeks of 2014, I want to thank all of you for your incredible efforts to enroll patients to SWOG trials over the past year, and to let you know that we are on course to reach -- and even somewhat exceed -- our accrual target for 2014.

* A. Klein


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