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


Rounding Out a New Prevention Committee Leadership Team

Apr 17, 2015 - Dr. Powel Brown has co-led SWOG's Prevention Committee since its founding in 2008, partnering during most of that tenure with co-chairs Dr. Gary Goodman and, since last fall, Dr. Marian Neuhouser. Dr. Brown has told me he plans to step down as Prevention Committee Co-Chair later this year. I want to thank him for his outstanding prevention leadership over the last eight years.

After a national search to identify the best candidates, I have appointed Dr. Banu Arun to fill Dr. Brown's position. She will join Dr. Neuhouser as Co-Chair of our Prevention Committee as of our fall Group Meeting.

We advertised for candidates for this position with the goal of bringing onboard a co-chair with primary expertise in clinical genetics and genomics within the realm of cancer risk reduction, and one whose experience and research interests would complement the strengths of Dr. Neuhouser, a molecular epidemiologist with a focus on the role of lifestyle issues in risk reduction (see my earlier Front Line column for more on Dr. Neuhouser). Dr. Arun is an outstanding fit for this position. A Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with a joint appointment in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, she is founder and Co-Director of MD Anderson's Clinical Cancer Genetics Program, one of the nation's largest such programs, and she directs its academic, research, clinical, operational, and financial management.

In that role, she has led pioneering breast cancer prevention research evaluating biomarkers in women at high risk of the disease and has been PI or co-PI on numerous studies in breast cancer prevention and treatment.

Dr. Arun has long been a member of SWOG, but I want to welcome her to this new role, as well as express my delight in the quality of leadership we will continue to have in place for our Prevention Committee. I have every reason to expect that this premier cancer prevention research team, led in the past by Drs. Goodman and Brown, will continue in its preeminent position in the years to come under Drs. Neuhouser and Arun.

I also want to thank the position search committee, led by Drs. Frank Meyskens and Dawn Hershman, with the administrative handiwork of Nathan Eriksen, for a job well done!


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