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The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair
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New Leadership for Survivorship

November 10, 2017 - A few weeks ago, I announced at our Chicago Plenary II session that Dr. Carol Fabian was stepping down as co-chair of our survivorship committee. Now, I am pleased to announce new leadership for that critical group.

In fact, I am pleased to announce not one new co-chair, but two. We were graced with so many wonderful applicants! Two appeared to be so complementary, and such a good fit with the committee and SWOG, that the search committee and I decided to offer the job to them both. Dr. Halle Moore of Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Melinda Irwin of Yale School of Public Health take on their co-chair roles effective immediately.

Dr. Moore is a medical oncologist who developed the Breast Cancer Survivorship Committee at Cleveland Clinic. She has sterling research credentials, making a splash at ASCO back in 2014 as lead author of the POEMS study results, which showed that the breast cancer drug goserelin actually protects the ovaries Ė and, thus, fertility Ė from chemotherapy damage.

Her vision for the committee: Get patient advocates to identify the areas of greatest need for research, and prioritize those trials, promoting the ones most likely to change practice. Dr. Moore is also interested in mining our patient-reported outcome and toxicity data as a cost effective way to learn more about long-term treatments with neuro- and cardiotoxicity.

Dr. Irwin holds both a doctorate and a masterís degree in public health. She is a professor of epidemiology at Yale and serves as a leader in the Yale Cancer Centerís Population Sciences and Cancer Control and Prevention programs. A prolific researcher, she has focused on exercise and weight loss, treatment side effects, and quality of life. A prolific mentor, she is often sought out as an expert on physical activity, diet, weight, and cancer prevention and control.

Her vision for the committee: Like Dr. Moore, she is interested in high-impact trials that will help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating are all interests of Dr. Irwin, as are understudied cancers, underserved populations, rigorous methods and innovative approaches, and mentoring junior investigators.

And what of Dr. Robert Krouse, who served as co-chair of survivorship alongside Dr. Fabian for years? We didnít fire him! Dr. Krouseís research interests actually better mesh with our new palliative and end-of-life committee in development (featured in The Front Line a few weeks ago). He will assume a leadership role with that group. In 2018, we hope to bring it the committee to the board of governors for a formal vote, assuming its members successfully open protocols and secure funding through the NCIís Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

I am sincerely thrilled about our new leadership structure, and want to thank Dr. Krouse for his continued leadership. Thanks as well to Dr. Kathy Albain for overseeing such a successful search.

SWOG's new website launches November 28, and you'll need proper credentials to log-in. Check for details.

 
     
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