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SWOG is a cancer research cooperative group that designs and conducts multidisciplinary clinical trials to improve the practice of medicine in preventing, detecting, and treating cancer, and to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. Primary support for SWOG comes from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States.

The more than 4,000 researchers in the group's network practice at more than 650 institutions, including 24 of the NCI-designated cancer centers as well as cancer centers in almost a dozen other countries.

Formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, SWOG is headquartered at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and has an operations office in San Antonio and a statistical center in Seattle.

What We Do
Our Group Chair
Our NCI-Designated Cancer Centers
Our Group's Leadership


What We Do
SWOG studies many cancer types in adolescents, young adults, and adults, including breast, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and lung cancers, as well as melanoma, myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma. Approximately 100 clinical trials are underway at any given time.

The Group's network of more than 4,000 physician-researchers practice at more than 650 institutions. Among SWOG's institutions are 24 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Physicians must meet strict medical and ethical requirements in order to become SWOG members and to conduct the Group's protocols. Among the types of medical practices represented in the Group are university teaching hospitals, community hospitals, community-based physician cooperatives, and individual physician offices.

An average of 5,000 cancer patients and healthy participants are enrolled each year in Group studies, and approximately 30,000 more are involved annually in ongoing clinical trials. Since the Group's founding in 1956, more than 200,000 participants have enrolled in SWOG-led clinical trials. The advances in cancer treatment and prevention that have come from those trials have improved the lives and health of millions more.

Click on the links to the left for more information about SWOG. Learn more about the Group's leadership at our Leadership page.


SWOG Chair Charles D. Blanke, M.D.

Charles D. Blanke, M.D. On April 14, 2012, at the group's spring meeting in San Francisco, SWOG's board of governors selected Charles D. Blanke to be the group's next chair. After serving as chair-elect for one year, Blanke became SWOG chair on May 1, 2013, at the expiration of the term of outgoing SWOG chair, Laurence H. Baker, D.O.

Blanke is professor of medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University. Until recently, he was vice-president of systemic therapy for the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, and professor and chief of medical oncology at the University of British Columbia. A member of SWOG since 1999, he served as chair of the group's Gastrointestinal Committee from 2003 to 2013. He also chairs the Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) Task Force for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Gastrointestinal Steering Committee.

He has a particular interest in pathway-driven oncology research, having been instrumental in the development of imatinib mesylate for use in patients with locally advanced and metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Blanke earned an M.D. with distinction from Northwestern University, completed residency training at the Gundersen Medical Foundation, where he served as chief resident, and was a hematology/medical oncology fellow at Indiana University, where he also served as chief fellow. He has had positions on the faculty of Vanderbilt University.

Blanke is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), an honor formerly known as the ASCO Statesman Award.


SWOG Member Institutions that are NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

Arizona Cancer Center
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
  Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan
Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii
  Cancer Therapy and Research Center
University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, Texas
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California at Irvine
Orange, California
  City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute
Duarte, California
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center
Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington
  H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
College of Physicians & Surgeons
Columbia University
New York, New York
  Hollings Cancer Center
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Huntsman Cancer Institute
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
  Jonsson Cancer Center
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Knight Cancer Institute
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, Oregon
  M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas
Houston, Texas
Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California
  University of California Davis Cancer Center
Sacramento, California
University of Colorado Cancer Center
University of Colorado Health Science Center
Denver, Colorado
  University of Kansas Cancer Center
Kansas City, Kansas
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  Universtiy of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
  Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center
New Haven, Connecticut
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