SWOG Oncology, our private Facebook group for members, launched in March 2017 as a grand experiment. Would SWOG members of all stripes want to talk to each other – across committees and 47 different states?

The answer is yes. We have 236 Facebook members, and they include executive officers, committee chairs, investigators, advocates, SWOG and The Hope Foundation staff members, and a large contingent of clinical research associates and nurses. It's a great mix.

We built it. People came! Now we're making the platform better. Starting this Monday, we're rolling out several new features with the aim to get more members to the page – and to get more of them engaged once they're there.

As a large, widely distributed cancer research organization, we're trying to see if this Facebook group can better connect SWOG members and provide value by providing a place to share news about our trials, giving updates on funding opportunities from The Hope Foundation, and creating a place where people can swap tips, ask questions, share articles and reports, and otherwise get the information, insights, and connections they need to run high-quality oncology trials.

With value and engagement in mind, here is the new line-up for SWOG Oncology:

  • "Five Things to Know” – A monthly feature on a SWOG trial or cancer type by Dr. Mark Lewis, a digital engagement member and chair of our adolescent and young adult committee. On Monday, Mark is posting about S1608, a lymphoma trial run by Dr. Paul Barr.
  • "SWOG Launch” – A feature that posts every time a new SWOG trial is activated, with basic information about the trial and answers to questions about the new study.
  • "Engagement Studio” – A monthly feature that provides accrual advice on a featured trial from a variety of stakeholders – CRA, investigator, advocate, and the SWOG recruitment and retention specialist and the SWOG communications manager. It's an approach pioneered by the National Cancer Institute's Accrual Core Team, and we're eager to try it online.
  • "Ask an Advocate” "Ask an Expert” and "Hello My Name is…” will be monthly features that, respectively, introduce SWOG Oncology members to our patient advocates, our protocol coordinators, scientists, statisticians and other experts, and also SWOG staffers.

We also post this blog, group meeting news, and more.

If you're a SWOG member but not a member of SWOG Oncology, I encourage you to join. Just get on Facebook, search "SWOG Oncology” and click the "join” button. You'll be notified when you're in – and able to join the conversation. We're really looking to move the "lurkers” to comment, like, and add posts of their own, on trial topics important to them.

If you have ideas or comments on the group, please share them with page administrators and digital engagement members Morgan Cox at zbetna/ng/gurubcrsbhaqngvba/qbg/bet and Wendy Lawton at ynjgbaj/ng/bfuh/qbg/rqh or with Mark Lewis, who is leading our Facebook efforts, at znex/qbg/yrjvf2/ng/vznvy/qbg/bet. See you online!