The spring meeting is cancelled, but the show will still go on.

The new coronavirus now registers as a pandemic, and it’s creating significant concerns at home and abroad. But we can’t let it stop our progress.

So, we’re connecting with SWOG Cancer Research Network committee chairs to ensure that the protocol development work that typically goes on at our face-to-face meetings does not stall for 6 months. We’re building a schedule of virtual working committee sessions, likely using an enhancement of the WebEx system many of you are already comfortable with. Some committee meetings will be open, allowing all members to attend. Others truly are working meetings for committee leadership, but non-proprietary results from those will still be widely disseminated. The open meetings will still be eligible for CME. I’ll share a link to our complete virtual spring meeting schedule with you next Friday, March 20, right here on Front Line. 

As you know, we’re not alone in cancelling our meeting. The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group have cancelled their spring meetings, and the American Association of Cancer Research did the same – despite expecting a record 24,000 attendees next month in San Diego.

In the meantime, you can read a FAQ about the cancelled meeting on We posted it Wednesday in order to get you preliminary but important information on session logistics, travel cancellations, and more. We’ll be updating it in the days to come.

Also, SWOG and Hope are taking additional precautions to keep our staff safe. Group chair’s office employees in Portland, the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research team in Ann Arbor, MI, and the operations office team in San Antonio, TX, will be telecommuting for the foreseeable future. Fred Hutch and CRAB employees – who make up our statistics and data management center in Seattle – have worked from home since last week.

Please continue to watch for updates on our virtual group meeting sessions. My hope is that we come together in Chicago, in better times. SWOG has made amazing progress recently, and I want that forward momentum to continue.