Much going on in the world has stopped – but science presses on, and medical journals keep publishing. A huge glut of conferences have simply moved online, with video presentations, virtual poster sessions, press conferences, and even cocktail receptions taking place via Zoom, Google, and WebEx.

It’s heartening. Advances in cancer science and medicine keep coming, and so does the news that they make. Some great SWOG findings have gone public these last two months, work that might be overshadowed by the current emergency. With ASCO coming up next week, it’s the perfect time to review a spring season of headlines and shine a spotlight on our investigators’ exceptional work.

When the ASCO20 Virtual Program kicks off on May 29 – one week from today – SWOG members will make 31 presentations during the three-day conference. Since abstracts were published last week, there’s been chatter on Twitter about several of our findings, and interview requests are rolling in to our investigators. To get the full SWOG scoop on ASCO, please check out our press release here – which includes a link to a list of all SWOG abstracts.

There are many other SWOG study results released this season that are worthy of note. I’ll start at the end of February, just before the pandemic hit us full-force, and bring you up to date right through this week, with links to our press releases:

- Lajos Pusztai, MD, and Ryan Powles, PhD, published in Clinical Cancer Research one of the first studies to determine the effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on the breast cancer genome. You can learn more here.

- Joe Unger, PhD, published results in JAMA Network Open that caught immediate attention: Cancer patients with no health insurance or those enrolled in Medicaid, the federal low-income health insurance program, see smaller survival benefits from experimental therapies in clinical trials. You can learn more here.

- Dawn Hershman, MD, had results appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that expanded on her oral presentation at last year’s ASCO meeting. She found that simple text messages do not improve breast cancer patients’ adherence to aromatase inhibitors, suggesting that a personalized approach may be needed/more effective. You can learn more here.

- Rikki Cannioto, PhD, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showing that patients with high-risk breast cancer who exercise not only live longer but also are at less risk of their cancer returning. What’s more, just a modest amount of physical activity proved beneficial. You can learn more here.

In case you missed it, SWOG also had a good showing last month at the first session of the AACR virtual meeting. Alain Algazi, MD, presented as part of the opening AACR clinical plenary, explaining his first-of-its-kind randomized trial showing that continuous dosing of two melanoma drugs prolonged progression-free survival. His presentation was a hit, and he received massive press attention for his findings. You can learn more here.

My congratulations to all! Designing and running clinical trials can be slow and frustrating, even when we are not in the middle of a pandemic. Our recent publications and presentations are all the sweeter. Enjoy (virtual) ASCO, everyone!