I'm excited to announce I have appointed Chul Soo Ha, MD, to chair SWOG's radiation oncology committee, effective yesterday!

Dr. Ha is director of radiation oncology trials at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Mays Cancer Center, is a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and has been an active member of SWOG’s radiation oncology and lymphoma committees since 2007.

I’m particularly excited by Dr. Ha’s ideas about and commitment to mentoring early-stage investigators and his vision for future directions for the radiation oncology committee. He speaks of opportunities for intensive collaboration between committees, and he has proposed highly innovative ideas for cross-committee projects, including trials using targeted radionuclide agents.

Dr. Ha says an initial priority as chair will be to personally get to know every member of the radiation oncology committee – particularly new and junior members – to learn about their goals and how they envision contributing to the committee and to SWOG, with the idea that member support and engagement will benefit both the individual members and SWOG as a whole.

Our radiation oncology committee is in great hands with Dr. Ha, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress it will make and the ground it will break over the next few years.

A huge thank you to Dr. James Yu, who has served admirably as the committee’s interim chair for the last two years. I also thank the search committee, led by SWOG Deputy Chair and Group Co-Chair-Elect Dr. Primo Lara, for their work in helping us select an outstanding new leader in radiation oncology.

We are also making great progress on our search for a new chair for our genitourinary committee!

Wishing You Safe (and Productive) ASCO Travels

As the ASCO annual meeting begins today, I want to take a moment to remind you of some great SWOG work you’ll see presented in Chicago.

Do not miss Dr. Alex Herrera’s plenary presentation Sunday on the results of the S1826 trial in adolescents and adults with advanced classic Hodgkin lymphoma. I promise you this will be a memorable event (I’ll give details next week for those who can’t attend).

We’ll report plenty of other memorable SWOG results over the next few days as well, including in our other four oral presentations:

  • Dr. Seth P. Lerner presents results from S1011, definitively answering the question of how extensive the lymphadenectomy should be with a radical cystectomy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer
  • Dr. Nagla Abdel Karim reports findings from the S1929 trial in small-cell lung cancer that patients with high expression of SLFN11 show significant benefit from adding a PARP inhibitor to an immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Dr. Meghna Trivedi reports on S1714’s treasure trove of data on the extent and severity of taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients treated for breast cancer
  • Dr. Megan Othus presents results of an analysis from the S1609 DART trial in rare cancers that finds that with immunotherapy – as previously reported with chemotherapy – overall survival is linearly associated with change in RECIST target tumor diameter, with no threshold effect for RECIST categories.

The SWOG website features the full list of SWOG abstracts (30 SWOG-led plus 11 others led by other NCTN groups). We also have a printable guide to SWOG oral and poster presentations, conveniently ordered by date and time, to help you manage your itinerary in Chicago.

Finally, if you can’t make it to Chicago, or can’t attend all the SWOG presentations you would like to see while you’re there, we’re planning another Best of SWOG at ASCO webinar for Wednesday, June 28, 12 – 1 pm PT / 3 – 4 pm ET. The list of presentations is almost final. We’ll send out invitations soon, but until then, save the date!