SWOG's spring group meeting in Seattle last week was exhilarating, and I want to thank all who contributed to making it so successful. The work of our committees and members – your work – underlies all of our achievements.

In Seattle, my schedule started off strong: one of the first events on my group meeting itinerary is always the patient advocate committee session. This spring, the energy in the room seemed particularly high – perhaps because it was the first face-to-face session under the leadership of the advocate committee’s new co-chairs, Anne Marie Mercurio and Barbara Segarra-Vasquez (their terms as co-chairs formally began just after the close of last fall’s group meeting). Topics discussed included the possible implications of anticipated budget cuts and how we can more appropriately recognize our advocates’ significant contributions as key members of study teams. 

Some most palpable excitement during the week centered around some of our new and innovative trials. In numerous sessions, the S2302 Pragmatica-Lung trial was both celebrated and analyzed, as a practical study enrolling a highly representative group of patients at a monthly accrual rate that’s now about twice what was projected in the protocol.  

Not to be outdone, the leukemia committee, in its open session highlighted its upcoming myeloMATCH precision medicine umbrella trial in myeloid malignancies. This pan-NCTN effort – with the screening protocol led by SWOG – will open a portfolio of sub-studies to treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes sequentially from diagnosis through each stage of their treatment journey. Launch of the trial is imminent, and I’ll have much more to say about it in an upcoming Front Line.

Our Lung-MAP trial may be almost a decade old, but it continues to remake itself to remain innovative and relevant. A hot topic in lung committee and other sessions in Seattle was the coming revision to the Lung-MAP screening protocol – the so-called Lung-MAP 3.0 – which will greatly expand the range of next-generation sequencing assays that can be used for matching patients with the appropriate Lung-MAP sub-study. Again, stay tuned for further coverage. 

Saturday morning’s board of governors (BOG) meeting is typically where the big decisions are made or at least ratified. BOG updates to SWOG policies this spring included institutionalizing our Site PI Workshop as required training for new site principal investigators; revising our institutional performance review policy to incorporate the new Site Score and Site Report Card; and clarifying the role of our vice chair for diversity, equity, inclusion, and professional integrity in our bylaws. The BOG also voted in favor of revisions that make the language in those bylaws more inclusive.

SWOG’s newest committee leader – Dr. Veena Shankaran – joined Dr. Scott Ramsey in heading up the cancer care delivery committee, stepping into a role previously held by Dr. Dawn Hershman. The BOG also approved my recommendation of Dr. Jennifer Suga, site PI for the Kaiser Permanente NCORP, to fill the role of NCORP representative on the Hope Foundation’s board of directors, replacing outgoing board member (and former chair of that board) Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon.

The board of governors meeting was followed by our committee chairs session, which included a robust discussion of expectations for the upcoming NCI grant applications (both NCTN and NCORP). Drs. Primo Lara and Dawn Hershman, group co-chairs-elect, are leading our NCTN and NCORP efforts, and their review of timelines and expectations for what will be needed from our committees in crafting those grant applications drew generally enthusiastic responses. SWOG has accomplished much to be proud of during the current grant cycles, and we’re looking forward to telling those stories.

In part because our spring group meeting dates overlapped with dates of other oncology meetings, two of our disease committees conducted their open sessions last week as entirely virtual events. In recent leadership meetings, however, we’ve had frank discussions with committee chairs about the need to prioritize in-person attendance at SWOG group meetings, and for the future we’ll do our best to ensure we’re not hosting online-only committee sessions as part of an in-person group meeting.

If you registered to attend the spring meeting, you’ll soon get an email inviting you to complete our post-meeting survey. We rely on your responses to inform our decisions about future meetings, so please don’t ignore the survey invitation when it arrives.

Also, if you attended credit-eligible sessions at last week’s meeting, you can apply for continuing medical education (CME) credit via the meeting app until June 6th.

Finally, although we provided virtual attendance options for fewer sessions than at recent group meetings, we did host Zoom calls for most open sessions, and recordings of those calls will be posted soon to the SWOG website (accessible to members only). 

Seattle is now a wrap. And while convening in the backyard of our Statistics and Data Management Center had some distinct benefits, for next spring’s group meeting we’ll return to our traditional April venue of San Francisco. In the interim, though, see you in Chicago this October!