Taking my cue from Alex Trebeck, today I present the answers first (just a few of the many I could list here):

  • a task force working to more effectively integrate advanced practice providers (APPs) into SWOG’s research efforts, coupled with a workshop to train APPs in the essentials of caring for patients within NCI-sponsored trials
  • targeted funding programs that have supported the group meeting travel of hundreds of SWOG members, across a range of roles, so they can contribute to the work done at our semiannual meetings
  • a grant program that funds administrative “hubs,” each of which allows multiple Veterans Affairs medical center “spokes” to offer NCI-sponsored clinical trials to U.S. veterans with cancer

Have you guessed the question? 

  • What are some SWOG initiatives and benefits that have grown from ideas our members first proposed in response to The Hope Foundation’s summertime “open call” funding program (now the Next Generation Fund) over the last eight years?

The items above list only a few of the more recent answers to this question. All told, dozens of core SWOG initiatives trace their origin to this “program proposal” funding mechanism. You can read about some of the earlier projects (most of which are still benefitting SWOG and our patients) here and here.

Having a wide diversity of perspectives at the table tends to make for more well-informed decisions, and hearing from across the spectrum of our membership makes it more likely we’ll be able to identify and fund projects that may be truly transformative.

That was the belief at a Hope board retreat in April 2016, which led the Foundation to formally reach more widely for program proposals, extending beyond SWOG leadership and the Hope board to solicit ideas directly from SWOG members.

Eight years later, many of the ideas our members – investigators, nurse practitioners, SWOG staff, executive officers, and others – proposed in response to this outreach have been developed into new programs that have transformed our group.

With the arrival of summer, Hope is once again asking for your best ideas, ideas that will, for example: 

  • improve research, education, or training within SWOG
  • strengthen engagement with our members
  • enhance representative accrual to our trials
  • optimize operational management

Hope’s Next Generation Fund program opened for applications this week, and the deadline for submissions is September 2.

So, now that you know the question, here are a few more answers:

  • symposia that have been so successful they’ve contributed to the formation of new research committees
  • a standardized, research-guided approach to developing patient-education materials for all our new trials, in both English and Spanish
  • a grant-writing workshop open to investigators from all NCTN groups (bragging point: after last year’s workshop, led as always by SWOG executive officer Dr. Katherine Crew, all workshop attendees landed their grants!)

A reminder: if you’ve previously had a program funded through this award mechanism, this is also your opportunity to apply for a renewal of that program funding for the coming year. Visit Hope’s Next Generation Fund award page to learn more and apply. Bring your best big ideas -- maybe you will make the list of future “answers.”

Best of SWOG at ASCO – the webinar
Our annual one-hour “Best of SWOG at ASCO” webinar for 2024 is on the calendar for Wednesday, June 26, 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. The invitation has gone out to all members, with a link to register (registration required).


Trial of the Week

S2005: A Phase II Randomized Study Comparing Ibrutinib and Rituximab  vs. Venetoclax and Rituximab in Previously Untreated Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (WM) /Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma (LPL)

A revised S2005 study reopened to accrual earlier this year, after having been closed for almost two years.

The new S2005 is a randomized phase 2 trial comparing venetoclax plus rituximab to the standard combination of ibrutinib plus rituximab, in patients with untreated Waldenström's macroglobulinemia or lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma.

The study was temporarily closed in April 2022 because of safety concerns about the former combination. The two drugs are no longer used in combination in the revised version of S2005, and the third arm of the trial was closed.

Patients with confirmed disease progression on either arm of the revised trial can cross over to the other arm.

To help reintroduce the trial, the S2005 study team has scheduled a site educational webinar for Wednesday, July 3rd, 9-10 am PT / 12-1 pm ET.

The team will provide a brief overview of the study design and components and will be available to answer your questions. 

Site staff who wish to attend must register before the start of the webinar. Visit the S2005 site educational webinar memo on CTSU.org for the registration link. 

A recording of the webinar, with the slide set, will be available via the CTSU CLASS learning management system.

The trial is led by Dr. Sikander Ailawadhi, of The Mayo Clinic Florida, and Dr. Divaya Bhutani, of Columbia University Medical Center and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Learn more about the revised and reopened S2005 on the SWOG S2005 page or the CTSU S2005 page.

An S2005 patient-friendly summary is now undergoing CIRB review and should be posted soon at swog.org/S2005.