“Today, thanks to a vigorous International Affairs Committee, ASCO influences oncology services on all four corners of the world, and partners with multiple regional societies in educational conferences, and the training of young oncologists.”
—Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP
As my Presidency gradually fades into the past, it is sobering to reminisce on how exciting it was. ASCO is a great organization with an amazing staff and a solid mission. Chairing the Board meetings was clearly a highlight of my Presidency because of the vast talent and collective wisdom that is brought to bear with each issue under discussion.
Recruiting Allen Lichter, MD, as CEO was a thrill. In partnership with Allen, we took the first steps to make ASCO less dependent on Pharma support. Future ASCO Presidents should continue to seek alternative sources of revenue for our Society, to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest.
My theme was Multidisciplinary Interactions and the emphasis on serving all ASCO constituencies, especially the international membership, which had been an “orphan” contingent for many years. Today, thanks to a vigorous International Affairs Committee, ASCO influences oncology services on all four corners of the world, and partners with multiple regional societies in educational conferences, and the training of young oncologists.
Looking forward, ASCO Presidents should use their bully pulpit to emphasize issues of quality of care, rapid translation of research into practice, championing the rights of cancer patients, and partnering with patient advocates to positively influence the political process. Despite the regulatory maze and increased bureaucracy, oncology continues to be the greatest of professions, enormously rewarding for those who practice for the right reasons—combining patient care, research, and the training of our next generation of cancer care providers. ■
The last 50 years have been marked by significant advances in cancer research and in more effective therapy for patients. Once viewed as a largely untreatable, fatal disease, today a number of cancers are being converted into chronic diseases that can be managed for long periods of time. The result ...