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Committee Connection

New Associate Editor Joins JCO

12 Apr 2012 6:16 PM

Antonio C. Wolff, MD, FACP, an internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research and treatment was named an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). Dr. Wolff is Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the following interview, Dr. Wolff discusses with ASCO Connection his new role as JCO Associate Editor.

AC: What do you envision for JCO?


Dr. Wolff: I envision JCO further enhancing its role as a one-stop source of information for clinicians looking for reliable and actionable knowledge to improve the quality of the care their patients receive. JCO is also a reputable forum for clinical and health-services researchers eager to disseminate new knowledge, while challenging readers and peers to think critically, and for laboratory researchers looking to educate, engage with, and learn from their clinical counterparts.

AC: What makes a good JCO manuscript?

Dr. Wolff: JCO prides itself in attracting new, practice-changing papers that have the potential to impact patient care in a meaningful way.

AC: What do you want readers to gain from reading JCO?

Dr. Wolff: Just by reviewing JCO’s Table of Contents, readers can quickly have a snapshot of current topics. Editorials and Commentaries give readers access to thoughtful opinion leaders and an opportunity to practice critical thinking. More than ever, this is a skill that clinicians, researchers, and policymakers must practice at all times.

AC: Do you have any “words of wisdom” for current and future readers?

Dr. Wolff: Be proactive, be selective, and read smartly. Data overload is the norm and our email inboxes are bursting at the seams from informational offerings that sometimes are biased towards addressing educational needs determined by specific interest groups. Readers can also benefit from learning how to use electronic tools like email filters and RSS to regain control of the information flow and protect their limited time. And while reading a paper, trust your gut and never let go of a healthy dose of skepticism. This will make you a better reader, a better scientist, and a better health care professional.

AC: How is JCO unique?

Dr. Wolff: More than ever, the complexities of conducting biologically driven, evidence-based clinical research in oncology require team science and individuals with distinct backgrounds and unique skills who are willing to collaborate. New knowledge and resulting questions must then be translated into a usable form to effect changes in patient care and future research. JCO can serve as—what was called in Ancient Greece the “Agora” (the gathering place or the Forum in Latin)—a place for all to meet and exchange information.

AC: What will be your biggest challenge as a JCO Associate Editor?

Dr. Wolff: Researchers invest a lot of resources and their time to conduct studies and pursue ideas they support and believe. Therefore, those of us in the JCO Editorial Board need to be fair to all involved, and do our best to make sure that readers have access to the best research and most thoughtful opinions in a timely fashion.

AC: Why did you want to take on the role of JCO Associate Editor?

Dr. Wolff: I was honored to be tapped for this role—asked to add my voice to these important conversations happening in real time and that help influence the scientific discourse. I see this opportunity as a privilege, and I hope to do well by researchers, by reviewers, by readers, and most important by the patients we ultimately serve.

AC: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Dr. Wolff: Like everything these days, it takes a village. I am fortunate to have access to past and present breast cancer JCO Associate Editors like Terry Mamounas, MD, MPH, FACS; Mark Levine, MD, MSc; Clifford Hudis, MD; Bruce G. Haffty, MD; and Pamela Goodwin, MD. I also look forward to benefitting from the experience and knowledge of JCO Editor-in-Chief Stephen A. Cannistra, MD, JCO Associate Editors, and all the reviewers who will help me in years to come.

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