Letter from the Editor: July 2011

Letter from the Editor: July 2011

Jonathan S. Berek, MD, MMedSc, FASCO

Jul 05, 2011
For the past several years, the Society’s member magazine, ASCO Connection, has been building its online presence, moving from print only, to print and a website that was updated quarterly, to the dynamic interface we have now with options for immediate feedback from readers. While our July print edition is making its way through the mail, the editorial team has already posted the complete digital issue, which has the added advantage of hyperlinked resources and references. 

In new content on the site, newly elected president Michael P. Link, MD, notes in his first blog post that “This could not be a more exciting time to be an oncologist.” I could not agree more. In fact it reminds me of the old saying—“we live in interesting times”—a statement more often viewed as a curse than a blessing. In either event, I think it is fair to say that we live in challenging times. Economic stagnation and funding limitations make keeping up with rapid changes in technology and research almost impossible. We are in the midst of a genomic revolution that leaves us hopeful about the possibilities yet overwhelmed with questions as to how it translates to day-to-day practice. In an exclusive on our site, we include the entire transcript and video of the presidential address of ASCO’s Immediate Past President George W. Sledge, Jr., who shares his insightful thoughts on this very topic—"The Challenge and Promise of the Genomic Era." 

Yet another issue facing oncology is extending quality care to the growing number of patients with cancer around the world. Cancer cases and cancer deaths are predicted to rise over the next 20 years, with the greatest impact felt in those countries with the fewest resources. Though bringing best practices to patients around the globe may seem like an overly ambitious goal to some, ASCO has a strong and growing international contingent working on issues from prevention and treatment, to survivorship and palliative care. In separate articles, we bring an international perspective to breast cancer surveillance for childhood cancer survivors, examine the standards for adopting the ESMO/ASCO global curriculum, and share a first-hand account of the Civil Society Hearing on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in advance of the historic high-level meeting on NCDs to be held at the United Nations this September.

If those issues aren’t enough, underscoring it all are the daily problems associated with reimbursement and drug shortages. If you have thoughts on those (and who doesn’t?), we have created a Forum for sharing everything from gripes to ideas. 
As you read the new content online, please take note of our updated interface—a more robust profile section, links to the Mobile Member Directory and Committee Connection (if you are an ASCO Committee Member), and new Groups functionality that allows ASCO members and guest account holders to create groups of varying security levels—private, closed, or open.

We do live in exciting times. However you read that—positive or negative—our best chance lies in joining forces, resources, talents, and energy. We hope we’ve given you a platform to do just that.


The ideas and opinions expressed on the ASCO Connection Blogs do not necessarily reflect those of ASCO. None of the information posted on ASCOconnection.org is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services. The mention of any product, service, company, therapy or physician practice on ASCOconnection.org does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by ASCO. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in, posted on, or linked to this site, or any errors or omissions.

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