More Data, Better Outcomes: Consult With Expert Faculty at Immuno-Oncology Symposium Networking Roundtables

More Data, Better Outcomes: Consult With Expert Faculty at Immuno-Oncology Symposium Networking Roundtables

Guest Commentary

Jan 13, 2017

By James L. Gulley, MD, PhD
Member, ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium Program Committee

In geometry, triangulation is the process of ascertaining the exact location of an unknown point by measuring the distance between two points whose exact location is known and then measuring the angles between each point and the third unknown point with the location of that point identified where the angled lines cross. This has been used by police to identify where a gunshot originated from. While one microphone could identify the pattern of a gunshot, at least 2 points are required to determine where the gunshot originated. The more input points, the more accurate the estimate of the source. This can allow rapid deployment of officers to within 25 meters of where the gun was fired. This network takes in multiple bits of data and produces a result that is much more efficient and much closer to the truth than what you could estimate without the network.

In our cancer clinic at the NIH Clinical Center, I frequently see patients who have been diagnosed, often have been treated with frontline therapy, and are seeking a second or third opinion. They have a dismal diagnosis, they don’t have all the information they need, and they want to learn from multiple experts so they can make the best decision possible.

The saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” has some truth here. Reaching out to appropriately trained professionals with varied, relevant backgrounds may help patients get more appropriate answers to their questions. In aggregate, those answers may be closer to the truth, and closer to the optimal decision for their individual situation.

The inaugural ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium will have three networking sessions, designed to help physicians determine how immunotherapy best fits into their practice, and to explore career development for newcomers to the field of immunotherapy.

  • The Thursday and Saturday sessions will be divided into disease-specific areas. Leaders in the field, such as Drs. H. Kim Lyerly and Olivera Finn, will interact with professionals who want to share ideas, discover opportunities for collaboration, and learn from key opinion leaders. A list of the other expert faculty who will be featured in these disease-specific sessions is available online.
  • The Friday session is focused on career development. Attendees will discuss general networking and career development with key figures in the field, including Drs. Mario Sznol and Mary L. (Nora) Disis. A list of the other expert faculty who will be featured in this career development session is available online.

Attendees who participate in these sessions will gain a richer understanding of immuno-oncology and how to integrate it into their practices. I guarantee that at these networking sessions, attendees will get varied perspectives from many talented leaders. This chorus of different notes ensures a fuller, multidimensional understanding of immuno-oncology that may help attendees triangulate a better truth to optimize treatment for their patients.

These sessions will take place from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM on Thursday, February 23, Friday, February 24, and Saturday, February 25. They are open to all attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are welcome to participate in discussions with the faculty ranging from career advice to specific questions regarding ongoing or planned studies. These sessions will be an exceptional opportunity to form new networks to speed progress in immunotherapy and provide unique insights on topics relevant to attendees.

In addition to serving as an organizer for the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, Dr. Gulley is head of the Immunotherapy Section, chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, and director of the Medical Oncology Service at the Center for Cancer Research. He also serves as the NCI liaison to SITC. His clinical and research interests include immunotherapy, combination therapy, and prostate cancer.

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