After another highly successful and very well-attended ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, planning for our first global meeting, ASCO Breakthrough: A Global Summit for Oncology Innovators, is almost complete. It is exciting to launch this meeting during my presidential year, as it fits nicely with my theme, “Unite and Conquer: Accelerating Progress Together.” Incorporating and collaborating with the global community is also a key aspect of ASCO’s strategic plan. This inaugural event will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 11-13, 2019, and the program will feature a variety of experts from around the world. Attendees will receive updates and opinions on the latest in technologic advances, ranging from artificial intelligence to wearables, and from robotic surgical techniques to novel therapies.
Bringing together the many stakeholders in the oncology community to accelerate progress will be a focus for the coming year. Nurses, pharmacists, regulators, and administrators need to collaborate with medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists to find a better way for our patients, whose voices must also be included. When taking on important tasks as a team, it is natural to think of dividing and conquering. With the rapid advances in oncology therapies, diagnostics, and information technology, a mindset of uniting and conquering is essential to achieve our goals for better care and outcomes.
It is not a coincidence that the word conquer appears in my theme. The work of Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, is vitally important to our missions. The Young Investigator Awards, the Career Development Awards, and the Merit Awards funded by Conquer Cancer, among other grants, fuel the work and efforts of our next generation of leaders. Contributing to Conquer Cancer on a regular basis should be a source of pride for our membership.
On a final note, please encourage your colleagues to become members of ASCO. Our Society is even stronger with the voices and participation of a larger portion of the global oncology community as we work to improve the lives of patients with cancer everywhere.