Jan 14, 2012
As you know, oncology is changing rapidly, and we’re challenged to keep up with these changes while we work to anticipate the future. Understanding and preparing for what lies ahead is vital to the growth and health of our profession.
To answer this challenge, ASCO’s Board of Directors has embarked upon a "far horizon" planning process. As part of this effort, they have identified the following six issues they believe will profoundly impact the practice of oncology in the future:
1. The move to oral therapies will bring dramatic changes to the business models of medical oncology practices. What are some of the specific consequences of this change that oncology should be prepared to address?
2. The ability to rapidly aggregate and analyze vast amounts of clinical and patient reported data will drive huge changes in clinical care for cancer patients, including treatment decisions, measurement of outcomes, and workforce composition. How should we prepare to address this?
3. The rising cost of health care will change the notion of what is valued and paid for in cancer care. Do you agree and, if so, what specific changes will take place?
4. Health information technology is driving profound changes in our ability to aggregate and analyze large amounts of clinical information, which will affect the design, feasibility, strategy, and cost of clinical research. What are the consequences of this and how should we prepare?
5. Cancer is poised to be the leading cause of death internationally, with the highest incidence occurring outside the U.S. where access to cancer information and health care is improving. How will globalization of the cancer care community affect oncologists?
6. Genomics will significantly transform cancer research and clinical practice. What are some of the specific consequences—for research and practice—that oncology should be prepared to address?
We are asking all ASCO members to join an important dialogue concerning these issues. If you are not already logged in to ASCOconnection.org, please log in now and comment on one or more of the issues listed above. What do you believe are the implications for the future of oncology and how might ASCO best respond?
I hope you’ll put aside some time today and as much critical time as you are able during the next two weeks to enliven the discussion. Your comments in collaboration with others will provide essential information to augment the Board’s process of planning for the future of oncology.
This virtual discussion will conclude on January 27, 2012.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
Allen S. Lichter, MD
ASCO Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer