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Shaping the Future of Oncology: Envisioning Cancer Care in 2030

Nov 07, 2012

 Past ASCO President Michael Link, MD, discusses the future of oncology
Over the course of the last year, the ASCO Board of Directors worked to identify “drivers of change” that will have the greatest impact on the oncology field over the next two decades.

“We are on the verge of a new age of cancer care, in which emerging scientific, technical, and economic trends are likely to alter our work more significantly in the next 20 years than in the prior 50 years of modern oncology. As a profession, we must anticipate and harness these changes to improve the care of our patients,” said ASCO President Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP.

The Board identified the three main drivers of change through a strategic planning process that included a virtual town hall meeting with ASCO volunteers, in-depth interviews with experts both inside and outside of oncology, Board discussions, and feedback from ASCO members via an interactive online article on ASCOconnection.org. The identified drivers of change that present the field with both challenges and opportunities are:

  • “Big data”—collecting, analyzing, and learning from vast amounts of real-world data
  • Cancer “panomics”—understanding the complex combination of genes, proteins, molecular pathways, and unique patient characteristics that together drive the disease of cancer, as well as understanding how to target these factors in combination to develop prevention strategies and curative therapies
  • Delivering value—confronting unsustainable cost increases and furthering improvements in quality metrics to promote cost effectiveness and “value” in health care

The report also lists obstacles to achieving positive outcomes related to each of the three drivers of change and suggests actions needed to ensure that the field is well-positioned for the future. 

Member input needed

“The Vision Statement represents our vision of the future. This document is intended to be the starting point for ongoing conversations with ASCO members about where our field is headed and where we want to be in 20 years,” said ASCO Immediate Past President Michael P. Link, MD.

Over the next 12 months, ASCO Members are encouraged to comment on all aspects of this vision statement on ASCOconnection.org. Members will also have opportunities to weigh in on the plan at State Affiliate meetings and at ASCO’s Annual Meeting.

Together, the vision statement combined with member input will help ASCO determine future needs and solutions. “With the number of cancer patients projected to grow dramatically both in the U.S. and internationally, it is imperative that the Society do everything possible to ensure that we are well-positioned to deliver the care patients will need,” said Dr. Link.

To review the complete report, including detailed information on the three “drivers of change,” visit asco.org/vision. Post your comments on the document here, by logging in to ASCOconnection.org with your ASCO.org username and password.

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