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New Associate Editor Joins JCO

Sep 06, 2011

Jonathan W. Friedberg, MD, MMSc, a nationally recognized leader in lymphoma research and treatment, was named an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). Dr. Friedberg is Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Interim Director of Clinical Trials Office at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center.

In the following interview, Dr. Friedberg discusses with ASCO Connection his new role as JCO Associate Editor.


JCO Associate Editor Jonathan W. Friedberg, MD, MMSc

AC: What do you envision for the Journal?
Dr. Friedberg: My role as an Associate Editor will be to continue the growth of manuscripts in hematological malignancies. My predecessors—particularly Dr. Bruce Cheson, over his tenure—really increased the visibility of JCO in the hematologic malignancies field. I hope to continue that trajectory.

AC: What makes a good JCO manuscript?
Dr. Friedberg: We are looking for manuscripts that are likely to have a profound impact on practice (i.e., practice-changing studies, definitive studies that will have patient impact as soon as they’re published). We’re also looking to broaden the scope into scientific and translational research. In the field of oncology, with novel target therapies playing such a role in our therapeutic armamentarium, it’s critical that appropriate, biologically driven patient selection is done for these trials—and it’s only through translational research that this can occur.

We are looking for papers that not only provide clinical results, but have appropriate rationale for the trials as well as correlative endpoints that are likely to have profound translational impact.

AC: What do you want readers to gain from reading JCO?
Dr. Friedberg: I want readers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current trials and occasional review articles that summarize those trials, which allow them to make changes in their practice.

AC: Do you have any words of wisdom for current and future readers?
Dr. Friedberg: The old model of developing new therapies—where we took an existing agent and escalated the dose until intolerable toxicity and treated a broad, nonbiologically defined group of patients—is over. Therefore, readers will need to understand the pathways that are being targeted by the new agents and understand the means of selecting appropriate, biologically defined patients for these trials.

It is my hope that not only through manuscripts, but through appropriate review articles, that JCO will be the place for readers to look to in order to understand these more complicated topics.

AC: How is JCO unique?
Dr. Friedberg: It’s truly a comprehensive medical oncology journal; there are other journals that publish hematologic malignancies papers, but most of those do not have other cancer subtypes. And there are other cancer journals that are less visible in the hematologic malignancies field.

Also, the wide scope of readership and the international caliber of manuscripts that are submitted to JCO also lead to the Journal being unique and an important resource in the field.

AC: What will be your biggest challenge as a JCO Associate Editor?
Dr. Friedberg: With the increased volume of submissions to JCO and the important initiative to fast-track appropriate papers, the challenge is to choose the best-of-the-best manuscripts. Members of the Editorial Board, as well as other reviewers, are going to be critical components of that, and I really look forward to working with that international group of experts to maintain the high bar that has already been set.

AC: Why did you want to take on the role of JCO Associate Editor?
Dr. Friedberg: I am honored to have been asked to take on this role. I view it as a true privilege. I look forward with enthusiasm to having the opportunity to review, in real-time, the cutting-edge research in my field from around the world, and to hopefully have a positive impact on the types of trials within the hematologic malignancies field that I feel should move the field forward.

AC: Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Dr. Friedberg: I look forward to working closely with Dr. Andrew Lister and Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, who are the other JCO Editors in the hematologic malignancies field.
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