It is my pleasure to welcome you to Chicago for the 52nd ASCO Annual Meeting. I chose the theme of “Collective Wisdom: The Future of Patient-Centered Care and Research” to represent the importance of the multimodal care that is necessary for our patients.
The multidisciplinary aspects of cancer care and research are extremely important with advances in the understanding of the biology and genomics of different malignancies. These advances emphasize the importance of education and communication between members of the cancer care team on a regular basis. I encourage you to attend Friday’s Extended Education Session, “Genetics and Genomic Testing in Oncology Care,” to learn about new approaches to germline cancer genetics, as well as genetic implications of somatic and tumor profiling. Bring your questions.
In addition, as we make improvements in cancer care, there will be many more cancer survivors who will need medical and supportive care to transition beyond cancer treatment and back to a normal life. Much of this care will be carried out by a medical team that, by necessity, is much broader than the oncology team. We’ve included a number of presentations in this year’s Education Program focused on survivorship issues such as “Breast Cancer Survivorship: Strategies for Optimal Care” and “Rehabilitation of Patients and Survivors: Seizing the Opportunity.”
Of course, all of the improvements made in cancer care over the last decades depended on the clinical and research data gathered and analyzed to improve future care. To continue to make advances, we must find ways to streamline and efficiently use the data gathered from all patients to inform our treatment patterns. Clinical trials will need to be optimized, and a broader range of data on all patients will need to be obtained and analyzed. There are a number of Education Sessions at this year’s Meeting that are focused on clinical trial development, which I encourage you to attend.
Spanning disciplines, disease sites, and treatment approaches, it is our combined knowledge that will shape the future of patient care and research. We must partner with health care professionals and specialists of diverse backgrounds to meet the evolving challenges in providing optimal care to our patients.
With exciting advances in big data technology, our collective wisdom will become all the more powerful, as new insights will be revealed in seconds, not years. The impact of our wisdom, however, can only be as great as our ability to strengthen delivery of and access to high-quality cancer care. As medical professionals and as a Society, we must all continue to evolve cancer care and research with each new discovery. Fifty years from now, we can hope that future medical professionals can look back and thank us for the pioneering aspects of cancer treatments that were developed in our era.
Thank you for joining me at the 2016 Annual Meeting to connect with colleagues, augment our combined knowledge, and strengthen our ability to provide high-quality care to our patients.