By Dr. Dax Kurbegov
Exciting plans are under way for the ASCO Research Community Forum (RCF) 2017 Annual Meeting. As Chair of the Research Community Forum Council, I invite physician investigators and research staff to join us September 24-25 at ASCO headquarters in the Washington, DC metro area for this one-of-a-kind meeting—to discuss best practices and develop solutions to challenges affecting the cancer research community. The ASCO RCF Annual Meeting affords a singular opportunity to network and partner with a diverse group of researchers from across the country eager to share their insights and experiences.
Established in 2010, the ASCO RCF was created to support clinical research sites, particularly those based in a community setting. The Forum creates a unique venue for community-based researchers by bringing together established thought leaders with aspiring community research teams; individual practices, community hospitals, and academic research networks; and ASCO leaders, regulatory experts, physician investigators, and research administrators to examine current barriers in research and identify actionable solutions that ultimately enhance patient enrollment in cancer studies.
New this year: We are excited to offer two pragmatic, hands-on workshops that will address common challenges in the research landscape – one related to insurance coverage and another focused on precision medicine research. Kicking-off the RCF Annual Meeting on September 24, the first workshop is designed for research administrators and physicians and will provide practical strategies for assessing clinical trial insurance coverage, preventing coverage denials, and tools for navigating the appeals process. The second workshop will provide an overview of molecular and precision medicine trials and their role in advancing cancer care and cancer research, including a discussion of ASCO’s TAPUR trial led by ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO and Edward S. Kim, MD from Levine Cancer Institute.
Recognizing that access to and excellence in cancer research is foundational to the delivery of the highest quality cancer care to our patients, the theme of this year’s meeting is Advancing Cancer Care through Research Partnerships. ASCO President-elect Monica Bertagnolli, MD, will deliver the keynote address highlighting the value of research partnerships in making progress in cancer care. This theme will also be explored in sessions on leveraging community cancer networks and building strategic research partnerships.
Presentations by nationally recognized leaders in the cancer research field will also examine recent and impending regulatory and policy changes, highlighting the critical steps research sites should be taking today.
As in previous years, participants will have the opportunity to engage in breakout session discussions focused on capturing the challenges and priorities of community-based sites and the research community as a whole. Discussion and proposals from these breakout sessions will help shape ASCO and the Forum’s efforts and activities in the coming year, including the development of tools and resources to support the needs of your oncology research site.
Space is limited – register today for the ASCO Research Community Forum 2017 Annual Meeting. I also encourage you to take advantage of the helpful, free tools and resources for research sites developed by the Forum, including the ASCO Research Program Quality Assessment Tool, ASCO Clinical Trial Workload Assessment Tool, and a Clinical Trial Resource Library.
Dr. Kurbegov serves as Chair of the ASCO Research Community Forum Council and Vice President and Physician in Chief of Clinical Programs at Sarah Cannon in Nashville, TN.