The ASCO Annual Meeting is over, and whether you attended in person or watched the presentations online, now we get back into our routines—in our clinics and hospitals, offices and operating rooms, labs and libraries, classrooms and conference rooms. I hope the stories in this issue will continue to fuel your inspiration and remind you why you chose the work you do.
Dr. Karen M. Winkfield, who is profiled in our “How I Became” series, didn’t set out to be a doctor. In fact, as a classically trained musician, she spent several years pursuing her performance career before she returned to school for a degree in biochemistry. Now she is a radiation oncologist and a leading advocate for health equity, and the field is lucky to have her.
The field is also lucky to have Dr. Maria Teresa Bourlon and Dr. Christianne Bourlon—two sisters, both International Development and Education Award recipients, who are blazing trials in their respective specialties in their home country of Mexico.
Here in the U.S., Dr. Sheetal Kircher and Dr. Trevor Royce will spend the next year as ASCO’s Health Policy Fellows. They’ll be learning to use their voices, their experience, and their knowledge to advocate for policies and legislation that improve our practice landscape, our research enterprise, and the lives of patients with cancer.
When the ASCO Annual Meeting ends, lots of kudos and congratulations are in order:
- To our Immediate Past President Dr. Bruce E. Johnson, who delivered his presidential address on access to precision medicine, a crucial care delivery issue for our time, and his personal experience with cancer;
- To our new ASCO President Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, an accomplished surgeon who is passionate about whole-person, patient-centered care;
- To the recipients of well-deserved ASCO and Conquer Cancer grants and awards—particularly to the young investigators who represent the next generation of pioneers in oncology;
- To each donor who generously contributed to ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation and funded those grants and awards;
- To the chairs, track leaders, and volunteers on the Annual Meeting Scientific Program and Annual Meeting Education Committees (who planned the breathtaking array of sessions) and the Cancer Communications Committee (who lent their expert voices to the press program and media coverage);
- To everyone who submitted abstracts, presented findings, and served as discussants and faculty, and made this meeting the cornerstone scientific and educational conference that it is;
- And to our true partners in discovery: the patients who participate in clinical trials, without whom progress against cancer would not be possible.