SURGONConnect - Spring 2016

SSO News 2016-2


SSO2016 Board Appointments
Clinical Investigator Award Recipients Young Investigator Award Recipient
SOSAP 2.0 – Bigger and Better Than Ever Save the Date! 2016 Fellows Institute will be held November 15-16 in Houston, Texas, at Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE).
Breast Oncology Fellowship Match SSO Continues Expansion of International Partnerships


Daniel G. Coit, MD

The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) announces record-breaking attendance at SSO 2016. More than 1,850 surgical oncologists and other oncology health care professionals from around the world gathered March 2-5, 2016 in Boston.

The symposium attracted a diverse group, including internationally recognized leaders in the surgical oncology specialty, young surgical oncologists, and international guests. Over 1,050 SSO members attended the Annual Cancer Symposium, representing nearly 40% of the total membership. Further, there were 442 early-career physicians and surgical oncologists in attendance as Fellows, Residents and Medical Students. SSO 2016 was truly a global meeting with over 350 international attendees representing 45 countries.

AudienceThroughout the four days of comprehensive and intense educational programming, SSO 2016 attendees participated in plenary sessions, cancer-type parallel sessions and workshops, and had access to more than 400 poster sessions, late-breaking videos, networking opportunities and an exhibition where attendees discovered the latest in medical equipment, services and solutions for surgical oncologists. Additionally, SSO 2016 featured two sessions of The Great Debates, one of the most popular elements of the meeting. During each session of The Great Debates, renowned surgical oncologists debated controversial topics in topical procedures and treatments, arguing both sides of each timely issue.

The Presidential Address, "Translational Cancer Research: The Surgeon's Role, " was presented by Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD, John Rhea Barton Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Drebin discussed, from a personal perspective, the benefit of surgical oncologists becoming highly involved in the exploration of new therapies for cancer. As a PhD student, Dr. Drebin was one of the first researchers involved in the seminal work behind Her2/neu.

The James Ewing Lecture, "T Cells as Drug for the Treatment of Human Cancer," was presented by Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute. In it, Dr. Rosenberg described the progress made in his laboratory to induce T cells to attack cancer.

Joe BaselgaJosé Baselga, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, presented the John Wayne Clinical Research Lecture, "Bringing Precision Cancer Medicine Forward." Dr. Baselga shared some of the research from his institution as well as others in using personalized medicine to fight cancer.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mark S. Roh, MD, in recognition of his major contributions to the SSO and the Annals of Surgical Oncology during his 22 years of service as the Journal's Executive Editor.

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc) received the James Ewing Layperson's Award for her leadership role in advancing the field of cancer research in the U.S. and around the world.

SSO 2016Thanks to all of the generous supporters, corporate partners, and exhibitors that played an essential role in SSO 2016 and furthering the mission of the Society, including Amgen, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., Genentech, Inc., Faxitron Bioptics, LLC, Genomic Health Inc., and Merck & Co., Inc.

To view the special lecturers and all of the SSO 2016 educational and scientific content, go to the SSO website to access the virtual meeting and take advantage of the post-meeting discounted rates.

View the SSO 2016 photo gallery.

Board Appointments

SSO welcomes its Executive Council Officers for the 2016-2017 Governance Year.


Daniel G. Coit, MD

Daniel G. Coit, MD


Kelly McMasters-107x107-rounded

Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD

Vice President


Armando Giuliano, MD


Douglas Tyler, MD

Douglas Tyler, MD



David L. Bartlett, MD

Immediate Past President

Jeffrey Drebin, MD

Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD

SSO Executive Council
Russell Berman, MD (2018)
Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS – Councilor-at-Large (2019)
Ned Carp, MD – Community Based Representative (2019)
James Howe, MD (2019)
Tari King, MD (2017)
Julie Margenthaler, MD (2018)
Robert Martin, MD (2017)
Hector Martinez Said MD (2018)
Elin Sigurdson, MD, PHD (2018)
Julie Sosa, MD, MA, FA (2019)
Sharon Weber, MD (2017)
Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD - Immediate Past President (2017)
Ronald Weigel, MD, PhD -Past President (2017)
Charles Balch, MD - Annals of Surgical Oncology Editor-in-Chief (2017)
Mitchell C. Posner, MD, PhD - SSO Foundation President (2017)

Visit the SSO Web Site to learn more about SSO Leadership:
Officers & Executive Committee
Executive Council

Many SSO Committees also have new members, already working on SSO's strategic initiatives. See the list of SSO Committees and all those who comprise the Society's volunteer leadership.

Clinical Investigator Award Recipients

The Clinical Investigator Award program promotes patient-oriented research through the training of surgical oncologists in clinical and translational science.

Robert Canter, MD

Robert Canter, MD

Proposal: Radiation and Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy to Target Tumor Heterogeneity in Canine Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Dr. Canter obtained his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed general surgery training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania followed by subspecialty training in Surgical Oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, he joined the faculty of the University of California Davis School of Medicine in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Canter's research focuses on sarcoma cancer stem cells as a mechanism of resistance to standard anti-proliferative anti-cancer therapies, and he is studying natural killer (NK) cellular immunotherapy as a mechanism to target the cancer stem cell population following standard cancer treatments such as radiotherapy. His goal is to translate these studies to early phase clinical trials for canine and human patients with advanced bone and soft tissue sarcomas. He currently holds the title of Associate Professor.

This award was made possible by a grant from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

Kelly Olino, MD

Kelly Olino, MD

Proposal: Therapeutic Synthetic Peptide Nanofiber Vaccines Targeting Melanoma

Dr. Olino earned her BS from Cornell University in Biological Sciences and her MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where she completed her residency in General Surgery. She completed a three year T32 research fellowship in tumor immunology during her residency training and was awarded the Anthony Imbembo Resident Teaching Award three times. Dr. Olino went on to complete a clinical fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City where in collaboration with Diane Reidy, MD, she conceived of and wrote a human clinical trial using pembrolizumab for the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma which is currently accruing patients.

Dr. Olino is currently a Provost Scholar at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where she is an Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Olino is developing the tumor immunology program and currently focusing on utilizing nanofiber technology to develop cancer vaccines directed at melanoma.

This award was made possible by a grant from Amgen, Inc.

Young Investigator Award Recipient

The Young Investigator Award initiative promotes and recognizes translational or clinical research that advances innovative ideas and concepts designed to improve health outcomes through improvements in the delivery of cancer-related care. 

Kamran Idrees, MD

Kamran Idrees, MD

Proposal: Health Literacy and Cancer Outcomes

Dr. Idrees received his BS and medical degrees from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. He is finishing a master's degree in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) in March, 2016 at Vanderbilt University. He was a Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Surgery Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. He has a research focus is in health sciences outcomes research in patients undergoing major abdominal surgeries. The two areas of focus are evaluating impact of health literacy and frailty in regards to postoperative morbidity and mortality as well as oncological outcomes in patients undergoing major operative procedures. He is a Member of Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research (CSQOR) and co-founded Vanderbilt Surgical Oncology and Health Literacy (V-SOHL). He is Assistant Professor of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN and Director, Peritoneal Surface Malignancy/HIPEC program.

This award was made possible by donors to The SSO Foundation.

The SSO Foundation works with donors and funding organizations to promote patient-oriented research conducted by SSO member surgical oncologists in clinical and translational science. Donations to the Foundation support the mission of the SSO, to improve multidisciplinary patient care by advancing the science, education and practice of cancer surgery worldwide, and the critical work carried out by its members. Please consider a donation to The SSO Foundation today.

SOSAP 2.0 – Bigger and Better Than Ever

SOSAPSOSAP 2.0, the second edition of SOSAP, is nearly ready for release. Developed under the leadership of the SSO's President-elect Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD; 6 prominent Section Chairs; and input from more than 60 SSO experts, SOSAP 2.0 features 272 fully revised or completely new questions in 6 major areas of surgical oncology:

  • Breast disease
  • Colorectal disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Endocrine/Head and Neck disease
  • Hepatopancreatobiliary disease
  • Melanoma, sarcoma, and cutaneous and hematologic malignancies

SOSAP leaders selected questions to match topics identified in the most current outline of the Qualifying Exam for Complex General Surgical Oncology. Each question has received rigorous review by multiple experts to ensure it is current, accurate, and relevant to the surgical oncologist. This online program is interactive and highly engaging, and all purchasers will receive access to an iPad App. Release of SOSAP 2.0 is expected in early Spring, 2016.

Save the Date! 2016 Fellows Institute will be held November 15-16 in Houston, Texas, at Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE).

SSO's sixth annual Fellows Institute, cosponsored by the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA) and the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS), will take place November 15-16, 2016, in Houston, Texas. The Fellows Institute again includes three specialty-specific tracks including Breast Oncology, HPB and Surgical Oncology. This important event consists of both didactic sessions and a hands-on laboratory component. There will also be evening social events.

Please Note: Participation in this program is reserved for those fellows in one of the following: SSO-approved breast fellowship programs; ACGME or RCPSC-accredited surgical oncology programs; or Fellowship Council-accredited HPB fellowship programs.

See the 2015 Fellows Institute Agenda

Breast Oncology Fellowship Match

The 2015 surgical oncology fellowship match will begin accepting applications on Wednesday, July 15. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) will be administering the application. An email was sent by ERAS to all program directors to register for the match. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which conducts the match, sent an email to all program directors and institution officials with a password to activate their account. Fellowship applicants are required to register through the NRMP website. Applications must be submitted through ERAS by Saturday, August 15. Read more.

SSO Continues Expansion of International Partnerships

The SSO has formally partnered with several international surgical oncology societies to offer collaborative exchanges of faculty, career development candidates and scientific data sharing through the societies' respective annual meetings. Soon after the joint meeting at SSO 2016, the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Korean Society of Surgical Oncology (KSSO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the relationship. The KSSO is SSO's seventh partner society. Please visit the International Programs page to learn more about these partnerships.

International Observership Opportunities
SSO members have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of global cancer treatment advances through observerships. SSO members have traveled to Europe and Japan and will soon have the opportunity to visit surgical oncologists in Brazil, as well.

Europe Observership
SSO members are offered the opportunity by the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) to apply for a visiting observership in Europe. This observership will take place in January 2017. The observership includes:

  • A stipend of 5,400€ (approximately $6,000) to cover travel and accommodations costs for the duration of the exchange
  • An opportunity to visit 2 to 3 pre-eminent European Surgical Oncology Institutions and observe procedures, for no longer than a week at each institution
  • An opportunity to attend ESSO 37 which takes place on January 27-30th, 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

To be considered for this opportunity, applicants must:

  • Be an SSO member in good standing
  • Be a surgical oncologist under the age of 40
  • Submit a completed application
  • Submit a full curriculum vitae

The deadline to submit an application for the Europe Observership is Friday, June 17, 2016. Notifications will be sent out to all applicants by the end of July 2016.

Brazil Observership
The Brazil Observership will take place in August, 2016. Offered by the Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology (BSSO), this observership includes attendance at the Brazilian Congress of Multidisciplinary Treatment of GI Cancer in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Look for more details, and how to apply, to come.

To learn more about either opportunity, or to submit a completed Europe Observership application, please contact Ana Olivares, Manager, Global Outreach and Special Programs at or (847) 427-1400 ext. 109.