Society of Surgical Oncology News - April/May 2017

SSO News 2017-2


SSO 2017 Delivers an Exceptional Surgical Oncology Experience SSO 2017 – Engaging, Informative and Applicable
The SSO Foundation Provides $225,000 in Research Grants Global Networking and Education a Hallmark of SSO 2017
Fellows and Residents Lounge Offers Insights and Exchanges Don't Miss Out – SSO 2017 CME Deadline is May 26, 2017
SSO 2018 Heads to Chicago Save the Date for the 2018 International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies
Breast Oncology Fellowship Match Programs – Start Planning Now New CGSO Resource – Free Trial Available for SSO Members

SSO 2017 Delivers an Exceptional Surgical Oncology Experience


Outgoing SSO President, Daniel Coit, MD stated during the SSO 2017 Presidential Address, “Set the bar of excellence high, maybe to a level we imagine to be just out of reach so that each and every one of us will strive every day to be a bit better in all domains.”  Dr. Coit delivered his address to nearly 1700 surgical oncologists and healthcare professionals from across the globe who joined together to “Discover the Promise of What’s Possible.

SSO 2017 provided a provocative forum for education, discussion and debate on the latest scientific research and clinical advancements in surgical oncology and focused on the promising treatments of tomorrow that can be applied to today’s surgical oncology patients. The symposium included four featured lectures, plenary sessions, more than 400 compelling poster sessions and video abstracts.  Several surgical oncologists were recognized for their significant contributions and are listed in the table below. ​

Distinguished Service Award Fabrizio Michelassi, MD Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award Bradley A. Krasnick, MD Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Harvey Baker Travelling Fellow Award* Jennifer L. Miller-Ocuin, MD University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Award John R. Bergquist, MD Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Best Clinical Research Poster Shirin Muhsen, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Best Basic/Translational Research Poster Ibrahim Nassour, MD The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Best Clinical Research Paper* Georgia Beasley, MD The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

*Award supported by an independent grant from The SSO Foundation.

Gavel photo"The possibilities for improving oncologic outcomes are more promising than ever and SSO 2017 was an opportunity to hear from, learn from and network with those having an impact upon the future treatment of patients with solid tumors," said Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD, SSO President, whose term began at the conclusion of SSO 2017.

SSO 2017 Quick Reference Links

Please be sure to save the date for SSO 2018, which will be held in Chicago, March 21-24, 2018.

SSO 2017

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SSO 2017 – Engaging, Informative and Applicable

Dr. Peter AllenAs planning for SSO 2018 is already underway, SSO had the opportunity to talk with Peter J. Allen, MD, who served as the Scientific Program Chair for SSO 2017 and hear his reflections on the SSO’s signature event. If you missed any of the sessions referenced below or want to hear them again, simply access the SSO 2017 Virtual Meeting.

Dr. WolchokQ: How did SSO 2017 deliver on the theme of “Discover the Promise of What’s Possible?”
Dr. Allen: Many of the sessions had topics that were about the newest science and technology and how that applies to surgical oncology.  Several speakers focused on therapies that may be delivered in the next five to ten years.  In particular, the James Ewing Lecture, given by Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, looked at immunotherapy in melanoma, the agents that are in the approval process for advanced melanoma, and how they may be used in the future for local and regional disease.

Q: What was new at SSO 2017?
Dr. Allen: One of our key goals was to increase the opportunities for attendee participation.  We charged the moderators of the parallel sessions to group similar abstracts and schedule specific question and answer segments.  This worked very well as it allowed for discussions that were more closely connected to presentation topics.  We also invited product development experts to discuss the process of bringing new ideas from a concept phase through the patent process.  Attendees were then able to present early phase ideas to these experts for critique.  This “Shark Tank” format was very interactive and we were very pleased about the level of interest.

Dr. FerriQ: Which presentations were most unique and memorable?
Dr. Allen:  SSO 2017’s overall program was excellent and it is challenging to limit this to a few presentations.  In addition to Dr. Wolchok’s presentation previously mentioned, Dr. Lorenzo Ferri gave the John Wayne Clinical Research Lecture and discussed the significance of infections in surgical outcomes, which is a very interesting topic for surgeons.  Andrew Dannenberg, MD gave the American Cancer Society/SSO Basic Science Lecture that was about obesity and cancer development.  This had a public health focus and is a very timely topic as well.  As always, The Great Debates were spectacular this year.  The presenters dug into the data, injected passion into their debates, and brought in some fun that made them quite memorable.

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The SSO Foundation Provides $225,000 in Research Grants

SSO Foundation

The SSO Foundation works in partnership with SSO to improve multidisciplinary patient care by advancing the science, education and practice of cancer surgery worldwide. Two specific research grant opportunities are available to SSO members.  This year, The Young Investigator Award program provided Vikas Dudeja, MD, a $25,000 grant for her research project, “Evaluation of the Efficacy of Anti-Stromal Drug Pirfenidone in Combination with Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy against Pancreatic Cancer.”

This year, The SSO Foundation granted two Clinical Investigator Awards in the amount of $100,000 each.  Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD, was awarded for her research project, “Tumor and Immune Monitoring via Exosomal Analysis in Patients on Targeted Therapy With Anti-PD1 Immunotherapy.”  Rebecca Gladdy, MD, PhD, was also awarded for her research project, “Metabolic Reprogramming in Sarcoma – Repurposing Statins as Anticancer Agents.”  SSO and The SSO Foundation gratefully acknowledge Amgen Inc., and Genentech, Inc. for their support of the Clinical Investigator Award program.

A Closer Look at Dr. Rebecca Gladdy’s Research Project “Metabolic Reprogramming in Sarcoma – Repurposing Statins as Anticancer Agents”

Rebecca Gladdy, MD, PhD, is a surgeon scientist who manages patients with soft tissue sarcoma and has a Functional Genomics Sarcoma Research Program.  She has been a surgical oncologist since 2008 at Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where she also has an independent research lab at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Her team has been investigating novel drugs for one of the most common types of sarcoma, undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma or UPS. One of the challenges faced by UPS patients is the development of metastatic disease, for which current chemotherapy has limited efficacy.  Dr. Gladdy’s lab is part of the Sarcoma Precision Medicine Program at MSH led by Dr. Jay Wunder.  In previous work, her team screened over 3300 compounds on patient derived UPS cell lines to identify new drugs.  Surprisingly, statins or anti-cholesterol drugs were the top hits of the drugs screened for impairing sarcoma viability. 

As she described, “Cancer is mostly thought of as a genetic disease, but we are beginning to appreciate that other factors contribute to cancer developing and propagating.  One of those increasingly recognized mechanisms is that cells have abnormal metabolism. In this SSO Foundation funded research proposal we are working on understanding how sarcoma cells use dysregulated metabolism so they have an enhanced growth rate over normal cells.  Because cholesterol metabolism is thought to be abnormal in sarcoma, we proposed to repurpose simvastatin for its potential anti-cancer properties.”

In addition to these preliminary laboratory findings, other independent research has suggested patients with cancers besides sarcoma who use statins have lower cancer risk, or if they have cancer, their risk of death from cancer maybe decreased with the use of statins. To date her team has validated these initial findings and now they will focus on better understanding how statins impair sarcoma growth by performing preclinical testing in the lab.   Dr. Gladdy says, “We are grateful that The SSO Foundation has funded this preclinical study and supports the importance of surgeon directed research in a rare tumor like sarcoma.”

The work of The SSO Foundation would not be possible without the generous support of SSO members and funding organizations.  Please consider a tax-deductible contribution and help your colleagues “Discover the Promise of What’s Possible.”

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Global Networking and Education a Hallmark of SSO 2017

SSO welcomed over 300 international attendees from 45 countries to learn about global advances in surgical oncology.  This year 111 abstracts from 17 countries outside of the United States were accepted for presentation.  In addition, twenty-one Global Partner Posters were featured.  This collection of international data represented top abstracts from seven worldwide events from the past year.

D1-0056 – Augusto with Dan and MitchAugusto León Ramírez, MD, of Santiago, Chile has attended SSO’s Annual Cancer Symposium year after year and describes this meeting as, “The best surgical oncology meeting in the world: interesting, up-to-date, provocative and challenging.”  He believes that there are two primary aspects that make this event important to international attendees: 1. Meeting renowned surgical oncologists from across the globe and discussing clinical and research topics with them; and 2. The high-quality presentations including The Great Debates and featured lectures.  Dr. León highlighted three presentations that represented the diversity and quality of SSO education for the international attendee.  These include the heartfelt Presidential Address, the state of the art research in the James Ewing Lecture and The Great Debates, which had interesting interaction between the lecturers and audience participants.  Upon his return to the Catholic University Hospital in Santiago, Chile, he often presents a summary of the meeting to the hospital’s residents in surgical oncology as well as other oncologists.  The SSO looks forward to growing international participation at SSO 2018 in Chicago and advancing the multidisciplinary care of cancer patients globally.

Fellows and Residents Lounge Offers Insights and Exchanges

D2_0360 w/Dr. Wong & FellowsThe SSO 2017 Fellows and Residents Lounge was a popular destination and offered numerous opportunities to informally meet and speak with SSO surgical oncology leaders. In addition to networking with opinion leaders in surgical oncology, the Fellows and Residents Lounge offered interactive discussions on 12 different topics that ranged from initiating research, to manuscript publication to finding the right practice setting. Speakers included Sandra L. Wong, MD, Douglas S. Tyler, MD, and Charles M. Balch, MD, who shared practice advice and helpful guidance based on their personal experiences.

If you visited the Fellows and Residents Lounge, SSO wants to hear about your experience and what you would like to see offered in future years. Please take our brief survey so that we may continue to enhance the Fellows and Residents Lounge experience.

Take Our Brief Survey »

Events and Announcements

Don't Miss Out – SSO 2017 CME Deadline is May 26, 2017

ACGME ribbonIf you attended SSO 2017, you may apply for CME through May 26, 2017.  The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) designates this live activity for a maximum of 27.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are earned by attending sessions, indicating the amount of time spent in sessions attended and completing the evaluation process for those sessions.  In addition, an overall program evaluation will need to be completed.  The evaluation for the CME certificate of credit is an electronic-only process.

SSO 2018 Heads to Chicago

SSO 2018SSO 2018 will be held March 21 – 24, 2018 in Chicago.  This premier surgical oncology symposium is a proactive forum for discussion and debate on the latest scientific research and clinical advancements in cancer surgery.  Details regarding abstract submission deadlines and registration will be available in the coming months.

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Save the Date for the 2018 International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies

The 13th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies will take place February 17-19, 2018 near Jacksonville, FL at the One Ocean Resort & Spa. This international symposium serves as a comprehensive forum to promote research, development and application of regional cancer therapies.

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Breast Oncology Fellowship Match Programs – Start Planning Now

The SSO, in partnership with the American Society of Breast Surgeons, approves Breast Fellowship Programs nationally.  This year 49 training programs are participating with the newest being Johns Hopkins Health, Christiana Care and West Cancer Center.  Applications will be accepted May 10 – June 19, 2017.  Program details, application instructions and frequently asked questions are available for Fellows interested in applying and for Program Directors.

New CGSO Resource – Free Trial Available for SSO Members

CGSO LogoThe SSO is pleased to announce a collaboration with Decker Intellectual Properties, Inc to develop a transformative digital surgical oncology resource, Complex General Surgical Oncology (CGSO). The content for this remarkable new educational publication was developed by SSO members, including Editors in Chief Steven N. Hochwald, MD and past SSO President, William G. Cance, MD, FACS. CGSO will deliver surgical videos, NCCN and AJCC Guidelines, clinical trials and meta-analyses to your hand-held device.  CGSO will make the best clinical information available at your fingertips with continuous, monthly updates. Learn more about SSO member charter subscription pricing, which includes free CME for two years.