SURGONConnect: Issue 1 2018

Implementation Begins on the SSO 2018 – 2020 Strategic Plan SSO 2018: Optimize Your Schedule with Concentrated Disease Tracks Advanced Registration Ends on Monday, February 26
SSO 2018 Must-See Events Annals of Surgical Oncology 25th Anniversary
Education and Engagement – An Interview with Andrea V. Barrio, MD SSO 2018 Election Results
SSO Makes New Strides in Membership Growth Superior Surgical Oncology Education – Visit ExpertEd@SSO
2018 Regional Cancer Therapies Symposium Featured Recent Therapy Advances  

Implementation Begins on the SSO 2018 – 2020 Strategic Plan

Kelly McMaster, MD pictureThe SSO Executive Council approved the 2018 – 2020 Strategic Plan in October 2017. SSO President Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD said, “SSO is in a prime position to further its global reach and continue to advance the multidisciplinary care of the cancer patients worldwide. The accomplishments of the previous strategic plan created a solid foundation of strategic relationships and educational advancements, which will assure the future growth of the Society.”

SSO_2018-2020_ Strategic_plan 628px 2_22_18 CPThe development of the 2018 – 2020 strategic plan officially kicked off last July. Approximately 20 SSO members who serve on the Executive Council or on various SSO committees participated in a two-day meeting to discuss key strategic issues, growth opportunities, and member needs. Several key areas were discussed including: The Annual Cancer Symposium, Professional Development, Membership Retention & Recruitment, Global Expansion and the SSO Brand. Each of these key areas were ranked on several growth and value attributes.  From this exercise, three primary success factors emerged: 1) Membership inclusive of all cancer surgeons, 2) Reimagined Annual Cancer Symposium experience, and 3) Welcoming brand image that maintains SSO’s brand heritage.

President-Elect, Armando E. Giuliano, MD said, “We are entering a dynamic and progressive era in the history of SSO. We have tremendous opportunities ahead to strengthen the role of the cancer surgeon in academic and community settings. This will require us to grow in new ways that will ultimately advance the profession.”

The new Strategic Plan has six goals designed to support the key success factors and focus on advancing the mission of SSO, increasing engagement and optimizing resources. Learn more about the Strategic Plan goals, objectives and deliverables by viewing the infographic.

You may also hear SSO President, Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD, present a summary of the plan during the SSO Town Hall Business Meeting happening during SSO 2018 on Saturday, March 24 at 5:00 pm. SSO leadership is committed to the success of this plan and thanks you for your support.

SSO 2018: Optimize Your Schedule with Concentrated Disease Tracks

Advanced Registration Ends on Monday, February 26

This year, SSO 2018 will deliver a bigger and better meeting experience. With an 88% increase in oral abstracts, 36% more sessions, quick shot abstracts, all concentrated by designated disease-site days, means that you can hear more of the high-quality clinical information that only SSO can provide.


SSO 2018 Must-See Events

SSO 2018 GroupStart planning your schedule with the SSO 2018 mobile app or refer to the Schedule at a Glance. Pre-meeting courses begin on Wednesday, March 21 and include notable sessions such as “Practice-Changing Papers in Surgical Oncology.” The Great Debates will be held the afternoon of Friday, March 23 and the morning of Saturday, March 24. Meet the Professor Breakfast (MTP) Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday and are designed to encourage lively discussion. This year’s MTPs cover breast, gastric, pancreas, rectal, melanoma disease sites as well as other topics including HIPEC. The James Ewing Lecture, the John Wayne Clinical Research Lecture, the SSO Presidential Address and the American Cancer Society/SSO Basic Science Lecture are sure to be exceptional presentations that you won’t want to miss.

Annals of Surgical Oncology 25th Anniversary

SSO 2018 will also mark the 25th Anniversary of the Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO). ASO has grown to become the most cited surgical oncology journal in the world, has had over 41,000 article citations during the period of 2003 – 2017 and has had over 5.8 million article downloads since 2005.  The accomplishments of the journal have been made possible by not only the contributions of surgeon scientists from around the globe, but also the comprehensive editorial board that has been led for the last 25 years by Editor-in-Chief, Charles M. Balch, MD. At the conclusion of SSO 2018, Dr. Balch will entrust the role of Editor-in-Chief and the future vision of ASO to Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD.

Dr. Balch’s enduring passion and commitment to the field of surgical oncology, as evidenced through his leadership with ASO, is both impressive and inspiring. In honor of his role in advancing the profession, the Distinguished Service Award is being renamed, The Charles M. Balch, MD Distinguished Service Award. Please plan to attend the presentation to this year’s recipients on Friday, March 23 at 8:45 am.

Education and Engagement – An Interview with Andrea V. Barrio, MD

barrio_170522_49_1200x800Society engagement is often thought of as participating on a committee or serving as program faculty. Yet engagement is also participating in educational activities. Andrea V. Barrio, MD joined SSO when she became a Fellow and has been a member for over ten years. She said, “SSO provides many high-quality educational programs that foster active participation such as the Annual Cancer Symposium, Annals of Surgical Oncology manuscript review and ExpertEd@SSO.”

SSO’s Annual Cancer Symposium is the Society’s signature event and has been providing an international platform for the presentation of new research for 71 years. Dr. Barrio explains, “As a breast surgeon it is one of the best meetings that I attend. The presentations are not a review of existing data, but new research, which helps me develop treatment strategies for my own patients and ideas for future research. Attending and presenting at this meeting has enabled me to make connections and widen my professional network.” Engagement opportunities at the Annual Cancer Symposium are not limited to presenting personal research, but taking advantage of face-to-face conversations with preeminent cancer surgeons.

ASO Cover w 25yr logo_Page_1The Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) also provides opportunities for engagement. As the most cited surgical oncology journal, and having nearly 14,000 citations in 2016 to articles published in the last five years, publishing in ASO is considered a significant achievement. ASO also has a peer-review process, which currently has over 2,400 reviewers. US-based physicians are eligible to become a reviewer and CME credit is available for manuscripts reviewed. Dr. Barrio said, “The Annals of Surgical Oncology is an outstanding journal. I have published in this journal and serve as a peer reviewer. The journal MOC articles available through ExpertEd@SSO are also a great resource.”

ExpertEd@SSO pictureSSO recently launched an online learning management system, ExpertEd@SSO. ExpertEd@SSO is a comprehensive platform for SSO education and includes webinars, journal articles, case reviews and will also host the 2018 Annual Cancer Symposium virtual meeting. Dr. Barrio was an early user of the site and describes it as being easy to navigate and well organized. The “Cut to the Case” webinar presents complex case scenarios and is an excellent forum as people often have questions about their own complex cases. I spent my early career in the community setting where resources were limited. Complex case scenarios as an online educational resource are extremely valuable.” As part of the new SSO Strategic Plan, The SSO Education Council is developing a multi-year plan to deliver over 50 new programs via ExpertEd@SSO by 2020.

Education and engagement are closely linked. By actively participating in educational programs you can deepen your connection with SSO and fully utilize your member benefits. Visit SSO’s website to learn more about these fulfilling opportunities.

SSO 2018 Election Results

Jill Onesti, MDSSO is pleased to announce election results for four positions. A record-breaking number of SSO members voted in this year’s election. Thank you for participating in this important process. Learn about the elected members and their new positions.

Nominating Committee: Executive Council Councilor-at-Large Representative
Tracy S. Wang, MD, MPHTracy S. Wang, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Section of Endocrine Surgery
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Nominating Committee: Community-Based Surgical Oncologist Representative
Jan Franko, MD, PhDJan Franko, MD, PhD
Chair of Surgical Oncology
Mercy Medical Center
Des Moines, Iowa

Nominating Committee: International Surgical Oncologist Representative
Ricardo A. Audisio, MD, PhDRicardo A. Audisio, MD, PhD
Consultant Surgical Oncologist
University of Liverpool
St Helens Teaching Hospital
St Helens, UK

Nominating Committee: Undesignated Active Member Representative
Christine Laronga, MDChristine Laronga, MD
Senior Member, Department of Women's Oncology
Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Tampa, FL

SSO Makes New Strides in Membership Growth

Lucy De La Cruz, MD pictureThanks to the diligent efforts from the Membership Committee, chaired by Douglas Tyler, MD, 2017 realized 3,120 members. This achievement marks the first time in SSO history that the Society has surpassed 3,000 members.  Retention strategies were key in accomplishing this new milestone. Historically, retention rates have been on the rise. 2016 saw a 5% increase over 2015 to 91%. 2017 retention rates grew to a remarkable 94%.

The chart below illustrates the composition of SSO members.


As a cancer surgeon, you spend your days delivering high-quality patient care, expanding your knowledge and honing your surgical skills. SSO keeps you in the forefront of your profession, which is why it is so important for you to renew your membership.

SSO offers you innovation with access to cutting edge and emerging research related to both surgical oncology in general, as well as new knowledge focused on specific disease states.

SSO offers you applicability with extensive translational research and practical resources that allow you to implement proven best practices.

SSO offers you connectivity with access to a community of your peers as well as worldwide surgical oncology experts.

If you have not renewed your membership in 2018, please take a moment to login to the SSO website. If you need assistance renewing, please contact or call (847) 427-1400, extension 108. SSO staff is happy to assist you with any membership inquiry.

Superior Surgical Oncology Education – Visit ExpertEd@SSO

ExpertEd@SSO pictureExpertEd@SSO delivers innovative surgical oncology education developed by preeminent surgical oncology leaders to support professional development and understanding of complex clinical issues. The following educational programs are now available or coming soon:

Multidisciplinary Management of Locoregional Metastasis from Melanoma
In-transit melanoma is defined as the development of many tumor nodules between the primary tumor and the regional nodal basin. Although in-transit melanoma is uncommon, the disease has a high risk of recurrence, disease progression and metastasis. This webinar offers one (1) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit and one (1) MOC self-assessment credit that may be applied toward Part 2 of the American Board of Surgery (ABS) MOC Program. This activity is supported by an educational grant by Amgen.

Cut-to-the-Case: Complex Cases in Cancer Surgery
This quick 45-minute webinar addresses three of the most current and controversial issues in surgical oncology. It includes short, focused discussions on the evolving indications for neoadjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer, updates in the management of desmoid tumors, and what surgeons should know about molecular testing in colorectal cancer. This program features cases by Daniel G. Coit, MD, David Shibata, MD and Aimee M. Crago, MD and moderated by David L. Bartlett, MD and Daniel G. Coit, MD. These experts, each in their respective field, present up-to-date practical recommendations for management of these common problems. This webinar is an ideal resource for cancer surgeons in the community.

Checkpoint Inhibitors as Immunotherapy
Coming this Spring, this new educational review series will highlight the mechanisms and principles of checkpoint inhibitors and the results of using checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced cancer. Biomarkers for selecting patients and interpreting results of immunotherapy, as well as surgical management of complications of immunotherapy will be reviewed. Finally, the rationale and emerging use of neoadjuvant immunotherapy and genetically modified vectors of immunotherapy in combinations with checkpoint inhibitors will be discussed.

A total of seven articles are part of this educational series and will offer 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and 7.5 MOC Part 2 Credits. The articles will be published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology and available in ExpertEd@SSO. Charles M. Balch, MD and Howard Kaufman, MD served as Editors for the multi-article series.

2018 Regional Cancer Therapies Symposium Featured Recent Therapy Advances

ExpertEd@SSO pictureFor the first year of management by the SSO, the 13th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies took place February 17-19, 2018 in Atlantic Beach, FL. SSO welcomed over 185 surgical and industry oncology professionals to the meeting, an increase over last year’s event. The atmosphere was charged with energy, elevated by the high level of research, the excellence of the presenters and panels, and the real opportunity to connect with colleagues.

The three-day program was designed to cover the most recent advances in cancer therapy that are primarily of a regional focus, such as gastrointestinal, intraperitoneal, hepatic, ovarian and thoracic cancers. Several surgical oncologists from around the world were invited to present innovative approaches to challenging cancer treatment scenarios. The call for abstracts received a record number of submissions, resulting in 45 oral abstracts and 52 posters presented. Thank you to our nine exhibitors, two sponsors, and three educational grantors for their support!

In conjunction with this meeting, abstract authors from the previous year are encouraged to submit a full-length manuscript based on their presented research to the Annals of Surgical Oncology for publication consideration. From February 2017 through January 2018, 53 manuscripts were submitted under this category. Of those, a record 19 articles were included in the educational reprint booklet as part of this year’s meeting materials. For reference, eight articles were included in the 2017 booklet.

Save the date for the 14th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies, February 16-18, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ. The call for abstracts will open this summer.