SURGONConnect: Issue 2 2018

SSO 2018 Spotlights Innovation and Application SSO 2018 Raises the Bar for Future Annual Cancer Symposia
The SSO Foundation Awards $125,000 in Research Grants SSO Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the International Career Development Exchange Program
SSO 2018 Delivers Customized Programming for Fellows and Residents Changes to the 2019 Breast Fellowship Timeline Announced
Start Planning now for the 14th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies SSO 2019 Heads to San Diego
Save the Date for Fellows Institute New Educational Programs Available at ExpertEd@SSO

SSO 2018 Spotlights Innovation and Application

SSO-D3-0123bSSO 2018’s expanded content format allowed for greater exploration into innovative multidisciplinary treatments and scientific innovations that pave the way for future progress in treatments. But, cancer care is a spectrum that is not only about surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, but also the leadership role of the surgical oncologist along that path. Outgoing SSO President, Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD stated during the SSO Presidential Address, “It is time for us to change the conversation about appropriate care for end-stage cancer patients.”

SSO 2018 provided an engaging and welcoming environment for cancer surgeons from all countries and treatment settings. As such, SSO 2018 set new records for both the volume of content and the number of attendees. Over 1,900 attendees from 45 countries traveled to Chicago including 415 international cancer surgeons. In addition to record-breaking attendance, SSO 2018 welcomed over 400 first-time attendees, a 20% increase over 2017. Abstract presenters represented 20 different countries along with faculty and moderators from 10 countries. 515 surgical trainees joined their mentors in attending the Symposium, many presenting for the first time on an international stage. SSO 2018 also recognized the various achievements of surgeon scientists and cancer activists, as shown in the table below.


The Charles M. Balch Distinguished Service Award Norman Wolmark, MD and Bernard Fisher, MD Drexel University School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh
2018-2020 Clinical Investigator Award Heather Neuman, MD, MS University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
2018 Donald L. Morton Young Investigator Award in Melanoma Michael Lowe, MD, MA Emory University School of Medicine
Best Clinical Research Paper Naruhiko Ikoma, MD, MS University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Best Clinical Research Poster Mohammad Y. Zaidi, MD, MS Emory University
Best Basic Science Research Paper Andre B. Martel, MD University of Ottawa
Best Basic/Translational Research Poster Brett Ecker, MD University of Pennsylvania
Harvey Baker Traveling Fellow Award Roheena Z. Panni, MD Washington University in St. Louis
James Ewing Layperson's Award Alex Kimura, Sam Kimura and Taylor Shorten Sharing America's Marrow

SSO-D1-0110(2)“Every year SSO’s Annual Cancer Symposium evolves and grows in dynamic and energizing ways. SSO 2018 presented a great range of clinical concepts, treatments, and philosophies that challenged conventional ideas and laid the foundation for moving multidisciplinary cancer care forward,” said Armando E. Giuliano, MD, SSO President, whose term began at the conclusion of SSO 2018.

SSO 2018 Quick Reference Links
SSO 2018 Virtual Meeting
SSO 2018 CME and MOC
SSO 2018 Photo Gallery

Please be sure to save the date for SSO 2019 in San Diego, CA, March 27 – 30, 2019.

SSO 2018 Raises the Bar for Future Annual Cancer Symposia

scogginsSSO 2018 offered attendees more content, more flexibility and more opportunities for dialogue. Scientific Program Chairman, Charles Scoggins, MD, MBA explains, “The anatomy of this year’s Annual Cancer Symposium was significantly different than previous years. The Scientific Program Committee (SPC) worked diligently to create an experience to meet the needs of attendees. Two primary changes went into place – increased oral abstracts and sessions and concentrated disease-site tracks.”

SSO 2018 saw an 88% increase in oral abstract presentations and 36% more sessions than previous years. “The goal of the SPC was to provide more opportunities for high-quality data to be presented. To accommodate this goal, Quick Shot Abstracts were added to the program as well as additional sessions.”

A total of 572 abstracts and posters were presented during SSO 2018, along with the Great Debates, four featured lecturers and several Meet the Professor breakfast sessions. Dr. Scoggins said, “The range and quality of content presented at this year’s meeting was exceptional. Dr. Steven Leach’s Basic Science Lecture about cancer biology demonstrated innovative research that has the potential to move treatment forward. The Great Debates were very well received and the SSO Presidential Address, by Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD, was very poignant. I had several attendees tell me that this was the best SSO meeting they have ever attended.”

SSO 2018 represented the first phase of evolution for the Annual Cancer Symposium. As identified in SSO’s three-year strategic plan, one of six strategic plan goals is to “Reimagine the SSO Annual Cancer Symposium.” The Reimagination Task Force met during SSO 2018 and will continue to meet over the next year, with the goal of introducing even more enhancements for SSO 2019 and a completely new meeting experience for SSO 2020.

The SSO Foundation Awards $125,000 in Research Grants

SSO 2018 GroupSSO-D4-0113The SSO Foundation works in partnership with SSO to improve multidisciplinary patient care by advancing the science, education and practice of cancer surgery worldwide. This year’s Young Investigator Award is supported in part by the funds raised in memory of Donald Morton, MD and supports a melanoma research study. Through these awards, The SSO Foundation hopes to advance the goal of promoting and recognizing clinical/translational research that advances innovative ideas and concepts designed to improve health outcomes through advances in the delivery of cancer-related care. The 2018 Young Investigator Award recipient is Michael Lowe, MD, MA for his project “Evaluation of FcgRIIB as a Novel T-cell Inhibitor in Cutaneous Melanoma.”

The 2018 – 2020 Clinical Investigator Award was presented to Heather Neuman, MD for her research project “Understanding Socioeconomic Disparities in the Receipt of Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction.” SSO and The SSO Foundation gratefully acknowledge Genentech, Inc. for their support of the Clinical Investigator Award program.

A Closer Look at Dr. Heather Neuman’s Research Project “Understanding Socioeconomic Disparities in the Receipt of Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction”

neumanHeather Neuman, MD, MS is a surgical oncologist at the University of Wisconsin, where she has been practicing since 2009. She explains, “We’ve been reporting reconstruction disparities for decades. It is a very complex issue, which may be the primary reason why it hasn’t been fully addressed. The basic ground work to define and understand the barriers by various stakeholders is needed.”

Dr. Neuman’s research will focus on understanding why barriers exist, defining boundaries around the problems and identifying actionable interventions. Drawing on the infrastructure in place throughout the state of Wisconsin, Dr. Neuman will collaborate with approximately 40 multi-specialty centers that are NAPBC-approved programs. These centers are well distributed geographically and patients have access to plastic surgeons. It is anticipated that the geographic diversity within the state will indicate that the drivers of reconstruction disparities vary depending on the setting.

 “I believe it touches all of our practices and it is something that we talk about. I like to use the example of a patient who was a waitress and declined reconstruction because she was not able to leave her job for frequent office visits, it just wasn’t an option for her. This socioeconomic example is complex and is a social problem – it is very different than not having insurance,” Dr. Newman said.

Her research plan has several components with the goal of creating a stakeholder group across the state including breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, navigators and patients. The group would discuss reconstruction barriers and map them to potential interventions. A menu of interventions would then be piloted to communities, allowing for customization of recommended approaches.

“It is an incredible honor to receive the Clinical Investigator Award. I’ve known about it for several years and greatly respect the surgical oncologists who have previously received the award,” said Dr. Neuman. Dr. Neuman will present a follow-up to her research at SSO 2020.

Read more about previous Clinical Investigator Award Recipients.

SSO Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the International Career Development Exchange Program

Since 2014, SSO has welcomed up and coming surgical oncologists from partner societies to attend the Annual Cancer Symposium and visit U.S. institutions as part of the International Career Development Exchange (ICDE) program. The initial program had a total of three participants from Japan, India and Mexico. This year, seven young surgical oncology leaders arrived in Chicago from partner societies in Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. After the Annual Cancer Symposium, ICDE participants were each hosted by two U.S. institutions around the country.

SSO-D1-0110(2)This year’s participants were (as seen in photo): Young Suk Park, MD, Korean Society of Surgical Oncology; Maheswaran Satishkumar, MBBS, MS, MCH, Indian Society of Surgical Oncology; Nereida Esparza-Arias, MD, Sociedad Mexicana de Oncologia; Michael Kelly, BA, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCSI, MCh, European Society of Surgical Oncology; Marcus Kodama Pertille Ramos, MD, MS, Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology and Francis Zih, MD, MSc, Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology. Not pictured is Hideya Kashihara, MD, PhD, Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery.

Nereida Esparza-Arias, MD comments on her experience, “SSO 2018 was an impressive meeting. I enjoyed the Great Debates and seeing how experts can have controversial views, but with comparable results. The Poster Grand Rounds and the various Plenary sessions demonstrated topics of common interest across disease sites. During my visit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, I learned about the implementation of new technologies to optimize time and resources. Overall this experience at the Annual Cancer Symposium and during visits at the cancer centers, has reinforced that the treatment of patients is not about a single area, but the science, technological and administrative services coming together for better results.”

SSO 2018 Delivers Customized Programming for Fellows and Residents

Fellows, residents and medical students had special opportunities during SSO 2018 to network with peers, receive career advice from SSO leaders and discuss patient cases. The first event in the trainee schedule was Fellows Institute II: Practical Aspects of Starting a Surgical Oncology Career. The SSO Training Committee organized this workshop to complement the topics covered at the Fellows Institute in November and 49 fellows were in attendance. Faculty and fellows discussed personal experiences of finding a job and negotiating an offer, communication skills, and how to maintain a work-life balance after training.

Day 2 of SSO 2018 kicked-off with Case Presentations with Fellows & Professors. Held each year at the Annual Meeting, this interactive session is a case-based discussion of patient evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment led by established thought-leaders in the field. Organized by Dr. Aimee Crago and moderated by Drs. V. Suzanne Klimberg and Daniel Coit this session was filled with provocative Q&A. If you missed this session or want to hear it again, simply access the 2018 Virtual Meeting, which is free for members.

SSO-D1-0110(2)The SSO 2018 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 leaders in surgical oncology, the Fellows and Residents Lounge offered interactive discussions on 9 different topics that ranged from initiating research, to manuscript publication to finding the right practice setting. Speakers included Sandra L. Wong, MD, Keith Delman, MD, and Charles M. Balch, MD, who shared practice advice and helpful guidance based on their personal experiences.


Changes to the 2019 Breast Fellowship Timeline Announced

Jill Onesti, MDThe SSO, in partnership with the American Society of Breast Surgeons, approves Breast Fellowship Programs nationally. This year, there are 50 approved Breast Fellowship Programs that are participating in the 2018 Breast Fellowship match. In 2019, the Breast Fellowship Match will move from 5th year residents applying to 4th year residents and will move to the first half of the calendar year.

Below are the dates for the 2018 and the 2019 Breast Fellowship match.

  Current Timeline 2018 Timeline for 2019
Match Application Opens May 9, 2018 January 2019
Match Application Closes June 20, 2018 February 2019
Interviews August – October 2018 April – June 2019
Rank List Opens October 5, 2018 July 2019
Rank List Deadline November 9, 2018 August 2019
Results Released November 30, 2018 September 2019

To prepare, read through the match instructions, how the SSO match works, and the approved program list.

Start Planning now for the 14th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies

phoenix - Copy
SSO is excited to announce the 14th International Symposium on Regional Cancer Therapies will take place February 16-18, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ at the Arizona Grand. The Call for Abstracts will open in June and program registration will open in September.

The target audience includes physicians and nurses practicing in the areas of medical, surgical, thoracic and gynecologic oncology and gastroenterology and researchers involved in the field of hyperthermia and regionally applied biologic therapies.

SSO 2019 Heads to San Diego

san-diego - CopySSO 2019 will be held March 27 – 30, 2019 in sunny San Diego, CA. The event promises to be even more dynamic and engaging than previous years. Details regarding abstract submission deadlines and registration will be available in the coming months.

Save the Date for Fellows Institute

SSO is pleased to announce its 8th Annual Fellows Institute will be held November 12-14, 2018 at Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE) in Houston, Texas. The breast program is scheduled for November 12-13. Surgical Oncology and HPB tracks will take place November 13-14. We encourage breast fellows in SSO-approved programs and second-year CGSO fellows to attend. Please save the date!

New Educational Programs Available at ExpertEd@SSO

experted-logoExpertEd@SSO delivers innovative surgical oncology education developed by preeminent surgical oncology leaders to support professional development and understanding of complex clinical issues. See below for featured activities.

Register now for the new webinar: Role of Surgery in Metastatic Melanoma
This webinar is scheduled for May 16, 2018 at 5:30pm CST and is moderated by Jonathan Zager, MD with Merrick Ross, MD, Ragini Kudchadkar, MD and Keith Delman, MD as speakers.

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 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 soon, 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 served as the Editor for the multi-article series.