SURGONConnect: Issue 3 2018

Special Edition: Annals of Surgical Oncology 25th Anniversary

Perspectives and Insights – 25 Years of Annals of Surgical Oncology Celebrating 25 Years of Annals of Surgical Oncology
Conversations with Editor-in-Chief, Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD, and Founding and Emeritus Editor, Charles M. Balch, MD 25 Years of Advancing the Field of Surgical Oncology
25 Years – 25 Facts SSO Announcements
ExpertED@SSO Educational Programs SSO Advances Surgical Oncology on the Global Stage

Perspectives and Insights – 25 Years of Annals of Surgical Oncology

Celebrating 25 Years of Annals of Surgical Oncology

ASO Cover w 25yr logo_Page_1Born from a vision to promote scientific research and education and to advance the profession of surgical oncology, Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) has become the journal of choice for cancer surgeons around the globe. Founded by Charles M. Balch, MD, the growth and prestige of the journal is rooted in four fundamental strategies that were established at the journal’s onset. These strategies were a result of functional needs of the Society and a savvy business vision designed to elevate the journal and the Society. These strategies included: 1.) ownership of copyright, 2.) publication of content across all solid tumors, making the journal a resource for all cancer surgeons, 3.) decentralized governance with section editors responsible for peer review, and 4.) a venue for Society Presidential Addresses and other important commentaries.

The mission of ASO is to disseminate important research findings and practice-changing results, and to provide educational value to its readership. One mechanism of dissemination, and a measurement of the journal’s scientific value, is the number of times ASO articles are cited in the literature, the yearly average of which is the journal’s impact factor (2016 ASO impact factor, 4.041).article-downloads  ASO is unique in that it also publishes significantly more articles than other surgical journals in the field. In fact, the totality of citations of ASO articles during a year make it the most cited surgical journal. From 2003 – 2017, ASO articles had 41,238 citations. An indicator of the educational value of the journal is the number of article downloads. From 2005 – 2016, ASO had over 5.8 million article downloads. It is expected that in 2018, more than 1 million ASO articles will be downloaded and accessed.

balchCharles M. Balch, MD said, “I never imagined at the beginning that after 25 years Annals of Surgical Oncology would be one of the leading surgical journals in the world. It is like when you plant a seed, you don’t know what is going to happen and then you look. You say to yourself, ‘Oh, my goodness - It is like a giant sequoia tree.’ I had no idea about how much value it would bring to the global cancer community and how fast it grew. Most of the top journals are about 100 years old.”

ASO is highly valued among cancer surgeons regardless of practice setting or stage of career. Below, SSO members share their thoughts about the journal.

wong"Annals of Surgical Oncology is a great resource for those who want to stay current on cancer topics. As a section editor and a health services researcher, I’m excited about how the journal approaches outcomes research and research that’s centered around cancer policy,” Sandra Wong, MD, William N and Bessie Allyn Professor and Chair of Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Treasurer of SSO.

cruzAnnals of Surgical Oncology is the one journal that I read monthly rather than looking for information on PubMed. I like that it is inclusive of all solid tumor disease sites as I want to know what is happening in other sub-specialties,” Lucy De La Cruz, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

DSC_1376Annals of Surgery Oncology has articles for everybody. It has basic science articles, articles about rare cancers and general articles that pertain to changing practice. And because of that, it is very applicable to surgical oncologists or general surgeons in the community,” Ned Z. Carp, MD, Surgical Oncologist, Lankenau Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, and SSO Executive Council Member.

morrow“When Charles Balch started the journal, no one could have ever predicted that it was going to be the most widely read surgical journal about cancer. It’s a place where surgical oncologists or general surgeons treating cancer patients can go to get up-to-date, state-of-the art information. I think the Annals is an enormous success story and the credit for that really goes to Charles Balch,” Monica Morrow, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery, Ann Burnett-Winford Chair of Clinical Oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Annals of Surgical Oncology serves its readers by 1) representing and advancing the profession of surgical oncology throughout the nation and the world; 2) promoting the highest quality multidisciplinary patient care and practice management; 3) providing relevant cancer education and research training materials using print and electronic media; 4) promoting clinical and translational cancer research, with an emphasis on clinical trials; 5) facilitating the career development of surgical trainees and their transition into academic and community-based practice; and 6) promoting public policy and patient advocacy issues related to surgical patients with cancer.

Conversations with Editor-in-Chief, Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD, and Founding and Emeritus Editor, Charles M. Balch, MDSSO 2018 Group

mcmasters-and-balch3Q. How would you describe the growth and evolution of the journal over the last 25 years?

Dr. McMasters: The Annals of Surgical Oncology has grown enormously over the last 25 years. At the beginning it was a start-up effort and now is the largest and most prestigious journal in the specialty of cancer surgery and multi-disciplinary cancer care. Annals of Surgical Oncology has become the home for the latest and best in the advances in surgical oncology and multi-disciplinary care and that's due to the efforts of Dr. Balch over the years.

Q. What is the international perception of Annals of Surgical Oncology? How do you see that evolving?


Dr. McMasters: The international perception of Annals of Surgical Oncology is that it is the premier journal in the specialty. You can see that reflected in the volume of manuscripts from around the world that are submitted and accepted. It is the publication for all of the best science and clinical advances in every subspecialty that encounters cancer.

Dr. Balch: The journal has grown on the international stage in part and in parallel with the Society of Surgical Oncology, which is purposed to be a global society for surgical oncologists around the world. No other society has taken on the leadership role on the global stage like the SSO. And so, too, in parallel, the journal has purposed to be a global journal.

Q: What is your vision for the journal?

Dr. McMasters: Foremost that it will continue the upward trajectory started by Dr. Balch 25 years ago. That it will continue to be the world's leading journal in surgical oncology. It will become more competitive and it will reach more people around the world in every cancer subspecialty.

Q. What are the core qualities of the journal that you feel are important to maintain?

Dr. McMasters: First, scientific integrity and, second, quality of the articles. What we will continue to do is to build upon the strength of the international editorial board and engage leaders in cancer from around the world to be part of the journal, which will strengthen its place as the premier journal in the specialty.

Dr. Balch: Maintaining an excellent peer review process is critical. Years ago, we established a term limit of three years, renewable once, for any editorial board member. So, we're always having new faces, new energy coming into the editorial board and having peer experts that people recognize. Having an inclusive editorial board that is reflective of the global cancer community is also a necessity.

Q. Describe the relationship between Annals of Surgical Oncology and SSO, and how you see this being stronger or changing over time?

Dr. McMasters: Annals of Surgical Oncology and the SSO are one and the same. It's the same mission. Annals of Surgical Oncology is one arm of the SSO. And I believe that in the future we will work very closely together as the journal continues to grow and prosper.

Dr. Balch: The journal, like the SSO as a society, purposes to be the educational leader for all surgeons treating cancer patients regardless of whether they're in an academic medical cancer center or in the community, not only in the United States but importantly throughout the world. So, we've had a joint and parallel mission to provide scientific, evidence-based contributions from the literature by peer review and educational content to allow surgeons to take on new information.

Q. Who are the key facilitators to the journal’s success?

From left to right: Deb Whippen, Coleen Hubona (first Managing Editor), Mark Roh, MD, Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD and Charles M. Balch, MD

Dr. McMasters: The success of Annals of Surgical Oncology is due not only to the efforts of Dr. Balch over the last 25 years, but to Dr. Mark Roh, Executive Editor, and to Deb Whippen and her staff, who have done a phenomenal job over the years of assuring the growth and quality of the journal.

Dr. Balch: The other key people in making the journal go are Deb Whippen and Dr. Mark Roh. Remember, we process more manuscripts than almost any other surgical journal. It's between 50 and 60 manuscripts a week. And it takes a separate group of people, who can do that smoothly and efficiently, in addition to the Editor-in-Chief.

25 Years of Advancing the Field of Surgical Oncology

Highlights from the first 25 years of ASO are summarized in the mural above. Click here or on the graphic to see notable data and quotes from leaders in the field.

25 Years – 25 Facts

25-facts325 years ago, ASO had 86 editors. Today, there are 191 editors and more than 2,600 peer reviewers. Over 10,500 institutions access ASO online and during the period of 2005 – 2016, more than 5.8 million articles were downloaded. Read the 25 Years – 25 Facts infographic for other notable accomplishments.


Call for Abstracts

Upcoming Meetings

ExpertED@SSO Educational Programs

Access the SSO 2018 Virtual Meeting
virtual-meetingDid you miss SSO 2018 or want to catch-up on sessions you couldn’t make? SSO 2018 attendees and SSO members may access SSO 2018 sessions virtually by logging into ExpertED@SSO.
Meeting attendees may access the sessions immediately from the individualized “Learning” page - look for 2018 SSO Annual Cancer Symposium Virtual Meeting - Full Meeting. SSO members who did not attend the conference will need to search the catalog for 2018 SSO Annual Cancer Symposium Virtual Meeting – Full Meeting and enroll. After enrolling for free, the virtual meeting will be accessible from your Learning page. Contact SSO Education with questions.

View the Metastatic Melanoma Webinar Series
The metastatic melanoma webinar series is now available. This two-part webinar series covers the “Multidisciplinary Approach to Metastatic Melanoma” and the “Role of Surgery in Metastatic Melanoma” Both webinars are moderated by Johnathan Zager, MD with a faculty panel of Merrick Ross, MD, Ragini Kudchadkar, MD, Keith Delman, MD and Hussein Tawbi, MD. Both webinars are free of charge for members and non-members on ExpertEd@SSO.  

Read the New Immunotherapy Review Seriesexperted-logo
Visit ExpertED@SSO to earn 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM and self-assessment credit toward part 2 of the ABS MOC program by reading, “Checkpoint Inhibitors in Immunotherapy”, the latest Annals of Surgical Oncology Educational Review Series. The series will highlight the mechanisms and principles of checkpoint inhibitors and the results of using checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced cancer and their future use in surgical patients. Biomarkers for selecting patients and interpreting results of immunotherapy, as well as surgical management of complications of immunotherapy will be reviewed.

This Educational Review Series is partially supported by an independent educational grant from Merck.

SSO Advances Surgical Oncology on the Global Stage

The mission of the Society of Surgical Oncology is to improve cancer patient care and outcomes by advancing the science and practice of surgical oncology both nationally and internationally. To advance the international aspects of the mission, SSO has formed The Global Forum of Cancer Surgeons, which is comprised of surgical oncology leaders from around the world. SSO also partners with several global societies to offer collaborative exchanges of faculty, career development candidates and scientific data sharing through the societies' respective annual meetings. Below is a list of upcoming meetings and SSO representatives.