Annual Cancer Symposium

SSO’s Annual Cancer Symposium is recognized worldwide as the leading event that prepares cancer surgeons for new techniques, procedures, and evidence-based approaches to effective surgical cancer care. Prominent surgeon scientists from around the world present the latest research that covers neoadjuvant therapies, immunotherapy and various multimodality treatments. Guest speakers present the James Ewing Lecture and the John Wayne Clinical Research Lecture and numerous research awards are presented including the SSO’s Young Investigator Award and Clinical Investigator Award. In addition, SSO’s international partner societies highlight their research through the Global Partner Posters.


Join us in 2020 for a Completely New Meeting Experience

Mark your calendar now for SSO 2020, March 25 – 28, 2020 in Boston, MA. You can expect leading-edge research, debate and dialogue that will challenge your thinking, and networking with peers to share ideas that move the profession and your career forward. The new SSO HUB will be the central meeting spot to further personalize your symposium experience.

Annual Cancer SymposiumAnnual Cancer Symposium






The SSO HUB will feature disease-specific communities where several engaging and informative activities will take place including:

  • Networking Lounges
  • Case Presentations
  • ePosters
  • Industry Forums
  • Science Spotlights
  • Mini-Debates
  • And, Interactive Competitions!

Registration for SSO 2020 will open in October 2019. Call for Abstracts will occur in July. Watch for details this summer!

Past Annual Cancer Symposia

Over the years, SSO Presidential Addresses have covered an array of topics ranging from the growth and evolution of the Society, changes in the care of cancer patients, overcoming personal and professional challenges and ethical considerations. While topics may range, the constant element is the deep passion for the profession and for improving the lives of cancer patients. View past SSO Presidential Addresses here.

Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD, (2017-2018)

Presented for outstanding contributions to surgical oncology through service to SSO, research, or enhancing clinical care or health policy. This is the successor to the Society of Surgical Oncology Heritage Award and 2018 marks the first year of this award with the new name “The Charles M. Balch, MD, Distinguished Service Award.” Charles M. Balch, MD has dedicated more than 30 years of service to the SSO, demonstrating leadership on multiple fronts and serving as SSO President in 1991. His passion for the Society and for the field of surgical oncology is evidenced by 25 years of service to the Annals of Surgical Oncology, in which his actions as Founding Editor-in-Chief has led to the worldwide growth and prominence of the journal.

A list of recipients can be found here.

The James Ewing Layperson’s Award is presented annually and is the highest award of the Society, given to a physician whose work has had a major impact on surgical oncology.  Work is defined in the broadest sense, and includes basic, translational, clinical, and health services research as well as public policy.

Find a list of recipients here.

This prestigious award is selected by the SSO President and is given to an individual whose work has impacted the clinical practice of surgical oncology. The recipient presents a lecture at the SSO Annual Cancer Symposium in the year they are awarded.

Learn more about past recipients here.

This lecture award is delivered by an MD or PhD performing innovative basic or translational research relevant to the understanding of cancer biology or the care of the cancer patient. This award is funded by the American Cancer Society.

See a list of recipients here.

In 2007, SSO established a new Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) program with the goal of promoting patient-oriented research through the training of surgical oncologists in clinical and translational science.

Learn more about the award and see a list of recipients here.

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

See a list of recipients and learn more about the award here.

Each year the SSO awards a $1,000 grant to assist in providing travel support for a postdoctoral oncology trainee whose paper is accepted for presentation at the SSO Annual Cancer Symposium. The SSO Scientific Program Committee selects the winner based on a blind peer-review of abstracts submitted.

See a list of the award recipients here.

Each year, the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation (CCCF) awards a $2,000 grant to provide travel support for a postdoctoral surgical oncology trainee whose paper is accepted for presentation at the SSO Cancer Forum held during the SSO Annual Cancer Symposium. The paper must be primarily focused on colorectal cancer.

A list of recipients can be found here.

For a full list of contest winners click here.

Each year, SSO offers two Poster Contest Awards of $500 each; one for the best Basic/Transitional Research Poster and one for the best Clinical Research Poster. Based on submissions, the Scientific Program Committee selects the top ten finalist posters from all entries submitted. During the Symposium, the finalists’ posters are prominently displayed, and attendees vote to select the winner of each category.

For a full list of recipients click here.

The James Ewing Layperson’s Award is intended to thank and honor non-physicians for their work in support of public awareness, patient resources, or clinical or research efforts in the prevention or cure of cancer.

For a list of recipients of the James Ewing Layperson’s Award go here.

As a result of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) partnership with various international societies, the SSO debuted a Global Partners Posters section at SSO 2016. Partner societies were invited to submit their top abstracts from their respective world-wide events over the past year. It is the Society’s intent to continue to incorporate this opportunity as part of the Annual Cancer Symposium programming.

Find a list of previous posters here.