Over the years I have become increasingly proud of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. I believe that ASCO is unique among specialty societies—at least in the various disciplines of oncology and hematology. Our Society is amazingly democratic (ie, with an independent nominating process and truly competitive elections), really “owned” by the members, and responsive to the members’ needs and desires. The current structure of the Annual Meeting, the other ASCO-sponsored meetings held throughout the year, the makeup of the Board of Directors, and the various ASCO publications all reflect efforts by the elected leadership to respond to members’ requirements. The ASCO Post is the newest in a long series of innovations intended to make ASCO membership more valuable and rewarding.
James O. Armitage, MD
The ASCO Post will provide useful information covering a wide range of issues important to oncologists. The most important recent clinical research from the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), other major journals, and important meetings including our Annual Meeting will be summarized, and in many cases the views of the authors will be incorporated. These can provide quick updates in various aspects of oncology, or can provide the impetus to direct readers to the original articles. For example, in this first issue of The ASCO Post you can find reports addressing summaries from the recent Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, a literature review addressing a variety of tumor types, a piece on radioimmunotherapy for follicular lymphoma (detailing an Early Release article from JCO), on and many other practical reports.
The ASCO Post will also provide an additional way for current ASCO leadership to communicate with members. This will be in the form of Letters from the President or other officers, committee updates, policy positions, and so forth. In this issue, ASCO President-Elect George Sledge elucidates his view of the direction ASCO should go, and ASCO CEO Allen Lichter comments on the reasons for developing The ASCO Post.
We also hope that The ASCO Post will provide a forum for communication and debate among members. A variety of columnists will provide their opinions about important issues affecting oncology. In this issue, you will find columnists addressing health-care reform, lessons learned from patients, and issues regarding new standards for quality cancer care.
In addition, we will pose questions regarding major controversies in our profession and have two members argue different sides of a question. We hope that this will be followed by a robust response from members to be published as Letters to the Editor, either in subsequent issues of The ASCO Post or online. In this issue, you will find the pros and cons of physician-assisted suicide in oncology. We are extremely interested in your thoughts regarding this controversial, but very real, problem in caring for patients with incurable cancer. Send your comments to me c/o Director of Editorial Cara Glynn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The ASCO Post will become the newspaper of our members. The content can and will adjust to the membership’s desires. It will be published initially at monthly intervals with the intention of eventually having two papers each month. We look forward to your feedback as to how The ASCO Post can better serve you.