Stephen Cannistra, MD, Takes Over as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Stephen Cannistra, MDSince 1989, Stephen Cannistra, MD, has been working to make the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) the most credible, authoritative resource for disseminating significant clinical oncology research while acting as a reviewer, Consultant Editor, Associate Editor, Editorial Board Member, and as of June, Editor-in-Chief. Even before his new duties officially began, Dr. Cannistra was developing and implementing “many substantive initiatives… that represent a continued commitment to providing timely service to [the] readership, authors, and patients whom [oncologists] treat.”1

Rapid Review: High-profile, practice-changing studies submitted to JCO will now be eligible for a Rapid Review track. For papers identified as being appropriate for Rapid Review, JCO will provide authors with the first decision within approximately 72 hours from the time the manuscript is assigned to an Editor. Once a Rapid Review manuscript is officially accepted for publication, it will be published online in only 4 to 6 weeks. In an effort to provide the oncology community with the most up-to-date information available, all manuscripts published on a Rapid Review track will be available on an open access basis, accessible to nonsubscribers as well as subscribers to JCO.

Understanding the Pathway: JCO is introducing a new article type that describes the biology underlying the findings of original reports. This section, which will be called Understanding the Pathway (UTP), will comprise a two-page summary that will accompany a given original report in order to highlight salient scientific aspects for a clinical audience interested in translational research. The goal of the UTP section is to provide a concise description of the underlying pathway or biologic process, explain its relevance to the original report, and highlight future therapeutic or investigational directions pertaining to the pathway in cancer.

Protocol Redactions: As initiated by former Editor-in-Chief Daniel G. Haller, MD, in conjunction with Dr. Cannistra, JCO is providing readers with a redaction of the protocol for all randomized phase II and phase III studies. This material is uploaded as a supplemental file at to provide readers with as much clinically relevant information as possible. The redactions will include the following information:

  • Selection of patients, including both eligibility and ineligibility criteria
  • Schema and treatment plan, including administration schedule
  • Rules for dose modification
  • Measurement of treatment effect, including response criteria, definitions of response and survival, and methods of measurement
  • Reasons for early cessation of trial therapy
  • Objectives and entire statistical section (including endpoints)

Correspondence: The Correspondence section, which until recently was available online only, has returned to the print issues of JCO. “I have always considered the Correspondence section to represent an ongoing discussion of an original report,” explains Dr. Cannistra; “it is a platform that encourages readers to provide alternative interpretations, uncover flaws in the analysis, and clarify issues that were not fully addressed in the original article. It recognizes the fact that an article’s impact does not end at the time of publication but is shaped by readership opinion.”1 Returning the Correspondence section to print is an effort to ensure that all readers have access to this important section. ■


1. Cannistra SA: New initiatives at Journal of Clinical Oncology. J Clin Oncol 29:2609-2610, 2011.

© 2011. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.