John V. Cox, DO, FASCO
John V. Cox, DO, FASCO, of the Parkland Hospital and Health System/University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) since 2008. As a member of the journal’s inaugural Editorial Board, he has seen the publication evolve into the practicing oncologist’s authoritative resource for information and insights needed to deliver quality oncology care.
Dr. Cox will step down as JOP’s editor in chief after this year. In the following interview, Dr. Cox discusses his experience overseeing JOP for nearly a decade—and his predictions for what’s to come.
What was JOP like when you first began your role as Editor-in-Chief?
JC: In this job—and this field—I find that I’m seldom looking backward. It’s always the challenges of the new month, quarter, or year as we try to better serve our authors and readers. But reflecting on where JOP was when it first began, I’d have to say it was a wonderful journal from the start. I had the pleasure of picking up a journal given very firm footing by its inaugural editor, Douglas W. Blayney, MD, FASCO.
Does the evolution of JOP reflect changes in the field of oncology and its practice? How so?
JC: Absolutely. Our mission demands it. The mission of the journal is to present original research to inform the delivery of oncology care—work that informs how we define the multiple components of care delivery and how to measure the valued, efficient, quality oncology care we deliver. I’m sure every oncologist marvels at the remarkable change that’s occurred in our profession over the last decade. But the change isn’t just in drugs and science; there have also been remarkable changes in practice. Reimbursement mechanisms and regulatory policies have dramatically changed, as have the ways we deliver care to segments of our society that struggle with access or disparities. The research in JOP provides insights into these challenges and pressures. I could go on and on about how dramatically oncology is changing—I encourage readers to track JOP for insights into those changes in our practice.
Why is it important to have a journal dedicated to the practice of oncology, separate from scientific research?
JC: I think it’s extremely important to focus on care delivery—and I don’t think I say that just because I sit in this chair. We have seen a remarkable evolution of science, but what I would humbly admit to our readers is this: we do not yet know how to deliver this marvelous science. I live in Dallas County, where 560,000 people do not have health insurance. In Harris County (Houston, TX) it’s over 1 million. How are we going to deliver the current oncologic revolution to these patients? Such questions of care delivery are the Gordian knot of our time. That’s where a practice journal like JOP is critical.
What do you think the future will hold for JOP?
JC: I think our number of original submissions will continue to climb, and I think the articles will continue to become more complex—which is a good thing. JOP will grow to be an ever-friendlier place for authors to submit their best work. The journal will evolve, the bench of research we present will get stronger, and I pray that this type of research will be recognized for helping oncologists tackle the Gordian knot of care delivery. ■
Originally published in ASCO Connection. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Dr. John V. Cox Reflects on 10 Years as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Oncology Practice.” ASCO Connection, March 2018. All rights reserved.