The ASCO Research Community Forum (RCF) 2018 Annual Meeting brought together 165 physician investigators and research staff from 34 states across the country—its largest meeting to date—to discuss contemporary challenges and develop creative solutions in conducting and managing clinical trials. The meeting, held annually at ASCO’s headquarters in the Washington DC Metro area, spanned 2 days (September 23–24), with the theme of Innovative Solutions. Best Practices. Excellence in Cancer Research.
The first day of the meeting began with welcoming remarks from RCF Steering Group Chair Edward S. Kim, MD, FACP. He greeted a diverse mix of participants, including both physicians and nonphysicians from academic centers, community practices, government, and industry.
Edward S. Kim, MD, FACP
Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO
Two sessions delivered practical tips on how to build and grow a thriving research program. Through case studies and sharing practical strategies, participants learned best practices related to research program operations. Some key areas included program staff retention, team training and monitoring, protocol management and participant coordination, ASCO’s Research Program Quality Assessment Tool, and trial awareness and communication.
Day two began with a keynote address from ASCO President-Elect Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO. Dr. Burris discussed the importance of innovation and excellence in clinical research and the value of strategic collaborations and community-based research. Attendees then heard from five panels with a variety of experts and stakeholders in clinical trial research including those from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, several clinical sites, industry, and clinical research associates.
Breakout sessions also provided an opportunity for participants to brainstorm their own solutions to challenges. This smaller group setting facilitated meaningful discussion on improving access to clinical trials for underserved populations, reducing the burden of adverse event reporting, standardizing site-qualification criteria, and effective ways to connect the research community.
Members of the research community can access resources developed by the RCF year-round to address challenges they may be facing. A variety of tools including the Clinical Trial Resource Library are available at ASCO.org.
Be sure to save the date for next year’s meeting, September 22–23, 2019, at ASCO’s headquarters in the DC Metro area. Register early, as space will be limited! ■
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