Successful GASCO and CPNG Meetings were held September 11-12, 2015

On Friday-Saturday, September 11-12, 2015, the GA Society of Clinical Oncology (GASCO) and Cancer Patient Navigators of Georgia (CPNG) held their annual meetings with great success.  In addition, the Georgia National Cancer Institute's Community Oncology Research Program (GA NCORP) held a morning investigators’ meeting that reviewed the network progress to date and plans for its ongoing efforts.

160 clinicians attended the GASCO meeting on September 11-12, while 75 people attended the CPNG meeting.  The GASCO Annual Meeting and Best of ASCO® began with opening remarks from Dr. Melissa Dillmon the GASCO President. The keynote address by Lawrence Einhorn, MD, Distinguished Professor and Lance Armstrong Foundation Professor of Medicine for Hematology and Oncology, Indiana University (pictured above), presented on “Curing cancer:  The role of new drug development” during lunch on the second day.  He was introduced by Andrew Pippas, MD, Medical Director and Director of Clinical Research, John B. Amos Cancer Center. 

The other topics covered during the Best of ASCO® included “Prevalence and clinic-pathologic features of hereditary CRC syndromes,” Heather Hampel, MS, LGC; “Neo-adjuvant and definitive therapy for rectal cancer: is more better,” Herbert Hurwitz, MD; “Detection of potential actionable targets in colon cancer; beyond VEGF and EGFR,” Herbert Hurwitz, MD; “A Review of Best of ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancer Abstracts,” Herbert Hurwitz, MD; and “A Review of the Best of ASCO Breast Cancer Abstracts,” Clifford Hudis, MD.  During dinner, a presentation on “Emerging Strategies for the Management of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer” by Bradley Monk, MD and Alan Gordon, MD, occurred. In addition, there was “A Review of the Best of ASCO® Lung Cancer Abstracts” by Suresh Ramalingham, MD; an “ASCO® Policy Update” by Richard Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO, the Chief Medical Officer of ASCO®; “A Review of the Best of ASCO® Genitourinary Cancer Abstracts,” Robert Motzer, MD; “The Emperor’s New Boxers-A parable of molecular medicine in 2015” by Dane Dickson, MD; “Emerging Strategies in Newly Diagnosed and Relapsed/refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma,” Alison Moskowitz, MD and Jeremy Abramson, MD; and “Targeting the Immune System to Improve Patient Outcomes in Advanced NSCLC,” Suresh Ramalingham, MD. 

A parallel track for the Cancer Patients Navigators of Georgia (CPNG) on Transforming Access to Quality Cancer Care ran on Saturday.  The conference opened with an educational breakfast for midlevel providers by Laura Farless, MD, on the “Introduction and Management of Palliative Care Services for Cancer Patients.”  The opening plenary session on “The Importance of Patient Navigation across the Cancer Care Continuum:  Survivors’ Voices,” was moderated by Gail McCray, MA, MS, and included panelists Temaya Eatmon, Janet Kempe and Peter Vajda.  Angie Patterson of Georgia CORE presented the 2015 CPNG Update and an Introduction of the new CPNG Co-Chairs and Karen Beard, the Director of GASCO, presented an update on GASCO.  The keynote presentation was on “Creating Connections-Building Bridges…Together” by Virginia Davis Floyd, MD, MPH.  Other talks included “Making it Even More Personal:  Understanding Navigation on Many Levels,” Alice Kerber, MN, APRN, ACNS-BC, AOCN, APNG; a Panel moderated by Andy Lord, “Patient Navigation Core Competencies and Training: The Influence of Professionalism on Perception” with Elizabeth Rohan, PhD, MSW, and Mandi Pratt-Chapman; and “Georgia Integrative Oncology Patient Navigation Training Study,” Matthew Mumber MD.  The Closing Plenary included an evocative speech entitled, “Treating Families to WOW! Experiences,” by Jon Albert, the Founder of the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.