Research Community Forum 2016 Annual Meeting – Using Collective Wisdom to Improve Cancer Research

September 27, 2016
Photo of Dr. Michael A. Thompson

Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, chair of the Research Community Forum Council engaged in breakout session at the Forum's Annual Meeting.

The ASCO Research Community Forum held its 2016 Annual Meeting from September 25-26, at ASCO headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Nearly 100 physician investigators and research staff from all types of research sites across the United States attended the meeting.

Established in 2010, the ASCO Research Community Forum is designed to support clinical investigators and community-based research sites. Each year, the Forum holds its Annual Meeting to bring together researchers and research staff from across the country to connect, collaborate, and solve problems facing cancer research sites today. While this year’s meeting marked the fifth Research Community Forum Annual Meeting, it was the first to be held since the ASCO Board of Directors decided earlier this year to expand the scope of the Forum to provide support to all types of research sites, both in the community and academic setting.

ASCO Immediate Past-President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, delivered the keynote address following opening remarks by ASCO Research Community Forum Council Chair Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, and ASCO’s Chief Executive Officer Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO. Building off her presidential theme of “Collective Wisdom,” Dr. Vose highlighted how building on the research community’s collective knowledge and experience can improve cancer research across the country.

The first morning panel explored novel clinical trial designs and adaptive designs in community-based research, which was led by Howard A. Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, immediate past-chair of the ASCO Research Community Forum Council, and included a presentation by Don Berry, PhD, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, Dax Kurbegov, MD, the Council’s chair-elect, led a panel on the role of research within value-based care, on which ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FASCO, participated, as well as community-based researchers Sibel Blau, MD, of Rainier Hematology-Oncology Northwest Medical Specialties, and Frank Senecal, MD, of Catholic Health Initiatives/Franciscan Health. The panel discussed the impact of the movement to value-based care on cancer research, including drivers behind the movement such as ASCO’s value framework. A third panel discussion looked at ways researchers and research sites could increase cancer clinical trial access, awareness, and engagement to give more cancer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

The meeting also included breakout sessions on topics related to administrative and regulatory burden associated with conducting and managing clinical trials. Participants were charged with moving past discussing challenges faced by researchers today, to identify how to directly impact these issues and turn ideas into actionable intervention. The Research Community Forum will look at the solutions proposed by the breakout session groups to serve as the basis for their activities and projects moving into 2017.

Nearly 20 of this year’s meeting attendees received a travel stipend award from the ASCO's Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment Fund.

In addition to holding its Annual Meeting, the ASCO Research Community Forum has developed tools and resources to support cancer research sites and trial management, including the new, online version of the ASCO Research Program Quality Assessment Tool, the ASCO Clinical Trial Workload Assessment Tool, and an online repository of resources. Visit the Research Community Forum webpage for more  information about the Forum, its ongoing activities, projects, publications, and updates on the next ASCO Research Community Forum Annual Meeting, which will be held September 24-25, 2017.