Clinical Research Program events at Clinical Congress

The Alliance/American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP) will be sponsoring or cosponsoring a number of sessions at this year’s Clinical Congress. These sessions are offered in keeping with the mission of the ACS CRP, which is to reduce the impact of cancer through increased knowledge and awareness of new evidence and practice standards, and greater participation of community oncology surgeons in cancer research and cancer care. The ACS CRP also seeks to promote the development and implementation of evidence-based practices in surgical oncology and expanded opportunities for meaningful health services research. 

Panel Sessions at the Clinical Congress specifically are intended to help Fellows stay ahead of the curve on treatments available to patients with cancer. This year’s ACS CRP Panel Sessions will cover an array of topics in oncology with a focus on increasing surgeon knowledge and elevating the care of oncology patients nationally.

Laurie Kirstein, MD, FACS, surgical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, and Judy Boughey, MD, FACS, chair, ACS CRP Education Committee, will moderate Management of the Axilla in Breast Cancer, 11:30 am–1:00 pm Monday at the San Diego Convention Center, 20A. This session, cosponsored by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), will focus on management of the axilla in patients treated with primary surgical resection, as well as patients who receive neoadjuvant systemic therapy. Panelists will discuss the optimal approaches to axillary staging, how to avoid overtreatment, associated comorbidities, and how to optimize the accuracy of less invasive options.

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging Manual, Eighth Edition, was released in October 2016, and the guidelines in it will be implemented in January 2018. The changes in the new edition are more significant than in the past, with the incorporation of tumor biology and additions to classic TNM classifications (see page 12 for more information). 

Surgeons who want to get up to speed on the new staging system should plan to attend Evolving Concepts in the AJCC Staging Systems: Breast Cancer, Colorectal, and Melanoma, 2:30–4:00 pm Tuesday at the San Diego Convention Center, 3. This session, cosponsored by the CoC, will be moderated by David J. Winchester, MD, FACS, general surgeon, NorthShore Medical Group, Evanston, IL, and David Byrd, MD, FACS, professor of surgery and section chief of surgical oncology, University of Washington, Seattle.

In 2015, the ACS CRP published Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery Volume I, which reviews evidence-based optimal operative techniques for breast, colon, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Volume II will be released in early 2018 and will cover operations for melanoma and esophageal, gastric, rectal, and thyroid cancers. 

A Tuesday session, ACS Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery, 4:15–5:15 pm at the San Diego Convention Center, 2, will review evidence-based optimal techniques for cancer surgery. The session will be chaired by Matthew Katz, MD, FACS, associate professor, department of surgical oncology, division of surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, and Waddah Al-Refaie, MD, FACS, chief, surgical oncology, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC. Volume I and the forthcoming Volume II are available for purchase at the Wolters Kluwer booth (#702) in the Exhibit Hall.

If you’re interested in new techniques in the surgical management of liver and pancreatic cancer, consider attending Controversies and the Appropriate Incorporation of Emerging Technologies in Multidisciplinary Treatment of Liver and Pancreatic Cancer. Cosponsored by the Committee on Emerging Surgical Education and Technology, the Panel Session will take place 8:00–9:30 am Wednesday at the San Diego Convention Center, 7AB. Moderated by Clancy Clark, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, NC, and Georgios Tsoulfas, MD, FACS, President, ACS Greece Chapter, the session will review the efficacy of minimally invasive surgery, irreversible electroporation, and stereotactic body radiation therapy. It will also include suggestions on how to introduce these approaches into practice. 

Many advances in patient care stem from clinical trial results. Understanding these trials and identifying how to incorporate the findings into your clinical practice can be challenging. Learn more during Clinical Trials: Why and How You Should Incorporate Them into Your Practice, moderated by Kelly Hunt, MD, FACS, Director of the ACS CRP, 4:15–5:45 pm Wednesday at the San Diego Convention Center, 30B-E.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Alliance/ACS CRP or learning about the program, attend the Networking Session, 6:00–7:00 pm Sunday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, America’s Cup A. Hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be served. Contact Amanda Francescatti, Senior Manager, ACS CRP, at [email protected] with questions or to learn about opportunities to participate in the ACS CRP.