ASCO Connection

July 2017

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can better target therapies and treatments for their patients. "Precision medicine has transformed care for subsets of our patients in the academic setting," said Dr. John- son. "I'm a firm believer that the pro- portion of patients benefiting from precision medicine is going to rise and that the treatments are going to become increasingly effective." However, his optimism at the pros- pect of universal precision medicine is marginally tempered by the current realities of clinical care. As an oncolo- gist who works directly with patients, he finds the lack of information about the efficacy of ongoing trials concerning, as well as the relatively inaccessible nature of reports con- taining extensive genomic and phe- notypic characterizations. He noted that while the intricacies of precision medicine may be better understood by academics, it is crucial to make such information accessible to doc- tors who need it to make treatment decisions for their patients. The key, he believes, is improving the delivery and reach of cutting- edge research. In the strategic plan for executing his presidential priori- ties, Dr. Johnson identified harness- ing big data and health information technology (including ASCO's own platform, CancerLinQ), promoting the global exchange of information and resources, and designing more innovative clinical trials as being critical to the success of his mission. "Dr. Johnson has been a strong and consistent proponent of incorporat- ing real-world data to complement prospective clinical trial results for guiding patient care," Dr. Hayes said. "We want to continue offering edu- cational programs through tradi- tional means like meetings, but also electronically, to be able to update our practitioners on genomic infor- mation in ways that they can both understand as well as access," said Dr. Johnson, who also expressed a desire to make information and educational materials accessible to clinical oncologists in real time while seeing patients. BUILDING ON A BEDROCK OF SUCCESS Dr. Johnson's theme focuses on the future of personalized care, but he insisted that he is merely building on the work that ASCO is already doing in these areas. "I tried to be very careful in picking a topic where there were already efforts going on within ASCO, and that fit with the broader mission," he said. "We want to listen to what our members want from the organization. This is a long-term, multiyear effort, and it's a pleasure to work with [for- mer ASCO presidents] Julie Vose and Dan Hayes, who, during their own terms, took on multiyear tasks." As he takes steps during his presidency to advance precision medicine, Dr. Johnson hopes to lay groundwork on which ASCO can con- tinue to build in the future. "My goal in continuing to expand the reach of precision medicine is to do it not only this year, but work with Pres- ident-Elect Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, and her successor, to continue these efforts beyond the term of my presi- dency, as long as it's compatible with their goals and the resources are available," he said. • (Above) Dr. Johnson. (Left) Dr. Johnson and Dr. Daniel F. Hayes support the Conquer Cancer Foundation at a Chicago Cubs game. ASCOconnection.org I 21

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