Section on Thoracic Oncology (SOTO)
In the interest of engaging members and advancing the ATS’s mission of preventing and fighting respiratory disease around the globe, the Society has established a new Section on Thoracic Oncology (SOTO), effective October 2009. To accommodate the multidisciplinary nature of the clinicians and scientists who are working at the bench and at the bedside to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, the section will be housed within both the Assembly on Clinical Problems and the Assembly on Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
“Our goal will be to expand and advance the breadth and quality of research, clinical and advocacy efforts related to lung cancer, which has historically been underrepresented within the Society,” said James Jett, M.D., who will co-chair the section with Charles A. Powell, M.D and Edward Hirschowitz, M.D.
“Although lung cancer is the number-one cancer killer in both men and women in the United States and most of the Western world, we have achieved only minimal improvement in overall survival in the last decade and there is an urgent need to advance both our basic understanding and state of the art treatment of this devastating disease,” continued Dr. Jett, who is professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. “The ATS is in a perfect position to help us accomplish these goals, but we need the collaboration of basic scientists and clinicians to do this.”
Since it was approved by the ATS Board of Directors in late September, the section has developed an aggressive agenda, which includes sponsoring sessions at the ATS International Conference, planning postgraduate training courses, writing position papers, developing official ATS statements, creating Web-based resources and collaborating with sister respiratory disease societies, cancer organizations and funding agencies to further research in the field.
For the past several years, the ATS has been working to raise the profile of lung cancer, recognizing that it is a clinical and academic staple for many members. In November 2008, the Assembly on RCMB established a working group on lung cancer to promote high-quality research across the many disciplines involved in identifying new preventative, diagnostic and treatment strategies. The working group will now come under the SOTO umbrella, upon the recommendation of a task force charged by the executive committee.
“Having a thoracic oncology section will put the ATS in a stronger position to recruit more thoracic surgeons and oncologists, as well as more international members who are interested in the field,” added Dr. Powell, who is associate professor at Columbia University in New York. “Lung cancer research and clinical activities cut across the entire spectrum of the ATS in terms of existing assemblies and in terms of nationality. Our section is a broad multidisciplinary effort that breaks through organizational barriers to facilitate collaboration and cooperation amongst researchers and clinicians with an interest in lung cancer. We invite any ATS member who is interested to join, regardless of their assembly affiliation.”
If you would like to become a member of this new section, or would like more information about its initiatives, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.