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Our cover story in this issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice highlights the 10 sessions in the Practice Management and Information Technology Track of the 44th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. This year's meeting will take place from May 30 to June 3, 2008, at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. Several years ago, the cancer education track system was established in an attempt to better organize the multiplicity of educational offerings at the Meeting. Attendees who were interested in focusing on a particular discipline could follow the sessions in one particular track throughout the meeting, as well as in their later review of the enduring materials created (for example, the Virtual Meeting). Minimizing track sessions that occurred simultaneously was a goal. This year, there are 30 planned tracks. The tracks are organ site–specific—breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and so on—and discipline-specific—practice management, health services research, and so on. The Practice Management and Information Technology track focuses on practice quality and on implementation.
In this issue's Original Research article, chemotherapy underdosing of obese and elderly patients is addressed. Field et al1 surveyed their Australian colleagues regarding their chemotherapy dosing practices, and found widespread use of ideal body weight and capping of the body-surface area when calculating chemotherapy dosing. Gary Lyman, MD,2 provides a concise review of this topic and a nice bibliography in his commentary on this article. As our cancer population ages, and also develops a higher overall body mass index, the potential for underdosing potentially curative chemotherapy in these patients is a topic that needs more theoretic and empiric research.
This month, Strategies for Career Success features an introductory article on practice finances. The importance and the interpretation of balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and internal controls are explained. This series has turned into a great resource for oncologists initiating a practice career, or oncologists changing careers and contemplating entering a private practice arrangement. In addition, an expanded resource for oncologists contemplating an academic, practice, pharmaceutical, or government career is ASCO's Career Resource Guide, edited by Laura F. Hutchins. The Career Resource Guide will be launched at the Annual Meeting.
Two articles offer insight into enhancing the clinical trial process. Rich Schilsky, MD, the current chair of the CALGB (Cancer and Leukemia Group B), discusses features of his group's collaboration with the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition, we share patient recruitment tips from award-winning practices.
On a personal note, this Annual Meeting issue will be my last as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal. Our first four volumes represent a good start to this ASCO Journal, which was established to enhance practice efficiency and promote a high standard for quality cancer care. This has been a great opportunity for me and great fun. I will be moving on to a leadership position in the Society; continuing the Journal's momentum and taking it into new areas will be the responsibility of the new Editor-in-Chief, who will be assisted by the excellent ASCO staff and the existing Editorial Board. I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting in Chicago.