Monday, May 11, 2009

Sarcoma Alliance Attends Oncology Annual Meetings

In early May, I attended the annual meetings of the Oncology Nursing Society and the Association of Oncology Social Work. These meetings provide an important opportunity for the Alliance to let oncology providers learn about our programs and services. They also give us the opportunity to renew long term relationships and bring professionals up to date on our new initiatives and activities. We see all kinds of providers at these meetings. Some only have a few sarcoma patients each year and are very excited to learn that there is an organization that can support them in their care of patients and their families. Similarly, some stop by because a family member or close friend has been diagnosed with sarcoma, and they are excited to find an organization that can help them. Finally, some have very large number of sarcoma patients and ask that we send them a new supply of our brochures.

The meetings also give us an opportunity make or renew relationships with other advocacy organizations. We often decide that our respective clients would be better served by adding links on our websites to each other. For example, we have added links to First Descents ( www.firstdecents.org ) a camp for your adults with cancer and to www.imtooyoungforthis.org that empowers young adults affected by cancer.

Finally, we also meet with representatives of pharmaceutical companies to talk about clinical trials for sarcoma. I spoke with Merck who in partnership with Ariad are conducting a worldwide trial on Deforolimus. This phase 3 trial is progressing well with patients still be enrolled. More information can be found at www.succeedtrial.com . A detailed update will be available at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting at the end of May in Orlando, Florida. I will have an update in early June.

Arthur Beckert, Executive Director

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