Presidential Matters Archive May 2013

Presidential Matters Goff

May 2013

Dear Colleague,

Goff, BarbaraAs we maintain our vision to eradicate women’s cancer, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and our Foundation for Gynecology Oncology are taking important steps in research, collaboration and outreach within the area of cervical diseases.

First and foremost, the SGO Board of Directors on May 8, 2013, approved the following position statement on human papilloma (HPV) vaccination:

“As the health care providers for women who suffer from cervical and lower genital tract cancers, members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) have long been primary advocates for the prevention of cervical and other HPV-related cancers. SGO strongly supports vaccination of both girls and boys against HPV to prevent HPV-related cancers. Use of these vaccines, coupled with recommended cervical cancer screening, would eliminate most cervical cancer. Other cancers associated with HPV including cancer of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, and some head and neck cancers may also be prevented with use of the HPV vaccine.”

It is with this clear articulation of our position on HPV vaccination that we have entered a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in support of its HPV Vaccine for Preteens and Teens campaign. CDC approached SGO to, among other things, solicit our members to reach out to pediatricians about the importance of HPV vaccination for both girls and boys. We welcome CDC as a partner in education and public awareness of the HPV vaccine.

In addition, as part of our gynecologic oncology registry, cervical disease will be a very important component. I’m pleased to share with you that SGO’s Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology has received generous funding from Hologic and Roche for this initiative. The registry will collect screening information from cervical cancer patients. The data will be used to better understand screening patterns and help us gain insight into possible limitations or failures of current screening tests and paradigms. Analysis of this information is expected to have an impact on current screening policy, the importance of HPV vaccination and future scientific priorities.
As the vast majority of invasive cervical cancer is treated by gynecologic oncologists, we are uniquely positioned to create a registry of this nature. It is crucial for us to develop a contemporary understanding of cervical cancer screening in women with newly diagnosed cervical cancer. The data in this registry over time can help us get there.

Moving forward, SGO and its Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology will devote our energies not just toward treatment but also toward prevention in our shared vision to eradicate gynecologic cancers. I welcome your comments on this new direction for the Society and our Foundation. You may reach me at barbara.goff@sgo.org.

With thanks,

Barbara A. Goff, MD