Presidential Matters December 2017

December 2017

Dear Colleague,

One of my goals as SGO President has been to leave behind tangible resources that will have a positive, immediate and lasting impact on our practice and our patients. I’m excited to report that there is forward motion!

The SGO and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, with support from the GOG Foundation, have created two patient friendly videos regarding clinical trials – one is four minutes and the other is 19 minutes. Patient education is one of many steps necessary to increase enrollment in clinical trials, and these two videos tremendously increase the ease by which we can accomplish just that! The availability in the office of these two educational tools (on a tablet or mobile phone, for example) will go a long way to providing our patients with the information they need, while simultaneously allowing us to feel confident in knowing that they fully appreciate all aspects of clinical trials.

The four-minute video concisely explains the main phases of clinical trials, the difference between treatment arms, and the role of placebos in trials. The longer video includes interviews with clinical trials patients describing their experiences as well as SGO members who debunk some of the misconceptions and myths surrounding clinical trials.

Complementing these videos, the SGO and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer have created a glossary of terms and a brochure about clinical trials. All these resources are available on SGO’s Clinical Trials web page.

SGO is at the ready to send you the video files so that you can make them available to your patients in your office without an Internet connection. Contact to get your video file. We will also distribute all of these resources on flash drives at SGO’s 2018 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer and at the Foundation’s Survivors Courses.

It took a village to develop these resources. I want to thank the following members for their time and expertise: Drs. Ginger J. Gardner (Communications Committee Chair), Lisa Barroilhet, Marcela del Carmen, Eloise Chapman-Davis, Gini Fleming, Ashley Haggerty Ford, Ernst Lengyel, John Lurain, John Moroney, Shannon MacLaughlan, Lynn Parker, Lauren Prescott, Iris Romero, Shoreh Shahabi, Fidel Valea, Shannon N. Westin, Jill Whyte and Diane Yamada. I also want to thank patient advocates Mary Scroggins, Dee Sparacio, and Debbie Miller, PhD, for their keen insights to ensure the content of these resources appropriately addresses patient concerns with compassion and cultural sensitivity. We are grateful to the GOG Foundation for their financial support, to the patients and families who were interviewed for the full-length video, and all of the women who have participated in clinical trials, for their invaluable contributions to advance gynecologic cancer care.

As we, organizationally, continue to drive towards increased availability of and enrollment of our patients in clinical trials (with a multi-pronged approach), the resources described above provide each of us individually with an important tool to improve the landscape for clinical trials in Gynecologic Oncology.

Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. You can reach me as always at

Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful holiday and good health in the new year,

Laurel W. Rice, MD
SGO President