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SGO Updates Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Dissociation Policy

Member Update
Aug 27, 2020

Effective July 2020, SGO has updated the Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Dissociation Policy. One of the most impactful updates in this document addresses the SGO President, Executive Committee/Board of Directors, Program Committee Chairs and other SGO committee and task force members and their participation on advisory boards and in scientific research. There is also additional language on recusals from abstract deliberations for SGO meetings.

According to the updated policy, SGO members in Board leadership and committee roles:

  • May participate in scientific research, including service as an investigator on a grant, clinical trial, or clinical trial steering committee.
  • May hold position(s) in other professional societies or relevant organizations. Such commitments to external activities should not adversely impact, or appear to impact, his or her capacity to meet their responsibility to the Society, which should be their primary focus.
  • May hold editorial positions.

The updated policy also includes a new section on Recusal from Abstract Deliberations, in which Program Committee chairs and members “must recuse themselves from any deliberations regarding abstracts in which they are included as an author that are being considered for presentation in any format at any SGO sponsored meeting,” and Program Committee chairs must also recuse themselves “from any deliberations regarding abstracts being considered for presentation in any format at any SGO sponsored meeting in which the subject matter relates to a health-related business advisory board attended by the chair(s).”

Earlier this summer, SGO President David Cohn, MD, MBA, created a task force to update the Conflict of Interest (COI) policy. The task force was led by Linda Duska, MD, and included Richard Barakat, MD, MBA; Kathleen Moore, MD and Ronald Alvarez, MD, MBA. The task force’s updates were reviewed by the Ethics Committee before they were sent to the SGO Board.

“The policy is meant primarily to help protect the society and its members by having effective mechanisms by which conflicts are disclosed and managed,” Dr. Alvarez said.

The COI policies apply to Board leadership, committees and task forces for both the SGO and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC). For more information on SGO policies and procedures, visit the Ethics and Bylaws pages on the SGO website.

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