The start of a new year is a great time to look back and forwards. WCIO made the leap from a freestanding annual scientific congress to become the world community for IO in 2010. We quickly launched IO Central, the global on-line open-membership forum for IO, which provides timely newsfeeds on developments in the field, education through the popular Case of the Week, and chat rooms for discussion groups on a variety of topics. Next came IO Insights, the monthly electronic newsletter for IO. By rough estimate, WCIO’s on-line presence now engages about 1/3 of the IO practitioners in the world.
The mission of WCIO is to provide cancer patients access to minimally-invasive image-guided therapies worldwide. That requires physicians with the knowledge and tools to care for oncology patients. To these ends, WCIO started divisions for International Education, Education & Training, and IO Practice. The International Education initiative has been wildly successful, with “WCIO meets” programs embedded in national cancer congresses in Mexico and India in 2013, the Pan-Arab IR Society and SoBRICE meetings in Spring 2014, and our first freestanding “Best of WCIO” for South America in Buenos Aires, Argentina next October.
What else can we look forward to this year? WCIO launched its webinar series with VuMedi, with 200 highly engaged viewers for the pilot on chemoembolization. The next one, on radioembolization, follows tomorrow at 9PM EST/6PM PST. The Education & Training and Practice Divisions are hard at work producing on-line materials to support other facets of oncology education and IO practice.
Not every initiative has been a success. Our petition to the ABR to create Focused Practice Recognition in IO (in addition to their current pilots in cardiac imaging and brachytherapy) was denied, primarily because the current initiatives are not meeting ABMS expectations. But the spinoff was an invitation for WCIO to help guide the ABR in developing an IO curriculum. Some opportunities come unplanned. WCIO leaders were asked to take over ECOG 1208, the flagging cooperative group trial of chemoembolization with or without sorafenib. Whether we can turn this in to a success remains to be seen, but the active engagement of academic IO practitioners around the country will be essential.
IO and WCIO will continue to grow in 2014. The energy of our volunteers is an inspiration. As the activities of the organization expand, there will be ever more opportunities for participating in the creation of IO content. Make your New Years resolution to be a part of it.
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