SWOG, formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, was established in 1956, and is currently chaired by Dr. Charles Blanke at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. The Group’s mission is to improve the practice of medicine in preventing, detecting, and treating cancer and to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors.
SWOG is a National Cancer Institute-supported network of nearly 6,000 cancer researchers at more than 950 institutions in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. The Group is one of the largest – by some measures the largest – of the NCI-supported cancer clinical trial cooperative groups. SWOG member institutions include 32 of the NCI-designated cancer centers, many leading university medical centers, private institutions, and Community Clinical Oncology Programs.
This year SWOG expects to enroll about 5,000 new patients in its cancer treatment clinical trials. More than 30,000 patients will be treated as part of almost 100 ongoing SWOG trials. The Group’s clinical trials have enrolled more than 200,000 patients since the 1950s. The advances in treatment that have come from those trials have improved the lives and health care of millions more. Results of SWOG trials are reported at major medical conferences and published in leading medical journals at a rate of more than once a week. Significant new drugs for lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia have won FDA approval based on the Group’s trial results.