Takayuki Yoshino, Chairman
Japan Society of Clinical Oncology
JSCO (Gan Chi) has empowered Japan and the world
The Japan Society of Clinical Oncology (JSCO) is a scientific society in which various healthcare professionals and researchers working for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer get together, identify the challenges faced by current cancer treatment and research, and discuss solutions to them for the future. JSCO (Nihon Gan Chiryo Gakkai) has been affectionately called “Gan Chi” among the members of the Society. I get the impression that the nickname “Gan Chi” sounds friendly to the public too.
Cancer is the leading cause of death. The cause of cancer has not been fully elucidated, and cancer cannot be prevented by improvements in lifestyle alone. Every person needs to think about cancer as their own issue.
In the past, once people had cancer, surgery was the only possible treatment, and it was a disease that was rarely curable. Nowadays, many cancers can be cured if appropriately treated. This is partly due to advances in radiation and drug therapies in addition to surgery. On the other hand, such advances have diversified treatment modalities combining various treatments, and this requires healthcare professionals to have a vast range of specialized knowledge and skills.
As the population ages, the number of cancer patients is increasing, and that of curable cancer patients is also increasing. This has created new social challenges, such as how physical and emotional pain associated with cancer and cancer treatment can be eased, and what can be done to realize safe and comfortable lives for patients and their families.
Cancer has been discussed separately at different scientific societies based on specific organs (e.g., gastrointestinal, pulmonary, genital organs) or by treatment modality based on physicians’ specialties (surgery, radiation, and drug therapy). JSCO, or Gan Chi, prides itself on being a society where physicians from various fields gather beyond such boundaries, aiming to offer optimal treatments to cancer patients. Moreover, Gan Chi is a society that invites not only physicians but also other healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and nurses, as well as patients and their families, so that together we can discuss easing all sorts of pain that patients experience associated with cancer treatment.
JSCO (Gan Chi) is Japan’s largest scientific society specialized in cancer, with an over 60-year history and more than 16,000 members. As a cross-sectional society, it plays a wide range of roles.
Treatment of cancer is roughly divided into drug therapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Multidisciplinary therapy combining these treatments has become popular. Recently, remarkable progresses in cancer treatment have been achieved with the emergence of molecular targeted therapy, genomic medicine, immunotherapy, robotic surgery, and innovative diagnostic medical devices. Although medical practice based on each organ is dominant in clinical settings, the importance of organ-agnostic treatment for rare cancers and orphan-fractionated cancer subtypes has been increasing. As treatment systems have become complex and individualized, it is not easy to reliably perform “Right Patient, Right Treatment, Right Timing” in daily medical practice. However, we treating physicians have a responsibility to always learn and acquire new knowledge and skills to give back to patients in a safe and efficient manner. One of the objectives of JSCO is to raise general treating physicians who are able to deliver many different treatments suitable for each patient. In Japanese characters, “人材” (human resources) can also be written as “人財” (human treasure). I believe that a person is a treasure. We put our best effort into developing human resources (human treasures), dreaming of young people rising up to even become globally competent physicians. As such, we will realize making each and every cancer patient and future cancer patients and their families “MORE THAN HAPPY.”
It is our important mission to make new cancer treatment take root in clinical practice. To promote enlightenment of cancer genomic medicine and immunotherapy, it will become increasingly crucial to collaborate with the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA), focusing on basic medicine, and the Japanese Society of Medical Oncology (JSMO), focusing on drug therapy. I believe that the collaboration of these three cancer-related societies can set new cancer treatment in place in general medical practice faster than working individually.
International collaboration and cooperation is another important mission. JSCO will further enhance its collaboration with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) by holding joint seminars and symposiums as well as through student exchange and other programs. In Asia, we will support the Asian Oncology Society (AOS) and enhance collaboration with Asian scientific societies, and promote international clinical research through the Federation of Asian Clinical Oncology (FACO).
JSCO (Gan Chi) has a special message to cancer patients and those who support them. We will be striving to actively realize a society in which cancer patients and their families can live safety and comfortably. The Japanese Basic Plan to Promote Cancer Control Programs (4th-term basic plan) issued in March 2023 states that human resources in a community are expected to have undergone certain education programs, offered by relevant scientific societies or others, on cancer consultation and support and information provision to be able to refer cancer patients and their families to cancer consultation support centers in core hospitals. This gave a boost to cancer care network navigators. By encouraging various healthcare professionals to be involved as certified cancer care network navigators, we will build a future that supports patients at a closer distance. We also believe that we can act as a bridge between healthcare professionals and cancer patients through Patients Advocate Leadership (PAL), which realizes the wishes of cancer survivors. Moreover, by promoting cancer education to general citizens, we would like to enhance opportunities for eradication of cancer in society as a whole. We would also like to drastically increase certified clinical research coordinators (CRCs) to enhance the career paths of pharmacists and research nurses as well as to increase social recognition of CRCs.
Currently, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been emerging globally. The new world thereafter is the 5th society, Society 5.0. Therefore, by bringing in fresh winds from other fields starting now, I would like to realize a healthcare revolution (transformation from medical care for cure to medical care for cure and support) produced from miraculous collaboration.
I have a mission to further develop the expectations and reliability from different parts of sections that have been founded on the enormous effort of the successive chairmen, Executive Board of Directors, and Society members. With a determined mind, and more tenaciously than anyone else, I will take the initiative in fostering an open atmosphere and organic relationships among healthcare professionals and among other scientific societies in and outside Japan. My ultimate goal is to, through JSCO (Gan Chi), empower Japan and the world.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
Takayuki Yoshino, Chairman
Japan Society of Clinical Oncology