Society for Translational Oncology Fellows’ Forum

Society for Translational Oncology Fellows’ Forum (STOFF) is an intensive 3-day forum that brings together 25 fellows and junior cancer researchers within 5 years of training completion from leading medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncology groups and subspecialty fellowships to educate these rising stars on issues around and barriers to successful translational cancer research.

This annual forum receives praise from alumni and faculty for its focused, practical, and personal approach to preparing oncologists to conduct cancer drug research. It provides guidance to oncology fellows and junior cancer researchers regarding how to apply translational research findings in tumor biology to improve patient outcomes. 

The broad-based curriculum covers a range of topics related to new drug development. In addition, it addresses key issues that early-career oncologists may face, such as identifying an important research topic and organizing a project; working closely with industry and aligning objectives; working within the legal framework of US Food & Drug Administration requirements; and applying guidance regarding conflicts of interest. 

One of the highlights of STOFF and what sets it apart from other programs is the one-on-one engagement. With a faculty to student ratio of 1:1.5, trainees have unique opportunities to connect with other scientists and clinicians regarding translational research efforts that benefit from multidisciplinary and interprofessional investigation. 

The faculty features prominent research scientists, clinical investigators, industry representatives, and biotech investors who serve as mentors to attendees and also lead discussions on the following topics: 

    • Preclinical and clinical evaluation
    • Validation of targets and biomarkers
    • Confirmation of mechanism of action and resistance in clinical trials 
    • Racial and age-related disparities in clinical trials 
    • Mechanics of grant-writing 
    • Guidelines for good basic research 
    • Approaches to establishing networks of peer oncologists 

“Educating young oncologists in the field of clinical and translational research is an investment in the future and is likely to impact the quality of cancer patient care for years to come,” said Bruce A. Chabner (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School), founder of STOFF, more than two decades ago. Since then, many of the 665+ alumni have earned significant acclaim in their careers and in drug development. 

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to: 

    • Identify the importance of translational research and define its value in clinical medicine. 
    • Describe the process of drug development in oncology. 
    • Apply the mechanics of grant writing and guidelines for sound research practices.

What’s so special about STOFF?

Three alumni share their thoughts on STOFF 2022