Primo “Lucky” Lara, Jr. will become the new deputy chair of SWOG, a research organization of more than 12,000 people at over 1,000 hospitals and clinics that designs and conducts publicly funded cancer clinical trials and that represents a major force cancer advances worldwide.
Lara, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and acting director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, assumes his new role in March 2019, replacing Anne Schott of the University of Michigan. As the new deputy chair, Lara also will oversee SWOG’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) portfolio of treatment trials.
“Lucky’s clinical and scientific credentials are exceptional, as is his advocacy for patients and cancer trials,” SWOG director Charles D. Blanke, said in a press release issued Friday.
Lara currently is chair of SWOG’s professional review committee and is an active investigator, serving on the early therapeutics, lung and genitourinary committees. He also serves on the board of the Hope Foundation, SWOG’s public charity.
Lara said he is excited for the opportunity to help lead SWOG, a key player in the development of better cancer therapies.
“This provides a unique opportunity to contribute to our highly valued federally funded clinical research programs spearheaded by SWOG and the National Clinical Trials Network,” he said.
Originally known as the Southwest Cancer Chemotherapy Study Group, and later Southwest Oncology Group, SWOG’s clinical trials have led to the approval of 14 new cancer drugs, changed the standards for cancer care and had a profound impact on patient survival.