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ISDE Interview Series

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Dr. Donald Low

ISDE Database and Research Committee Chair

September 2017

Tell us about your background and why you became involved in this committee?

I am a General Thoracic Surgeon who did my surgical training in Canada, England and the United States. My surgical interest is now very focused on benign and malignant esophageal disease. In my opinion, the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus is now one of the most important venues for international, clinical and academic collaboration regarding esophageal disease. It has the advantage of including those surgeons as well as gastroenterologists and medical oncologists which facilitate opportunities for multi-specialty collaboration. I was appointed Chairman of the Guidelines Committee four years ago. At the present time, Giovanni Zaninotto  and I are completing ISDE Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Achalasia. The Research and Database Committee has recently been inaugurated because the ISDE has taken an oversight position with respect to an international online database which was constructed to monitor the contemporary outcomes associated with esophageal resection. This dataset will provide significant opportunities for clinical research in the future and, as a result, the Research and Database Committee will be the supervising entity responsible for future research projects. One of these potential projects involves collecting international outcome data regarding the treatment of esophageal cancer to provide clinical data for future evolution of AJCC Guidelines. 

When was the Database & Research committee formed as part of the ISDE?

The Research and Database Committee was initiated in 2016 at the ISDE Meeting in Singapore.

What are the primary functions of this committee?

The Research and Database Committee oversees the analysis of the online dataset known as ESODATA.org. It also oversees the planning and organization of future ISDE research efforts. It is also currently involved in assessing multiple other international esophageal centers for potential inclusion in data acquisition for ESODATA.org.

On which projects is the committee currently working?

As stated above, the committee is currently assessing outcomes, but particularly complications associated with esophagectomy specifically using data from the Esodata database. There are currently ongoing efforts to have the dataset evolve to specifically gather data to contribute to the 9th Edition of the AJCC Guidelines for Treatment of Esophageal Cancer.

What are future projects the Database & Research committee is focusing on?

Current focus is specifically on outcomes associated with esophageal resection and data accrual to support future versions of AJCC guidelines.

How can interested ISDE members be involved in the work of the Database & Research committee?

At the present time, the Research and Database Committee have appointed a group of approximately 20 esophageal clinicians who are members of the R&D committee. The R&D committee itself is divided into three subcommittees, specifically Esodata Membership and Budget Subcommittee, Publications, Bylaws and Audit Subcommittee and New Research and Database Subcommittee. ISDE members who are interested in contributing to Esodata should contact the R&D Committee through the ISDE Executive Offices.

Affiliated Societies

International  Interdisciplinary  Everything Esophageal

The International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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