More than 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world will arrive in Chicago to attend ASCO's 2017 annual meeting, held June 2-6, where they will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge through a variety of sessions featuring cutting-edge research, as well as share their own contributions to the ever-growing body of oncology innovations.
With the theme, “Making a Difference in Cancer Care With You,” ASCO aims to not only highlight the significant strides made in cancer research and treatment, but also provide a venue for oncologists/hematologists to come together to continue this progress.
Want to make the most of your time at ASCO 2017? Check out Oncology Times' preview of the various events and resources available to attendees.
Research spanning the spectrum of cancer prevention and treatment, from immunotherapy and precision medicine to survivorship will be featured throughout the conference.
Even before the conference officially kicks off, you can get an early start with the Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars and Case-Based Courses. Interested in integrating immunotherapy into your clinical practice? Join fellow attendees on Thursday, June 1, and Friday, June 2, for the seminar, “How to Integrate Cancer Immunotherapy into Your Clinical Practice,” which will enable oncology care professionals to effectively offer patients additional treatment options through immunotherapy.
With a comprehensive schedule, including more than 2,150 abstracts, attendees are offered the chance to delve into a variety of topics crucial to the enhancement of their own research and practice endeavors. Featured studies include the following:
- A pooled analysis of six phase III clinical trials, investigating 3 versus 6 months of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer (Abstract LBA1)
- Findings from a large study of patients with advanced cancer receiving routine genomic screening to guide treatment (Abstract LBA100)
- Long-term results from a large analysis evaluating the impact of pregnancy on recurrence risk and other cancer-related outcomes among breast cancer survivors (Abstract LBA10066)
- A clinical trial of a new type of CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma (Abstract LBA3001)
“We are quite pleased with the scientific offerings, as highlighted by the Plenary Session, with presentations regarding progress in cancer survivorship/symptom management (reflecting ongoing efforts to make oncology care patient-centric), adjuvant treatment for colorectal cancer, early application of abiraterone for prostate cancer, and the use of the PARP inhibitor olaparib in patients with BRCA-related breast cancer,” noted ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO. “Further, many other groundbreaking scientific advances reflecting therapeutic, diagnostic, and survivorship issues will be presented.”
Connecting at ASCO
A vital aspect of any professional conference, the ASCO annual meeting is the perfect environment to connect with colleagues, exchange ideas, and establish the foundation for future collaborations.
Attendees interested in networking have a variety of resources at their disposal throughout the conference.
- Mentoring Sessions for Fellows: Established ASCO members offer career advice to ASCO Members in Training. These intimate sessions are available in the Trainee and Early-Career Oncologist Lounge.
- Find a Colleague: Attendees can use this directory, available in the Attendee Resource Center, to search for registered attendees and send private emails to connect while onsite.
- Networking Cafes: Located throughout McCormick Place, attendees have a place to sit, charge devices, and interact with colleagues. Discuss the research being presented at the conference or watch a session live on ASCO TV.
- Career Opportunities Board: Are you looking for a career change? Does your organization have an opening? Check out the Career Opportunities Board, located near the Career Fair Exhibit Booth, to gather information on career opportunities around the world.
- Women's Networking Center: Developed by the ASCO Professional Development Committee, this is a dedicated area where female attendees can connect with other women in their field and discuss the issues that impact women in oncology. Scheduled programming is available throughout the conference.
Networking is not limited to these designated events. With a plethora of educational and scientific sessions, there is no shortage of opportunities for attendees to meet and connect with fellow oncology professionals in their specialty.
During Meet the Professor Sessions, attendees can engage in dynamic discussions with experts in a variety of subspecialties. With its informal format and emphasis on face-to-face exchange, this is a prime opportunity to connect with likeminded professionals.
Oral Abstract Sessions, highlighting important clinical and translation research, are an excellent chance to connect with presenters. Additionally, following each Poster Discussion Session, attendees can engage abstract authors and discussants to continue reviewing their research and address any questions. And, of course, there is no better place to meet fellow professionals than the Oncology Professionals Hall, where you will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders as well as learn more about the latest treatments, technology, and services.
Achievements in Oncology
Researchers, patient advocates, and global oncology community leaders dedicated to enhancing cancer prevention, treatment, and patient care will be honored with Special Awards throughout the conference.
“The meaningful contributions from each of this year's honorees are leading to improvements throughout the cancer care continuum,” said Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee, in a statement. “These oncology leaders are changing the lives of people with, or at risk for, cancer, and ASCO is proud to honor them with our most prestigious awards.”
The 2017 Special Awards Recipients include the following individuals.
David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture
First presented in 1970, the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture honors Dr. Karnofsky by recognizing an oncologist who has made outstanding contributions to cancer research, diagnosis, and/or treatment.
Carl H. June, MD, is the Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture
First presented in 2007 and named in honor of cancer research pioneer Gianni Bonadonna, this award recognizes an active clinical and/or translational researcher with a distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer and with exceptional mentoring abilities.
Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and holds several appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.
Science of Oncology Award and Lecture
Created in 2005, the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture is presented annually in recognition of a recipient's outstanding contributions to basic or translational research in cancer.
Brian J. Druker, MD, is the Director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Md.
Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture
Created in 2016, the inaugural Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture recognizes a recipient who has drastically changed the oncology field or who has made significant contributions to advance the mission of ASCO, CancerLinQ LLC, or the Conquer Cancer Foundation through the honoree's ability to lead and inspire.
Patrick J. Loehrer, MD, FASCO, is the Director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and the Associate Dean for Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.
Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture
First presented in 2002, the award recognizes the career and achievements of an individual who has contributed outstanding scientific work—laboratory, clinical, or epidemiologic—of major importance to the field of pediatric oncology.
Michael P. Link, MD, FASCO, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, is the Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture
First presented in 1993, the ASCO-ACS Award and Lecture recognizes significant contributions to cancer prevention and control research or practice.
Dean E. Brenner, MD, FASCO, is the Kutsche Family Memorial Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology
Created in 2007 in honor of B.J. Kennedy, MD, this award and lectureship recognizes an ASCO member who has made outstanding contributions to the research, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in the elderly, and in bringing an understanding of geriatric oncology among fellows and junior faculty.
Jean-Pierre Droz, MD, PhD, now in retirement, is an Attending Physician of Medical Oncology in hospitals in French Guiana and teaches at the French Guiana and West Indies University Medical School.
Distinguished Achievement Award
Created in 2009, the Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes leadership or mentorship by a scientist, practitioner, or researcher in any subspecialty of oncology that has benefited ASCO members and/or their patients.
Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO, served as ASCO's Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2016; has held two significant leadership roles at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, including Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Dean of the Medical School; and was the Director of the Radiation Therapy Section of the NCI's Radiation Oncology Branch.
Special Recognition Award
Created in 1992, the Special Recognition Award honors achievements of an individual whose research and innovations have had a transforming and lasting effect in areas of clinical oncology, cancer research, clinical trials, or patient advocacy activities or outstanding long-term service to ASCO and/or to clinical oncology.
Lowell E. Schnipper, MD, FASCO, is the Theodore W. and Evelyn G. Berenson Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Excellence in Teaching Award
First awarded in 2014, the Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes an ASCO member who has had a demonstrable impact on their trainees and who have inspired and shaped the trainee's practice of cancer medicine.
Ross C. Donehower, MD, FASCO, has led the hematology oncology fellowship program at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and currently serves as the Ludwig Professor of Clinical Investigation in Cancer.
Partners in Progress Award
First awarded in 2003, the Partners in Progress Award recognizes a person involved in patient advocacy activities who has an impact on public awareness about cancer, its causes, cures, or treatment, or activities that result in additional support either legislatively or fiscally for cancer research, treatment, prevention or care.
Susan L. Weiner, PhD, is Founder and Director of The Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy, Washington, D.C.
First presented in 2011, the Humanitarian Award recognizes an oncologist who personifies ASCO's mission and values by going above and beyond the call of duty in providing outstanding patient care through innovative means or exceptional service or leadership in the U.S.A. or abroad.
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MBBS, FACP, FASCO, serves as Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at The University of Chicago.
Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award
First presented in 2016 by the Conquer Cancer Foundation, the Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award honors extraordinary female leaders in oncology who have both excelled as mentors and demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of women colleagues as clinicians, educators, and researchers in oncology.
Mary K. Gospodarowicz, MD, is the Medical Director at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario.
Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD, is the Medical Director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory, the Director of the Cord Blood Bank, and Deputy Chair of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
Preparing for ASCO
With so many educational and networking opportunities available, it is important attendees come prepared so they can make the most of their time at ASCO.
Take a moment to look at the schedule before you arrive. This will give you a chance to get a better idea of what sessions pique your interest. Given the plethora of sessions available, researching speakers and unfamiliar topics can help you determine your priorities at the conference. And this process can be made easier by utilizing ASCO's iPlanner (http://iplanner.asco.org/am2017/#/), which allows you to plan ahead and ensure your limited time is well-spent.
As thousands of oncology care professionals arrive at ASCO, all seeking the knowledge and tools to enhance cancer care, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in new ideas that could be game changers for your career and practice.
At the close of ASCO 2017, Hayes hopes attendees leave knowing, “how to be better oncologists. There is nothing more important in our field.”
Catlin Nalley is associate editor.
Connect With Us at #ASCO17
We want to meet you! While exploring the exhibit hall, be sure to visit Oncology Times (Booth #21124). Take a moment to tell us the story of why you love working in oncology/hematology. Share your passion for cancer care on Facebook and Twitter with #lovewhatIdo.