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ASCO 2018

Discovering the Promise of Precision Medicine

Nalley, Catlin

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000534128.64904.98
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ASCO 2018; precision medicine
ASCO 2018; precision medicine:
ASCO 2018; precision medicine

More than 32,000 oncology professionals from around the world will join forces in Chicago at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting, June 1-5. The conference will feature the latest clinical research, including new treatment approaches, advances in precision medicine, and efforts to improve access to care.

The theme of the meeting, “Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine,” reflects the current state of oncology research and practices. “This theme was chosen because, in general, we are beginning to be able to apply [precision medicine] not only for people with advanced disease, but also for patients with localized disease as well as some preventive approaches,” noted ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO.

A number of important oncology topics will be addressed at the conference including the promise of precision medicine, access to care, and the utilization of a less-is-more approach to care.

Cutting-Edge Learning Opportunities

Attendees will have at their disposal a variety of learning opportunities and access to the latest, groundbreaking advances across the spectrum of oncology practice.

Before the conference even begins, oncologists have the chance to participate in Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars as well as Case-Based Courses on the latest trends and other topics of interest in the oncology community.

Given the rapid pace of immunotherapy advances, the cancer care team needs the necessary knowledge and tools to integrate these new treatments into practice. The seminar, “Cancer Immunotherapy Today: Maximizing Patient Outcomes,” enables attendees to provide comprehensive immunotherapy-based treatment options to their patients.

For attendees looking for an interactive approach to learning, the course, “Genetics and Genomics for the Practicing Clinician: A Case-Based Approach,” will provide them with a real-world case-based discussion on cancer genomics and genetics. “With the proliferation of academic and commercial genetic tests, and the increasing utilization of matched tumor/normal sequencing with the potential for incidental findings, these topics are particularly relevant for clinicians in academic and community practices,” according to ASCO.

More than 2,500 abstracts were accepted for presentation on-site at the conference, and an additional 3,350 abstracts will be published online, offering attendees a plethora of opportunities to enrich their own research and practice with new knowledge. Some studies that will be featured at the conference, include:

  • An analysis of lung cancer screening rates following the 2013 United States Preventive Services Task Force screening recommendations (Abstract 6504)
  • A randomized trial investigating acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of insomnia in cancer survivors (Abstract 10001)
  • An analysis of overall survival for black and white men in the U.S. with metastatic prostate cancer treated with chemotherapy on clinical trials (Abstract LBA5005)
  • A randomized, phase III trial investigating a novel therapy targeting PI3K, taselisib, with hormone therapy, for the treatment of advanced breast cancer (Abstract LBA1006)
  • A study analyzing likelihood of receiving intensive treatment for head and neck cancer in women versus men (Abstract LBA6002)

During the Plenary Session, to be held Sunday, June 3, 2018, attendees will have the chance to delve into a number of important areas of cancer research and treatment, including chemoendocrine therapy versus endocrine therapy alone in breast cancer patients; adding low-dose maintenance chemotherapy after standard treatment for children with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma; examination of the need for nephrectomy in patients with metastatic kidney cancer; and more.

Other session types available to attendees include: Clinical Science Symposia, a forum for science in oncology; Highlights of the Day Sessions for a chance to catch up on research from the previous day; and new this year the ASCO Annual Meeting Workshops “offer interactive, didactic teaching to attendees on select topics.”

Growing Your Network

With thousands of oncologists congregating at the conference, it is an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues, share your ideas, and lay the groundwork for collaborative efforts. ASCO offers a number of resources for attendees to expand their network before, during, and after the meeting through programs that facilitate interaction with top oncology professionals.

Career Development and Meeting Highlights Sessions for Trainees provide ASCO Members in Training the chance to gain professional insight and career advice from established members. These sessions will be available in the Early-Career Oncologist Member Lounge.

Visit the Networking Cafes located throughout the convention center for places to discuss research with fellow attendees while taking a break and charging your devices. You can also watch sessions live on ASCO TV.

Attendees looking for a new career opportunity or facilities with open positions can utilize the “Careers Opportunities Board.” Located next to the Career Fair Exhibit Booth in the Oncology Professional Hall, South Building, Hall A, this resource will feature job openings from around the world.

Interested in meeting with abstract authors and discussants? Following each Poster Discussion Session, attendees have the chance to learn more about the research and address questions in the networking area outside the session room.

The “Meet the Professor Sessions” are an excellent way to connect with renowned professionals in the field. These sessions give attendees the chance to have interactive discussions with experts in a variety of subspecialties. With an emphasis on face-to-face exchange this is the perfect opportunity for attendees to gain new knowledge and enhance their skills.

There are several Networking Lounges available, including the Women's Networking Center, which is dedicated to issues impacting women in oncology. Additionally, the Trainee Lounge offers participants career advancement discussions and mock job interviews. Authors, editorial board members, and reviewers can gather in the Publications Lounge to take a break and network.

Another powerful networking tool is social media and the #ASCO18 Tweetup, being held Saturday, June 2. This is an “informal gathering for attendees interested in the intersection of oncology and social media to meet and mingle.”

Recognizing Excellence

Throughout the conference researchers, patient advocates, and global oncology leaders who are transforming cancer care will be honored with ASCO's Special Awards commemorating their individual contributions.

“These oncology leaders' remarkable contributions are improving care for people with cancer on a global scale,” said Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee. “We are delighted to honor these inspiring honorees with ASCO's most prestigious awards for their leadership and exceptional service, and for making a difference in cancer care.”

The 2018 Special Awards Recipients, include:

  • David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture: Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research at the University of Chicago
  • Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture: Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • Science of Oncology Award and Lecture: Douglas Lowy, MD, Deputy Director of the NCI
  • ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture: Karen H. Lu, MD, Senior VP/Chief Medical Officer ad interim at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award & Lecture: Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FASCO, Senior VP/Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, President/Executive Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Head of the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington
  • Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture: Gregory Reaman, MD, FASCO, Associate Director for Oncology Sciences in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, as well as the Associate Director (Acting) for Pediatric Oncology in the Oncology Center of Excellence at the FDA
  • B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology: Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Distinguished Achievement Award: John Mendelsohn, MD, L.E. & Virginia Simmons Senior Fellow in the Division of Health and Technology Policy at Rice University's Baker Institute, as well as Director of the Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Professor of Genomic Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Excellence in Teaching Award: Gregory P. Kalemkerian, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Associate Division Chief for Faculty Development and Education, Associate Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, and Disease Group Lead for the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Team in the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Public Service Award: Gideon M. Blumenthal, MD, is Deputy Office Director (Acting) of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products and the Associate Director for Precision Oncology in the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence
  • Humanitarian Award: Julie Gralow, MD, FASCO, Jill Bennett Endowed Professor of Breast Medical Oncology and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Awards:
    • Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award: Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, Professor with tenure of Radiation Oncology and Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Medicine
    • International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award: Rejin Kebudi, MD, Professor in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine and the Istanbul University, Oncology Institute.

Are You Ready For ASCO 2018?

Given the number of educational and professional opportunities taking place at ASCO, attendees must prepare to ensure they make the most of their conference experience.

With a plethora of session available, ASCO's iPlanner is the perfect tool to help you plan ahead and ensure you are able to discover the research you are most interested in while connecting with your colleagues.

Catlin Nalley is associate editor.

Thoughts on ASCO 2018

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD
Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD:
Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD

“This year's ASCO meeting will likely feature a number of important studies that move immunotherapy to the forefront for a variety of cancers. Personalizing treatment based on tumor characteristics will be another major theme, with a large trial in breast cancer likely to be reported. In lung cancer, we look forward to studies that compare immunotherapy to chemotherapy, combine immunotherapy with chemotherapy and new data on exciting targeted agents.”

– Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, Deputy Director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Celebrate 40 Years With Oncology Times

Be sure to visit our booth (#21124) to celebrate our 40th anniversary! We will be offering cake and goodies. Stop by to share your favorite things about Oncology Times, then tweet your thoughts at #40forOncologyTimes. We're looking forward to seeing you at ASCO 2018.

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