“Reunited, and It Feels So Good”: The ASCO Annual Meeting

Publication
Article
Targeted Therapies in OncologyJuly I, 2024
Volume 13
Issue 9
Pages: 7

The 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting was invigorating and inspired a renewed commitment to advancing cancer treatment.

Welcome to our annual issue highlighting key scientific findings from the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduation of one of my children from high school, and other conflicts, this was the first ASCO Annual Meeting that I have attended in person in quite a few years, and it was definitely worth the effort.

Of course, everyone loves the oral sessions and plenary session, at which the most important scientific findings get presented. This year’s plenary session featured a trial comparing adjuvant durvalumab (Imfinzi) with placebo after chemoradiation therapy in patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer. The ADRIATIC trial (NCT03703297), presented by my friend and colleague David Spigel, MD, from Sarah Cannon Research Institute, struck a chord as it demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant improvement in overall survival and progression-free survival (PFS) in a disease in which the standard of care has not changed for longer than I have been a physician.

Another highlight for me was meeting with coeditors of JCO Oncology Practice. For the past couple of years, I have served as an associate editor of this journal. It cannot be overstated how much I have learned from my coeditors and from the reviewers and editorial board members involved in publication of the journal. Our editor in chief Jeffrey Peppercorn, MD, MPH, who is an old college classmate and rock bandmate of mine, shared his enthusiasm for putting song titles into the titles of his medical papers. Following Dr Peppercorn’s lead, you can see that I have named this column after the Peaches & Herb classic!

Finally, I would draw your attention to a session titled “Common Sense Oncology: Equity, Value, and Outcomes That Matter.” A series of excellent speakers highlighted the importance of designing trials that measure clinically important end points (PFS may not always be one of them) and keeping patient interests front and center in everything we do. Speakers emphasized our moral obligation to try to make effective treatments available to everyone in the world, not just to those who can afford them.

For all these reasons and more, the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting reinvigorated me to return home and try to cure more patients with cancer! I hope you enjoy reading our summaries of the most important scientific findings emerging from the meeting.

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