Reflecting on a successful ASCO 2023, the world's largest cancer conference, we're thrilled to see the tremendous shift back to in-person attendance, with over 40,000 registered attendees—a number reminiscent of pre-pandemic levels!
This year's conference, spearheaded by ASCO President EricP. Winer, MD, focused on "Partnering with Patients," emphasizing patient-centered care and involving patients in all aspects of care and research. Winer's opening address set the tone for the conference, pushing for strategies to prioritize patient goals and influence research.
A whopping 200+ sessions complemented this central theme. Notable discussions included those led by Yvonne Bombard, PhD, and Li Ka Shing on shared decision-making in cancer genetic testing. Mark Lewis, MD, presented the patient perspective, stressing the importance of aligning oncologists' metrics with patients' desired endpoints—namely, quality of life and longevity.
Moreover, sessions also explored setting boundaries with patients while maintaining their trust—an area critical to fostering patient relationships, especially during challenging conversations.
The concept of deescalating therapy, referred to as 'optimizing' by patients, made a strong return this year. The critical question: Can we lessen the treatment burden without compromising the long-term overall survival?
Key findings from the phase 3 PROSPECT trial shed light on this topic, suggesting that some patients with locally advanced rectal cancer could potentially forgo radiation therapy and achieve similar outcomes.Similarly, the SHAPE trial's findings proposed that less invasive, less toxic surgery could yield comparable long-term recurrence outcomes for patients with low-risk early-stage cervical cancer.
ASCO 2023 carried forward the essential themes of improving access to care and enhancing innovation. One of the standout studies presented a nationwide analysis of racial disparities in gastrointestinal cancer mortality linked with Medicaid expansion—a compelling example of the interplay between policy and healthcare outcomes.
On the innovation front, a fireside chat with NationalCancer Institute Director Monica Bertagnolli, MD, and Richard Pazdur, MD,Director of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence, brought forward promising strategies for simplifying clinical trials and achieving swifter results.
Reflecting on ASCO 2023, we're reminded that patient partnership, optimization of therapy, and innovation are not merely themes—they are our continued commitment to improving cancer care.
We're feeling electrified and inspired by the groundbreaking research and robust discussions we participated in. Our highlight? Connecting with YOU! Your ideas, your passion, your dedication to advancing oncology left us in awe.
To everyone who visited us at booth 22146, a huge THANK YOU!We loved meeting you and are thrilled to keep the momentum going! Here's to the new horizons in cancer care, and the collective strides we are making towards them.
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