This year, ASCO is hosting a first-of-its kind meeting focused on innovation in cancer – exploring what’s possible when medicine, technology and scientific discovery intersect. The meeting, called ASCO Breakthrough: A Global Summit for Oncology Innovators, will take place October 11-13, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. Breakthrough will be ASCO’s first-ever scientific meeting in Asia - a global hub for technological advancement and a region facing a growing cancer burden - and is cohosted by the Thai Society of Clinical Oncology (TSCO). The inaugural meeting has been planned in collaboration with many other oncology societies in the region.
“We are in a unique moment in terms of the pace of breakthroughs that are being made, the variety of places that breakthroughs are happening, and the increasing contribution of the Asian region in technology innovation and breakthrough ways of thinking,” said Peter P. Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chair, Breakthrough Co-Host Committee.
Breakthrough was conceived to bring together global experts at the nexus of medicine and technology to address the most pressing challenges in cancer care, now and in the future. The meeting will feature the latest science and thought-provoking discussions on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in cancer care, robotic surgery techniques, novel therapeutics, biotherapy, and other health technologies; abstracts on clinical cancer care issues and areas of innovation spanning multiple cancer types; studies on access to cancer care, prevention, screening; and more.
“The oncology community is expanding to include other participants, individuals with expertise in technologies, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and various aspects of science that can help us improve care for our patients. As the field of cancer care advances, it will be critical to bring together these contributors to advance ideas and solutions, all to provide better patient care,” said ASCO President Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO.
Dr. Ge Li, Co-Founder and CEO of WuXi AppTec Co and a global biotechnology innovator, will open the meeting with a keynote lecture on “How Technology Will Shape the Future of Cancer Care.” Speakers from around the world will lead conference sessions on a number of exciting topics - including promising cellular therapies, the integration of AI in oncology, the ethics of gene editing and CRISPR, clinical application and potential commercialization of organoids for cancer diagnosis and treatment, robotic and telesurgery, and personalized vaccines.
Breakthrough will feature interactive session formats designed to generate debate and discussion among attendees, including rapid abstract presentations, keynote lectures, and discussion panels with recognized experts in the field. All sessions will have dedicated time for audience questions to foster the exchange of ideas and actionable takeaways that participants can immediately apply in their practices.
Gilberto Lopes, MD, MBA, co-chair of the Breakthrough Organizing Committee, hopes that Breakthrough will provide the opportunity “to gain new insights, ideas, and especially inspiration for cancer research." Dr. Lopes, a medical oncologist and global oncology researcher, will lead a session titled "The Impact of Social Media and Telehealth on Cancer Care," which will address the remote monitoring of patients, the role of social media in helping advance cancer research, and the impact of wearables and tablets on patient care.
“Innovating is taking that new idea and achieving a breakthrough to a better solution to the most challenging problems facing patients and physicians in oncology. That’s what we’re trying to accelerate. And that’s what we’re trying to do with Breakthrough,” said Dr. Yu.