Making a Difference in Cancer Care WITH YOU

A sneak peek at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting
May 19, 2017
ASCO Staff

ASCO Perspective

“The ASCO Annual Meeting brings together the brightest minds of cancer research, education, and care to share advances that benefit patients with cancer everywhere. The research presented at the Annual Meeting shows remarkable diversity in advances for patients. Novel approaches are helping to improve patient survival and wellbeing. Precision medicine continues to deliver on its promise, immunotherapy holds promise for a growing number of patients, and an emphasis on quality improvement helps to guide improved care.”

  • Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, ASCO president

It’s an exciting time in cancer care. Decades of research has expanded and refined treatments, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapies, to reach a greater number of patients. Combined with improved patient-centered care with an expanded emphasis on symptom management, palliative care, care team expansion, and patient engagement, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. These advances and others are a direct result of cancer research.

ASCO’s Annual Meeting presents some of the most promising and exciting research in cancer care. It is here that researchers, clinicians, and advocates from around the globe gather for a first-hand look at research that will change practice and better inform clinical trials for years to come. Here’s a look at some of the highlights of this year’s Annual Meeting.

Scientific Program

ASCO’s Annual Meeting is proof of continuous progress in the field of cancer care as it features some of the world’s most interesting and transformative research.

“We have a spectacular year planned with a wealth of really interesting abstracts that were submitted to the Meeting,” said David C. Smith, MD, Scientific Program Committee chair. “The Plenary Session is going to contain what we think are practice-changing presentations, and people will walk away excited about some of the changes coming to clinical practice.”

“The science presented at this year’s Annual Meeting will advance the medical community’s ability to integrate immunotherapy and genomic medicines into practice,” said Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, Cancer Education Committee chair.

Plenary Session

The Plenary Session includes abstract presentations on the top practice-changing science in oncology, with commentary from expert discussants. This year’s Plenary Session will focus on research and treatment in prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer, as well as patient-reported outcomes and cancer care delivery.

  • A pooled analysis of six phase III clinical trials, investigating 3 vs. 6 months of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer (Abstract LBA1)
  • Findings from a large, randomized clinical trial assessing the impact of online, self-reported symptom monitoring during chemotherapy on overall survival (Abstract LBA2)
  • Results from a randomized phase III clinical trial adding abiraterone to first-line androgen deprivation therapy for patients newly diagnosed with high-risk metastatic prostate cancer (Abstract LBA3)
  • Results from a phase III clinical trial evaluating the PARP inhibitor olaparib vs. standard chemotherapy for women with BRCA-related advanced breast cancer (Abstract LBA4)

Attendees can also expect to hear promising new research on hot topics such as liquid biopsy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and quality of life issues, among many other research highlights from across the oncology field.

In addition, CancerLinQ LLC will announce two key collaborations and provide an update on the platform. The goal of CancerLinQ’s new strategic alliances is to create a multidisciplinary, networked coalition of committed leaders for expert guidance and to accelerate the creation of new insights from the CancerLinQ platform that can improve quality, efficiency, and value for the entire cancer care continuum.

Special Lectures and Guests

Attendees will have the privilege of hearing from two luminaries in the field of cancer research. This year, ASCO will present the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award to Carl H. June, MD, a pioneer in CAR T-cell therapy. Dr. June studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation related to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection.

In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment is now being used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Dr. June is director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania.

A growing interest in CAR-T cell therapy and its potential use in the future of cancer care will make this a must-see event.

In addition, ASCO’s Special Lecture will be delivered by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil. Dr. Mukherjee is the 2011 Pulitzer Prize recipient for general nonfiction for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. He is the author of The Laws of Medicine and has published articles in NatureThe New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and Cell. His latest book is The Gene: An Intimate History.

ASCO Meeting by the Numbers

  • More than 38,000 attendees expected
  • More than 5,700 abstracts submitted from over 75 countries, with nearly half (49%) of abstract submissions with lead authors in countries outside of the United States
  • More than 2,150 abstracts selected for presentation, plus more than 2,890 for online publication
  • More than 200 shuttle buses transport attendees
  • Attendees housed at more than 100 hotels
  • Widespread Annual Meeting discussion on social media using #ASCO17

Last year, #ASCO16 was a worldwide trending topic. More than 16,000 participants from 124 countries used #ASCO16 in nearly 70,000 tweets during the meeting. That’s an average of 582 tweets an hour! This year’s hashtag is #ASCO17.

ASCO’s Featured Voices are cancer care experts who volunteer to lead the Annual Meeting discussion online. Follow the 2017 Annual Meeting Featured Voices for on-the-ground perspectives from these oncology thought leaders.

Media Resources

  • Media registration: To register for the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, please visit ASCO’s Media Headquarters at Pre-registration is required for on-site attendance and must be completed by Friday, May 19.
  • Annual Meeting Media Resource Center: Visit for press releases, the press briefing schedule, embargo policies, high-resolution photos, and the Virtual Press Room (an online repository of corporate and institutional press materials from third-party organizations).