It’s nearly June, which means one thing for the Bionest Oncology team: ASCO is right around the corner. As we gear up for our time in Chicago, we are taking a look at some of the big topics and anticipated data we expect to see during the conference. The theme of ASCO this year is Collective Wisdom, which speaks to the need for the industry to come together and ensure data sharing and management, research, and collaboration, all with the goal of improving patient care across the board.
“This year, against the backdrop of exciting advances in cancer immunotherapy, personalized care through genomic medicine, and progress enabled by big data, coming together to share our collective wisdom is more important than ever.” – ASCO 2016
With this in mind, here’s what is on our radar:
- Immuno-Oncology Deluge: Cancer Immunotherapy has its own abstract track, which promises a plethora of information. Established therapies like Merck’s Keytruda will release long-term overall survival (OS) data. The upcoming PD-L1 therapies avelumab and durvalumab will also see some air time, following on the heels of Tecentriq’s approval. We furthermore expect to see early data around next-generation targets, updated CAR-T data, and more data around various combination approaches. Showcasing the importance of the biomarker story in immuno-oncology, pharma and diagnostics companies will report on a variety of approaches, including multiplexed assays, molecular and protein signatures, mutational burden, cell-based assays and more.
- Patient Centricity and Quality of Care: In 2015, value and cost were major themes alongside the clinical data. We expect this conversation to continue and expand to include additional components such as quality, outcomes, support services, and more. The Health Services Research and Quality of Care abstract track has been expanded from 2015, which underscores the importance of addressing aspects beyond treatment for cancer patients. We talked about the notion of Patient Centricity on our blog last month (click here, here, and here), which is creating new opportunities across the industry for pharma, biotech, diagnostics, and technology companies.
- Biomarkers and Personalized Approaches: Everyone is buzzing about the abstract from the University of California San Diego’s (UCSD) Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, which showed that patients selected based on molecular tumor markers had significantly improved treatment outcomes, even in Phase I trials. Personalized (Precision) Medicine is expanding beyond the single molecular marker thanks to a boom in technology platforms and applications. We are on the lookout for the latest and greatest on next-generation biomarkers and diagnostics, like circulating tumor cells, NGS panels, genomic profiling and much more. Certainly a big proportion of this will be focused on immuno-oncology, but there’s plenty going on outside of the immuno-oncology world as well.
- Managing the Wisdom: Aside from all of the clinical data being released, we are looking forward to discussions around technology and big data. At Bionest, this is a topic that we’ve been discussing more and more with our clients over the past year, and one that is highly relevant for the oncology world. We’ve noted several abstracts in the Molecular Diagnostics and Imaging track that deal specifically with this idea – how can we appropriately manage all of the data being generated and turn that into something useful for clinicians, payers, patients, and caregivers? We’ll be hearing from academic centers, oncology consortiums, technology and data providers and many others.
Will you be at ASCO 2016? Join our conversation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting with Olivier Lesueur (Managing Director) and Rachel Laing (Manager) while in Chicago.