Conference Preview - American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL; June 2-6, 2017


The ASCO Annual Meeting is undoubtedly the premier gathering of oncology professionals from the United States and abroad, and a fertile ground for the presentation of scientific advances throughout the field. More than 30,000 doctors, nurses, advanced practice professionals, and administrators descend on Chicago’s McCormick Place each June, eager to consume newly presented information they can take back and apply to their home practices. The theme of the 2017 Annual Meeting—“Making a Difference in Cancer Care With You”—reflects the organization’s commitment to continued growth among its membership, as well as its dedication to ensuring that patients with cancer benefit from treatment advances and receive the highest quality care.

Enhacing Value in Cancer Care

Presiding over this year’s conference will be Daniel F Hayes, MD, who served as ASCO’s president for the 2016-2017 year. Dr Hayes is clinical director of the breast oncology program and Stuart B Padnos professor of breast cancer research at University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (Ann Arbor, MI), where his research has focused primarily on drug development and the application of biomarkers to more effectively treat patients with breast cancer. In an interview with The ASCO Post, Dr Hayes enumerated his goals for his term as president of the organization, which included a focus on data sharing and value-based care.

“My first initiative is to continue doing what [former ASCO CEO] Allen Lichter helped get started, including CancerLinQ, our Value Framework, and moving into global medicine,” Dr Hayes said. “We also need to help physicians with reimbursement reform in the United States. This is coming—not as a myth, but as a reality—and we are going to help oncologists figure out how to deal with MACRA [Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015] and MIPS [Merit-based Incentive Payment System], because these are areas where ASCO excels. The theme of my presidency is how ASCO works with you, and what underlines all of that is the patient.”

Succeeding Dr Hayes as president for the 2017-2018 year will be Bruce E Johnson, MD, chief clinical research officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA). Dr Johnson will assume the presidency during the course of the conference.

Meeting Highlights

The meeting will feature the presentation of more than 2100 abstracts, with nearly 3000 additional abstracts accepted for online publication. ASCO has released the meeting’s official press program, which consists of six abstracts considered the most significant contributions to the field of cancer research. These abstracts include:

  • A study investigating the association between nut consumption and colon cancer survival and recurrence (Abstract 3517);
  • An analysis of the impact of maintaining a healthy lifestyle on colon cancer survival (Abstract 10006);
  • A phase 3 clinical trial of adjuvant gefitinib for patients with non–small cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor mutations (Abstract 8500);
  • A phase 3 randomized trial studying adjuvant capecitabine for the treatment of biliary tract cancer (Abstract 4006);
  • A study of changes in the stage at which screening detectable cancers were diagnosed between 2013 and 2014 (Abstract 6521); and
  • A study of the impact of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination on the prevalence of oral HPV infections—which can lead to head and neck cancers—among young adults in the United States (Abstract 6003).

Spotlight on Clinical Pathways

Several of the conferences late-breaking abstracts will hold interest for practitioners engaged in clinical pathways and managed care. These include the results of a long-term phase 2 study of psychological intervention to reduce recurrence-related fear and anxiety in cancer survivors (Abstract LBA10000); a randomized trial of web-based stress management programs to improve quality of life in newly diagnosed patients with cancer (Abstract LBA10002); a phase 3 randomized trial studying the addition of abiraterone to frontline androgen deprivation therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer (Abstract LBA3; Plenary program); and study findings of patients with advanced cancer using routine genomic screening to guide personalized treatments (Abstract LBA100).

Beyond the press program, there are many presentations that should be of interest to the clinical pathways community. On Saturday, June 3, from 8:00am-9:15am, a panel of presentations entitled “Value-Based Medicine and the Integration of Tumor Biology” will examine the integration of biological research into the value-based care arena. Presenters will include Linda D Bosserman, MD, FACP, FASCO, of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (Duarte, CA), whose paper is entitled “Individualized Therapies, Value-Based Care, and Pathways”; Gabriel A Brooks, MD, MPH, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, NH), presenting “Cancer Care Delivery, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, and the Path Forward in the Era of Omics”; and Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD, also of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, presenting “Tumor Biology, Clinical Implications, and Reasons for Value-Based Medicine.” This education session will be held in Room S406 of McCormick Place.

On Sunday, June 4, Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, of Michiana Hematology Oncology (Elkhart, IN), will moderate an education session entitled “Guidelines and Pathways for the Practicing Oncologist,” which will be held in Room S102 from 8:00am-9:15am. Dr Zon will present a paper entitled “Evolution of Pathways.” Other speakers include Marcus A Neubauer, MD, of The US Oncology Network/McKesson Specialty Health (The Woodlands, TX), presenting “Implementation of Pathways and Guidelines in Oncology”; and Anne C Chiang, MD, PhD, of Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, CT), presenting “Using Guidelines to Deliver Precision Cancer Care.” Both education sessions are eligible for continuing medical education/maintenance of certification credits.

Journal of Clinical Pathways staff will be on the ground to provide comprehensive coverage of the ASCO Annual Meeting, which will be featured in our June 2017 issue. Attendees are encouraged to come say hello to us at Booth 21116 in the exhibition hall. And be sure to check back next month to read detailed reports of the research presented! 


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