|The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.|
CHICAGO—The theme of the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 54th Annual Meeting is “Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine.” The opening address, delivered by Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, ASCO President 2017-2018, focused not only the advancements in oncologic therapy and research, but also on how the goals of cancer care expand beyond just outcome measures.
“Now we as oncologists are continually exposed to response rates, progression-free survival, and survival groups,” Dr Johnson stated. “However, the ultimate test is whether these targeted agents will make our patients feel better while living longer.”
Dr Johnson put the advancements of precision medicine into perspective — particularly in the field of lung cancer — and how the past 15 years have brought about innovations that have allowed for the identification of multiple oncogenic drivers and mutations, such as EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and BRAF, in lung cancer. With precision medicine nearly 23% of all patients who present with advanced lung cancer are treated with FDA- or EMA-approved targeted therapies or immunotherapies instead of chemotherapy. Trials presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting both last year and this year will hopefully bring that total to 25% in the years to come. “It’s been the holy grail of oncology to develop potentially curative treatments for advanced common solid tumors, and it may not be on our doorsteps for at least some of our patients,” Dr Johnson added.
Dr. Johnson concluded the talk with a call to action for oncology professionals to not only work to continue expanding the reach of precision medicine, but to also keep in mind the ultimate goal of cancer care: “I want to remind you as we do our work and see our patients, one must be mindful of the roles we play beyond selecting appropriate therapy for our patients, and see to their psychological needs as well. We must acknowledge the need to continue to innovate with our treatments and ongoing research to improve the lives of our patients.“
Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 meeting by visiting the conference page.
- Johnson BE. President’s Address: Delivering discovers: expanding the reach of precision medicine. Oral presentation at: 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting; June 1-5, 2018; Chicago, IL.