Blogged while: Practicing for a cancer compound spelling bee (pembrolizumab, anyone?)
It was the most wonderful time…er…scientific meeting of the year! ASCO convened at the McCormick Center in Chicago last weekend and WE (little ol’ Marketeching) got to be a part of the action! It is a very exciting time as the cancer treatment landscape continues to rapidly evolve with the inclusion of targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and even combinations transcending treatment class. In addition to clinical trial data results for novel therapies, we saw updates of impressive long-term survival data for immunotherapies. A big topic of discussion was the impact that this long-term survival of cancer patients has on cost effectiveness of treatments. Patients are living longer and therefore, are taking these very expensive therapies longer (some 5+ years) than initially expected. This is great news for patients, but will likely cause a shift in the health economics surrounding cancer treatment. It will be interesting to watch how payors and pharma develop strategies to respond to these cost challenges. VP Joe Biden took to the stage on Monday to discuss the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which will fund a public database for genomic clinical data. This initiative represents a step towards precision medicine and a step towards making patient advocates happy, as many of them continually tweet [#freethedata] during scientific meetings. Cancer patient advocates call for transparency about genomic testing and implications of mutations even in early clinical studies. They feel that this type of transparency empowers patients and their treatment decision making. As for us, we spent time perusing [#ASCO16] tweets daily, hosted a very classy cocktail hour on the Trump Tower, and managed to catch a Cubs game on Sunday. All-in-all, not a bad way to spend the weekend with the smartest minds in cancer research! We are looking forward to watching the treatment landscape develop over the next year and already excited for #ASCO17!