Last week the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released the abstracts for its massive annual meeting in June. The conference is expected to draw more than 39,000 participants, and over 5,800 abstracts will be presented either on site or online.

ASCO offers some helpful tips for making the most of the meeting, especially if it’s your first time.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine,” ASCO president Bruce Johnson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute told reporters during an advance press briefing on May 16.

The briefing highlighted several interesting studies, some of which Cancer Health has already covered:

That last study shows that lung cancer screening is underutilized by current and former smokers. Lung cancer is typically detected late, when it’s harder to treat. As described in our profile of advocate Laura Greco in the forthcoming Summer issue of Cancer Health, people are often diagnosed with lung cancer when they undergo medical imaging for something else. Many people at risk are not aware that there’s now a way to detect lung cancer early. The American Lung Association’s Saved by the Scan campaign aims to change that. I recently saw one of their street ads in New York City, but haven’t yet spotted them in San Francisco.

lung cancer screening

Lung cancer screening ad in New York CityLiz Highleyman

On the topic of lung cancer, we saw some “practice-changing” research about non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at the recent American Association for Cancer Research meeting in April (see these links), and there’s more to come at ASCO.

Jack West, MD, a lung cancer expert at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle and founder of the nonprofit patient education and advocacy group GRACE (Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education), offered his top 5 abstract picks for advanced NSCLC:

Breast cancer—the most common cancer in U.S. women after skin cancer—is always a major topic at the ASCO meeting. Sunil Verma, MD, of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre at the University of Calgary, shared his top 5 (actually 6) picks:

The ASCO abstract release always spurs an annual flurry of interest from the business press and investors eager to see which pipeline drugs appear most promising—and potentially most lucrative.

David Sampson, director of medical and scientific communications for the American Cancer Society, offered his picks “for those of us who are less interested in investing, and more in epidemiology, public health, disparities, quality of care, etc.” 

Over the next week before leaving for Chicago, I’ll be making my picks, too, about what to cover for Cancer Health magazine and Please leave a comment if there are topics you’d like to see covered!