Chicago – it’s day 4 of the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) annual meeting. Sunday at ASCO can be a bit hit or miss depending on whether the plenary selection committee makes a good choice in which studies to give the “glory” and how interesting they are. It’s certainly been a busy meeting, although I have to say going round the poster halls has been a horrible experience. For the first time this year, they doubled up the trials in progress posters, which makes it like a rugby scrum to reach the QR code to get a copy, and all it means is that people use smaller text to cram the same material into a smaller area. People do want to talk people about what’s going on, the rational for trials and it must be a miserable experience for presenters to be faced with such cramped conditions. Memo to ASCO – it was not a good idea and the new poster numbering layout is really hard to follow. It’s not as if there is a shortage of space.
Yesterday afternoon was an afternoon of plenary data. It was interesting to see leading breast cancer physician and influential ASCO member Robert Miller (@RSM2800) question the choice on Twitter:
While I completely agree with the need to publish negative data so that researchers in the field can better understand what happened and learn how to design trials better or differently, that is after all what science is about, I do question whether EVERYONE at ASCO needs to know that. An oral presentation of the ALTTO trial data in a breast cancer session would have been sufficient to achieve that goal. I personally thought the PREVAIL trial data from enzalatumide in advanced prostate cancer prior to chemotherapy was more worthy of plenary recognition than a negative data breast cancer trial. The PREVAIL data was published in the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday.
There were other data worthy of plenary recognition and we’ll be writing them up on the blog. ASCO politics even extends it’s reach to the fact that it’s the only medical/scientific cancer meeting we attend that declines to recognize the blog for media coverage, despite our science writer credentials. With no disrespect to other media outlets, we do think we are better at cancer conference coverage than The Motley Fool, who ASCO are willing to accredit. Perhaps we should remove the word “blog” from our name – it reminds me of the ongoing challenges @Scotusblog has in getting Supreme Court accreditation. Since ASCO does not need or want our coverage, it’s highly likely that next year we will cover the meeting remotely, using the excellent virtual meeting. So what’s on the agenda for today? Subscribers can login below to read more.