Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Madrid – we’re here in Spain for the 2014 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). It’s proven to be a challenging and frustrating meeting on multiple levels so far, but hopefully it will redeem itself over the weekend as new data that changes the standard of care for cancer patients is presented.

At the end of the day it’s all about the data and making a difference to the lives of cancer patients.

The highlight of the meeting so far was yesterday’s Roche media briefing and the presentation by Dan Chen MD PhD on how the company is making advances in immunotherapy. We’ll be writing up the data he mentioned as it’s presented at the Congress. The quote he showed from Ira Mellman, PhD about the promise of Immunotherapy is one that resonates with us:

Roche Promise of Immunotherapy Quote

At prior ECCO/ESMO’s we’ve written about the industry satellite symposia that take place, many of which feature world-class experts talking about new drugs in development or the treatment landscape. It’s a big disappointment to be excluded from these events for the first time at #ESMO14, especially as many are educational in content or even organized by Continuing Medical Education (CME) companies.

That said, by dint of the fact ESMO can accept data several months after the ASCO abstracts have closed there is new data to talk about at this meeting and we have a very full schedule of sessions to attend today at the Congress.

If you would like to read more about which sessions we’ll be in and our initial impressions of data during the day, do log-in if you’re a subscriber to keep abreast as the data rolls out.

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4 Responses to “ESMO 2014 Cancer Congress Day 1 Live Blog”

  1. Maxim Kreditor, MD

    Rochen announced MPDL combination in CRC? ORR w/ FOLFOX/ Avastin alone is 40-70%, what’s their rationale? Trying it in RCC would make more sense, IMO, unless I’m missing something.

    • maverickny

      I liked the idea of mRCC too, although that is a much more crowded market with many choices.

      The main rationale for this approach was that VEGF has been shown preclinically to suppress T cells so the idea is that blocking it could make the tumour more immune competent. Studies with checkpoint inhibitors alone in solid tumours produced disappointing results but combining them both with chemo could lead to better long term survival. Immunotherapies have shown persistence and long term durability in patients who do respond.

  2. Angela Alexander

    Question – about the MPDL trial with Bev, I am curious whether the BC patients in Arm B received FOLFOX? While conceptually combining a platinum and 5FU isn’t crazy, FOLFOX as a combo is a bit surprizing in BC. Or was FOLFOX only for the CRC patients in that arm?

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