It really doesn’t feel like a year since we were at ESMO in Copenhagen, in what was probably the most exciting meeting of the year in many ways.
With the ASCO abstract deadline being in Jan/Feb, ESMO offers a great opportunity for companies to have another major slot in the calendar to present ground breaking data. In some ways, having positive data at a European meeting can actually amplify positive studies that might otherwise get lost in the noise at ASCO, which is almost becoming too big.
So what’s in store now that the meeting is upon us?
There are some large and small trials with important data on the first two days that bear thinking about and further discussion.
Here’s our take on the first batch of readouts, including some surprises…
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Vienna, Austria: it’s day 2 of the European Cancer Congress in Vienna (Twitter #ECC2015).
Along with 18,000+ attendees we’re looking forward to hearing about some more practice changing data.
Today in Vienna brings another busy and jam packed day at the European Cancer Conference (ECC). We’ve already reached the point where the days blur and you have no idea which day of the week it actually is, you just follow the next fresh day in your personalised program or schedule.
So what’s in store today?
This morning brings updates on lung cancer, including the much anticipated atezolizumab results in POPLAR and BIRCH, as well as urothelial bladder cancer from the IMVigor trial. There is also a melanoma session that includes the oncolytic virus T-VEC, together with pembrolizunab and cobimetinib in separate study readouts. All this before lunch!
The afternoon promises to be equally interesting with an Immunotherapy in Cancer session that includes nivolumab, pembrolizumab plus we get our first look at a novel immunocytokine targeting CEA-IL2. A parallel session explores the science behind brain tumours with presentations on the tumour microenvironment, biomarkers and current trials.
In the meantime, the embargoes lift at 7am CEST on several studies including the atezolizumab data, which we highlight here.
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A decade or so ago, the annual conferences for the European Congress of Clinical Oncologists (ECCO) and European Society of Medical Oncologists (ESMO) were considered convenient dumping grounds for negative or failed trials. This was largely because they received much less attention than their big brother, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
In the last few years, this trend has shifted with excellent clincial and scientific data being presented at both meetings – they alternate as hosts each year – under the European Cancer Congress (ECC) umbrella.
Just to confuse a global audience long used to referring to the meetings as ESMO and ECCO, while the logical Twitter hashtag might appear to be #ESMO14 and #ECCO15, respectively, based on the standard nomenclature of conference acronym followed by the year, the vagaries of European politics mean we end up with… #ECC2015.
It will be interesting to see how they compete for attention because this hashtag signal will be dirty (more than one usage) and noisy (many disparate voices) with the European Curling Championship, a European Cheerleader Convention and another on e-cigarettes and vaping, all seemingly using the same moniker!
Still, what many readers are really eager to learn though, is this a great, middling, or poor year for exciting new data in the field of cancer research and what can we expect to hear about in Vienna later this month?
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