By John Sweetenham, MD, FRCP, FACP
I hope that you are as excited to be in Chicago for the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting as I am! The theme of this year’s Meeting, “Making a Difference in Cancer Care WITH YOU,” is a reminder of why we all gather together every year for this incredible event—to improve the lives of those affected by cancer. I have been thinking back to my first ASCO Meeting in Atlanta, 30 years ago. At the time, I was a hematology/oncology fellow and can remember vividly the excitement I felt throughout, and after, the Meeting. The advances in cancer care in the intervening years have been extraordinary, and the anticipation of this year’s Meeting is as eager as ever!
Over the next 5 days, we will enjoy a highly varied program including results of practice-changing studies, rapid advances in targeted and immune therapies for various cancer types, strategies for addressing cancer care disparities, navigating new developments in health care reform such as MACRA, addressing burnout in oncologists, and many more aspects of cancer care. I am confident that you will leave the Meeting with ideas that will make a difference for the patients and families we serve.
The Meeting gets bigger each year and schedules seem to get more and more complicated, but the ASCO Daily News is here to help you. We have included many of our regular features, such as Expert Editorials, previews of many of the Education Sessions, and reports from some of the ASCO symposia you may have missed in the last year. As always, we will be providing up-to-date coverage of the scientific highlights from simultaneous sessions, and take-home messages from those sessions that you can’t get to.
Each issue of the ASCO Daily News is packed with thought-provoking content, but I’d like to draw your attention to some standouts. HPV causes virtually all cervical cancer, with an estimated 520,000 cases and 266,000 deaths each year worldwide. Turn to page 12 in this issue for an Expert Editorial by Dr. Cosette M. Wheeler et al. to learn how oncologists can reduce this disease burden through HPV vaccinations and cervical cancer screening.
Older adults are a growing segment of our oncology population, but remain woefully underrepresented in clinical trials. Read the Sunday issue for commentary from Dr. Harpreet Singh et al. on ASCO’s efforts to improve the evidence base for treating older adults with cancer.
The Monday issue is always an exciting one, as it features our comprehensive coverage of the Plenary Session. Pick up a copy for a complete summary of what’s sure to be the most practice-changing science from ASCO 2017.
I am honored to be a part of the amazing ASCO Daily News team. Managing Editor Faith Hayden and the editorial and writing staff she leads have been working hard for many weeks ahead of the Meeting and, over the next 5 days, will spend many hours writing and editing accounts of the latest presentations.
Our goal is to make sure that you can catch up on new data that you have missed before you leave for home and that you will find the information in the ASCO Daily News useful to you in the weeks after the meeting. My thanks go to Faith and her team, as well as to ASCO Daily News Associate Editor Dr. Nicholas Petrelli whose wisdom, ideas, and insights have been so important over the last few years.
We are always looking for ways that we can improve the ASCO Daily News and enhance your Meeting experience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to Faith at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions—we truly want to hear from you.
Have a great meeting, and have some fun in Chicago!