Spotlight on ASCO: Patients Included?

Our reporter on the spot, Carol Preston, is at The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago and reports back that there is definitely a patient contingent at this meeting. Carol is a CLL survivor herself, and she is at ASCO interviewing key physician experts and also patients about melanoma, advanced prostate cancer, sarcoma, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and MPNs.

I asked Carol about the role of the patient at ASCO and if she thought ASCO welcomed the patient viewpoint. Carol commented that she had talked to several patients at the conference and that they thought the conference was very worthwhile.

“The conference seems to be good for patients. The ones I spoke with seem to think that it is very worthwhile attending. They are interested in hearing about new research going on and they also enjoy visiting with other patients, opinion leaders and experts in the field of their disease.”

I then asked about patient representation and Carol mentioned that there was a special patient advocacy section at the conference and that there were several patient groups represented. There was also a patient room set aside for meetings and casual conversation.

Carol spoke with several representatives from pharma and they are very interested in learning more about what patients want and what they have to say. They are very receptive to patient education and they do want to learn more about it and what role they can play.

View below for photos of ASCO2014: