ESMO 2014 is taking place now in Madrid, Spain. The ESMO website summarizes the goal and theme of the conference as follows:
“The theme for ESMO 2014 is ‘Precision Medicine in Cancer Care.’ Whether you are a medical or surgical oncologist or a radiation oncologist, immunologist or pathologist, practising precision medicine means we are all working towards a common goal – improved patient outcomes. This is the ultimate goal of ESMO 2014.
Attendees can expect detailed exploration of the practical, political, and financial issues that stand between our ideals and the reality of implementing optimal care for every person suffering from cancer.”
About 18,500 individuals (over 15% from the United States) are attending the conference, an 11 % increase over 2012 attendance (the conference is held every other year).
So far, the conference is a huge success, with some breakthrough news as follows:
- Real progress in targeted therapies for melanoma
- New medicine to help advanced cancer patients gain weight
- New medicine to fight chemo-induced nausea and vomiting
- New data that shows women that are pregnant and have cancer should not be afraid of chemo hurting their fetus
The twitter stream has been quite active – in multiple languages! The hashtag is #ESMO14
There is one “kerfuffle” however. Apparently, Spanish “authorities” ban journalists, patients, patient advocates and nurses from visiting pharma and non-profit organization booths. The reason is not quite clear and those who are tweeting have been asking questions. Read an article about the “ESMO exhibit floor kerfuffle” here.
The overall feeling at the conference though, is one of excitement. There is a lot going on in the way of new research and treatment. And the takeaway is that there is real progress ahead.