Tag Archive for: ASCO 2024

Looking back at ASCO 2024

If you’ve been following PEN on social media, you know that we had a whirlwind of activity in Chicago 5/30-6/3. The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual conference, with more than 45,000 attendees, is more than anything else, a venue for significant results of clinical trials to be reported and – in many cases – celebrated.  

While the therapies being studied may be many years from approval for public use, we can still take hope from the positive results and innovative ideas presented. Here are a few of the exciting news items from ASCO24: 

  • Gene mutations took center stage, as advancements in therapies based on often difficult-to-treat mutations showed great promise. The KRAS gene mutation, in particular, often presents challenges in a variety of cancer types; results presented at ASCO24 show the potential of a continually expanding assortment of KRAS inhibitors. 
  • Cancer vaccines shared the spotlight, with multiple pharmaceutical companies collaborating to move innovation forward quickly. mRNA technology (in the news since 2020 because of the COVID vaccine) has been a subject of oncology research since the 1970s and stands poised to make possible a melanoma vaccine.  
  • Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) continue to show promise, allowing targeted therapies with fewer side effects and better outcomes. With tremendous success in the already-approved ADCs for breast and lung cancers, studies proceed to learn the impact on other cancer types. 
  • We learned of promising clinical trials that improve on the standard of care in many specific cancer types. An example is a trial that showed using an immunotherapy drug, rather than a chemotherapy, is more effective in certain colorectal cancers than the standard of care. 
  • There is a growing research focus on prevention and understanding the increased cancer risk that factors such as obesity create. 
  • Trials on better testing and early detection yielded some great results, with a DNA blood test that can predict breast cancer recurrence garnering much interest. 
  • Over and over again, we heard the importance of patient involvement and how the patient voice is being incorporated earlier in clinical research. 

For a better understanding of the clinical trials process, read What’s Really the News You Can Use.