ESMO 2019 Preview


  • Ben Gallarda
  • Oncology Conference reports
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This year’s annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) is upon us. With over 284 session spread across 5 days, both the amount and diversity of new information for the field of oncology is vast.

Targeted therapies are at the forefront of this year’s ESMO. Of the 14 late-breaking abstracts presented in Presidential Sessions, 9 cover trials involving targeted inhibitors. PARP, EGFR, CDK4/6 and IDH1 inhibitors will all be in the spotlight with the latest results from clinical trials in breast, head and neck, ovarian, lung and other cancers.

ESMO 2019 also demonstrates the continuing integration of immuno-oncology into clinical research and practice. Presentations devoted to immunotherapies have expanded from posters to proffered paper sessions, and several late-breaking abstracts will detail the latest developments in harnessing the immune system to attack tumors.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for the foundational research behind immunotherapy. Two of the 2019 Lasker Awards were recently awarded for research very much in line with the ESMO 2019 program. Max Cooper and Jacques Miller won the Basic Medical Research Award for their discovery of B and T cells, which underlie the success of immune checkpoint inhibitors. And Michael Shepard, Dennis Slamon and Axel Ullrich won the Clinical Medical Research Award for inventing Herceptin, one of the earliest targeted therapies in breast cancer.

While waiting to see how the results from ESMO 2019 will affect clinical practice, Univadis presents the top 5 Oncology Congress Reports thus far in 2019.

2019’s Top 5 Oncology Congress Reports

  1. AACR 2019 – Fecal transplant shows benefit in refractory melanoma
  2. ASCO 2019 – Olaparib delays progression in BRCA+ pancreatic cancer
  3. ASCO 2019 – Pembrolizumab quadruples 5-year survival in previously untreated patients with NSCLC with high PD-L1
  4. EHA 2019 – How to manage the toxicity of new agents used in oncohematology
  5. ASCO 2019 – Expert Commentary: Always test for BRCA in metastatic pancreatic cancer