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ASCO 2023 Wrap-Up

June 12, 2023

Another exciting meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has ended and faculty from Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital reflect on the very impressive and important takeaways, and time spent with colleagues and friends. The excitement of Yale science was evident among all the many moderated sessions, workshops, and abstracts presented. Thank you to all who supported our scientists and clinicians!

Director of Yale Cancer Center and Physician-in-Chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital, Eric Winer, MD, served as the 2022-2023 ASCO President, and presented the opening session highlighting his theme, Partnering with Patients. There were some very exciting plenaries, oral presentations and discussants, and posters. There also was a chance to connect and celebrate together at the Join Yale at ASCO Dessert Reception hosted by Dr. Winer and Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, on Sunday evening, June 4.

During his plenary session in front of thousands of fellow clinicians and researchers, Dr. Herbst presented groundbreaking findings from the ADAURA trial, which showed improved rates of survival and reduced risk of recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and a EGFR mutation taking osimertinib (TAGRISSO), a targeted therapy, following surgery. “In this trial, we took advantage of the efficacy of osimertinib, used it earlier, and it resulted in a really phenomenal impact on survival. That’s practice-changing, and it helps people live longer with lung cancer. I’m very excited to be part of this research.”

Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, joined U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA for a fireside chat to discuss burnout among clinicians and what effect that can have on patients commenting, “We have to be thinking about what the experience is like for people taking on the work of caring for patients. We have lost over time some of our perspective and grounding on the things that matter: kindness, compassion, care."

Veda Giri, MD, presented exciting new research supporting a new standard of care for the use of patient-driven web tools for expanding access to decision making for genetic testing. During an oral abstract, and subsequent media interviews, David Braun, MD, reviewed his research and perspective on combination therapies for kidney cancer. Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPH, discussed results from her study CDK4/6 Inhibitors: New Populations, Different Settings as well as Alessandro Santin, MD, and Xiao Xu, PhD, MA, who delivered results from their studies focused on gynecologic cancers. Pamela Kunz, MD, reported practice-changing research looking at omitting radiation for some patients with colorectal cancer.

Congratulations again to our Yale Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship Program 2023 recipients of Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, Young Investigator Awards: Curt Perry, MD, PhD (mentor: Jeff Ishizuka, MD, DPhil); Jeremy Jacox, MD, PhD (mentor: Mandar Muzumdar, MD); and Adriana Kahn, MD (mentor: Lajos Pusztai, MD, DPhil).

During his opening session, Dr. Winer shared his own personal story and urged clinicians to use their own narratives to help form better partnerships with patients. He remarked, “Our own narratives can help us form better partnerships and patient partnerships are crucial. I actually think that patients get better care and are happier with their care if, in fact, they feel they're part of the team and have a strong partnership with their care team. And in fact, studies have been done that have demonstrated this.”

For a full recap of Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital activity at ASCO23, please visit our Twitter feed.

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Submitted by Emily Montemerlo on June 12, 2023