Coming just off the heels of the largest clinical oncology meeting in the world, the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which took place last week in Chicago, the Cancer Research Institute hosted a Twitter chat on Tuesday, June 11, to discuss the latest immunotherapy news to come out of the conference and what it means for cancer patient treatment.
Moderated by Sharon Begley (@sxbegle), senior science writer at STAT (@statnews), the chat attracted more than 30 participants including oncologists, scientists, and other cancer professionals representing some of the most prestigious research and cancer treatment organizations. Our CEO and director of scientific affairs, Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, took over the CRI Twitter handle and joined in the lively discussion. Within the hour, participants chimed in with more than 190 posts in response to questions from our moderator on six key topics facing the field of immuno-oncology.
If you weren’t able to join the #CIMchat, here are some highlights:
Q1 Top I-O Highlights: What do you consider the most promising immunotherapy news out of #ASCO19 this year and why?
The opening question prompted numerous responses, including an insightful tweet from Dr. Kristen Mueller of the Melanoma Research Alliance (@MelanomaReAlli):
Tumor immunologist and cancer biologist, Dr. Saman Maleki (@SMImmunology) of Schulich School of Medicine, shared his thoughts on tailoring treatment for each patient:
Q2 Checkpoint Blockade: How much more can we squeeze out of PD-1/L1 checkpoint blockade and what’s next on the horizon?
Ludwig Cancer Research’s (@ludwig_cancer) Dr. Ping-Chih Ho of Lausanne tweeted that there’s more coming down the road, especially in combination with other therapies:
Dr. Jason Luke (@jasonlukemd) of UPMC (@UPMC) shared that he doesn’t believe that PD-1 is the end-all, be-all of cancer immunotherapy:
Parker Institute for Cancer Imunotherapy (@ParkerICI) shared promising data for combination therapy including checkpoint blockade from AACR earlier this year.
Q3 Cellular Therapies: Are we any closer to treating solid tumors, what challenges remain, and what’s needed to overcome them?
Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey of the @CancerResearch Institute recalled some exciting news from ASCO for cervical cancer patients:
Dr. Miguel Foronda of Weill Cornell remarked on the progress being made in mesothioma and other solid tumors:
Q4 Biomarkers: Why are they important and how are we finding ones that really matter?
Dr. Adam Stern (@AdamnPhilipStern) tweeted about a big difference he sees in how biomarkers are embraced on the research side versus the clinical:
Dr. Corrie Painter of the Broad Institute at MIT made a plea for deeper immunology in patient trials:
Q5 Responders v. Non-Responders: What are the more promising approaches to helping patients who don’t respond to initial I-O treatment?
Dr. Miguel Foronda (@krknrm) of Weill Cornell Medicine (@WeillCornell) tweeted an infographic published in Nature Reviews Cancer about exceptional responders and non-responders:
Dr. Christopher Heery, chief medical officer at Precision Biosciences, pointed out that addressing key features in non-responders might help:
Q6 Survival: What have we learned about durability of benefit from several long-term survival data readouts at #ASCO19?
Dr. Kristen Mueller of the Melanoma Research Alliance tweeted historic decline in death rates in melanoma thanks in large part to immunotherapy:
Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey pointed to the impressive long-term survival data in lung cancer patients with her tweet from @CancerResearch:
Dr. Jason Luke of the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, reminded us that quality of life matters as much as quantity:
Our hour was up before we knew it. There’s a lot more to the conversation than we’ve shared here. We’ve curated more highlights with our #CIMchat Moment on Twitter here:
Special thanks, again, to our moderator, Sharon Begley (@sxbegle), and to our generous sponsor, Nektar Therapeutics (@NektarNews), for making today possible. Thank you, also, to all who participated!
Read our recap blogs for more insights from ASCO19 and participate in more Cancer Immunotherapy Month activities this June.