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Final Thoughts about ASCO

Posted 6/8/2016

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  The annual ASCO meeting has ended, and we are left, as always, with some hopeful news, some small progress, and lots of open questions. The future of cancer research  is clearly in the direction of individualized targeted therapies, and this will become more good news as the science progresses. The biggest overarching issues is cost. Both as a society and as individuals, what can we pay for? What do we want to pay for?

  It is pretty clear on one level that a treatment that costs $20,000/month and saves the life of a child is worth it. What about a treatment that costs $20,000/month and extends the life of a 70 year old for six months? Hard questions, especially if the patient is you or someone whom you love.

  This is a thoughtful summary about cancer research and ASCO's meeting from CancerNet:

 3 Thoughts on Cancer Research: What the ASCO Annual Meeting Means for You
· Lidia Schapira,MD

No time is more special for the cancer community than the first weekend in June, which is when the
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting convenes in Chicago. This meeting
regularly draws more than 30,000 attendees from around the world, including experts, clinicians, and
patient advocates. It’s important to remember that cancer research is a joint enterprise between scientists
and patients, with the common goal of improving available treatments and, in so doing, lessening
suffering and loss.
The ASCO Annual Meeting, and other research conferences that occur around the world, provides a
forum for the presentation of findings of research studies. It also gives researchers and clinicians a
chance to exchange ideas and to network, and this provides an important stimulus for the creation of
ideas that lead to new research. But why is there a meeting? Let’s review what happens at these
meetings and why they are they important. This context can show what this meeting means for you.

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