Home Insights Breaking ground in cancer treatment: Uncovering #ASCO24

Breaking ground in cancer treatment: Uncovering #ASCO24

We recently attended the 2024 ASCO® Annual Meeting, a pivotal gathering in the field of cancer research, unveiling critical insights into the latest advancements in cancer treatment. The conference highlighted several ground-breaking discoveries and approaches that are anticipated to transform the future of patient care. We’re delighted to share some of the most impactful highlights from the event. To discuss these findings further, get in touch. 


Managing data and the growth in AI
It was encouraging to, again, see so much clinical trial data presented at the conference. Going from what was theoretically beneficial based on molecular differentiation only a decade or so ago, to now seeing robust data sets from mature, phase three clinical trials was highly thought-provoking.  

However, managing large volumes of data remains a challenge for the industry. AI, of course, has an increasingly important role to play and is already being leveraged in oncology in multiple ways, from enhancing cancer diagnoses and guiding treatment selection, to analyzing large data sets – including serial genetic profiling and clinical trial data.  

It’s also an area Inizio has been heavily investing in for a long time. We can help our clients find key insights in data to support HCPs in getting the right treatments to the right patients, faster. You can read more about the industry impact of AI technology in our latest AI report 


The emergence of new targeted therapies 

The landscape of precision medicine in cancer treatment has dramatically evolved, with biomarkers playing a pivotal role. Biomarkers – molecular signatures indicative of pathogenic processes – are now integral to diagnosing, prognosticating, and personalizing treatment strategies, particularly for treatment-resistant and refractory cancers. These cancers, which don’t respond to standard therapies or relapse after initial treatment, present significant clinical challenges.  

With the emergence of new targeted therapies, it was good to see discussions focusing on the greater need to balance efficacy with not only safety, but also the ability to manage adverse effects and maintain patient quality of life.  

Among the notable developments was a call for next-gen sequencing to be a standard of care for investigating molecular alterations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Next-gen sequencing provides a means of evaluating the downstream expression of mutations identified from DNA and other epigenomic mechanisms that are known to be altered in cancer cells. This ultimately increases targeted therapeutic drug design.  

Similarly, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and / or circulating tumor cell (CTC) testing, which can identify cancer earlier and monitor measurable residual disease for response to treatment, was also an exciting topic throughout the conference. You can read more about that here.

Another targeted therapy, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), were heralded as a significant advancement in the treatment of solid tumors, with several ADC trials reporting positive data. With continued improvements in linker technology and payloads, newer ADCs are expected to further improve outcomes for cancer patients. 

ADCs, along with biomarkers, are revolutionizing the management of treatment-resistant and refractory cancers and are also starting to come into the first-line setting of advanced cancers. The continued advancement in biomarker and ADC research and technology promises to unravel the complexities of cancer resistance and tailor interventions to improve patient outcomes. However, achieving this potential requires overcoming significant challenges in standardization, tumor heterogeneity, and equitable access. Collaborative efforts across the scientific, medical, and regulatory communities highlighted at the conference are essential to realize the full promise of biomarkers in combating these formidable challenges. 

For more insights on ADCs from Putnam, an Inizio Advisory company, click here. 


The importance of patient-centricity  

One of the big themes at ASCO this year was the importance of putting the patient at the heart of care. By ensuring the patient’s voice is heard and information is delivered to them in a way that’s relevant and understandable, more people will get the right treatments, faster. Patient reported outcomes, for example, are becoming more and more integrated into trials and daily practice for clinicians. A key part of this is also identifying what HCPs need in order to optimize care for their patients.  

When it comes to cancer specifically, patient-centricity is becoming more important because of the growth in new personalized therapies. As new drugs come onto the market, it’s vital to help patients assess the risks and benefits of the treatment and how it impacts their quality of life. With many of the therapies discussed, it was reassuring to see patient advocacy playing a strong role in helping patients make such critical decisions. 

To discuss the importance of putting the patient at the heart of care and how we can help you to do so, you can get in touch via this link. 


Other quick takeaways that caught our eye at #ASCO24: 

  • The patient experience is often underemphasized in clinical practice and evidence generation, largely influenced by patient environments and clinical systems.  
  • The cell-therapy field is clearly growing in importance. This was once a niched interest, but it was a topic at some of the more inspiring and – surprisingly – most popular presentations. 
  • Health equity – including more diverse patient populations in clinical trials, as well as delivering care to under-represented and disadvantaged groups of people – remains a key driver in oncology and beyond.   
  • HCPs may need more compelling evidence to adopt shorter treatment regimens given historical treatment patterns. 
  • Evidence is growing that effective care can be provided via telehealth, but the virtual setting presents new challenges for interdisciplinary care. 


As anticipated, the 2024 ASCO® Annual Meeting uncovered an impressive scope of research and provided insights into the ground-breaking advancements in cancer treatment. To delve deeper into these exciting developments, or to explore how we can support you in your commercialization journey, connect with us.