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ESMO 2018 – Meeting Preview

We will be reporting directly from the annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Munich, Germany, from October 19 to October 23.

Cancer prevention, immunotherapy, biomarkers, basic and translational research: These are the topics awaiting European oncologists this year. 2,051 abstracts have been accepted and will be discussed next week by the delegates present at ESMO.1

What’s hot at ESMO 2018?

Amongst numerous educational sessions and poster discussions there will be three Presidential Symposia in which end points of some major trials will be presented.1

Renal cancer

  • Given the prospectively positive progression free survival (PFS) data of the Phase III trial JAVELIN Renal 101, the next PD-L1 inhibitor, avelumab, is going to enter the stage of immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced RCC. (Presidential Symposium 2, Sunday, Oct 21, 4.30pm)
  • The Phase II trial NCT02923531 investigates whether combination treatment with the CXCR4 antagonist X4P-001 and nivolumab is showing a clinical benefit in patients with RCC without response to a nivolumab monotherapy. In preclinical trials, inhibition of CXCR4 on T cells increased their accumulation in the tumour and acted synergistically with PD-L1 inhibition.2 (Poster discussion session 1: Immunotherapy of cancer. Saturday, Oct 20, 4.45pm)

Lung cancer

  • Primary results of the Phase III trial ALESIA will be presented, investigating alectinib vs crizotinib in asian patients with treatment-naïve ALK+ advanced NSCLC. (Presidential Symposium 3, Monday, Oct 22, 4.30pm)

Breast cancer

  • The prospectively positive PFS data of the Phase III trial Impassion-130 of first-line atezolizumab for patients with triple-negative breast cancer will be presented. (Presidential Symposium 1, Saturday, Oct 20, 4.30pm)
  • Also, SOLAR-1, investigating the PIK3 inhibitor alpelisib for patients with HR+/HER2- PI3KCA mutated breast cancer seems to have reached its PFS-endpoint. (Presidential Symposium 1, Saturday, Oct 20, 4.30pm)
  • Results of the Phase II study Finesse are expected, including the multikinase inhibitor lucitanib in patients with metastatic HR+ HER2- breast cancer. (Presidential Symposium 1, Saturday, Oct 20, 4.30pm)
  • The Phase III study Paloma-3 seems to have missed its secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) for the combination treatment of palbociclib and fulvestrant in patients with HR+ HER2- breast cancer. (Presidential Symposium 1,Saturday, Oct 20, 4.30pm)

Ovarian cancer

  • The Phase III trial Solo-1 will take center stage, expected to show positive PFS data for the PARP inhibitor olaparib for maintenance therapy of BRCA1/2 mutated ovarian cancer. (Presidential Symposium 2, Sunday, Oct 21, 4.30pm)

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

  • Investigators of the Phase III trial KEYNOTE-048 will likely present positive OS data of pembrolizumab in the first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. (Presidential Symposium 3, Monday, Oct 22, 4.30pm)

What do doctors say?

We are going to discuss if and how the studies presented at ESMO 2018 will change clinical practice.

Breakfast briefs with Swiss opinion leaders

We look forward to daily summaries kindly provided by

  • Richard Cathomas, MD, Kantonsspital Graubuenden
  • Olivier Michielin, MD PhD, University of Lausanne        
  • Sacha Rothschild, MD PhD, University Hospital Basel

Other interviews

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Brodowicz, Medical University of Vienna
  • Assoz.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Armin Gerger, Medical University of Graz
  • Assoz.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christoph Grimm, Medical University of Vienna
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christoph Höller, Medical University of Vienna
  • OA Dr. Rainer Kolb, Klinikum Wels-Grieskirchen
  • Priv.-Doz Dr. Martin Marszalek, Donauspital Wien
  • Assoz.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Gerald Prager, Medical University of Vienna
  • Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Renate Schaberl-Moser, Medical University of Graz
  • OA Dr. Christoph Suppan, Medical University of Graz

Special tracks at ESMO 2018

ESMO Young Oncologists Track: Young clinicians from the ESMO Young Oncologists  educate newcomers such as medical students and young doctors about the daily clinical practice. In Masterclass sessions, young clinicians learn about next generation sequencing, biomarker data analysis, immuno genetics, immuno genomics, and clinical trial design. In the YO Mentorship sessions, key opinion leaders share their experience and vision in an informal setting, encouraging open conversation with mentors and peers. Pre-registration is required to attend and discuss educational and career development choices with leading oncology experts in the fields of clinical oncology, basic science, translational research, and industry. These sessions are also an excellent opportunity to get in touch with colleagues.3

ESMO Patient Advocacy Track: These tracks are part of the ESMO congress program since 2016. They are dedicated to the education of patient advocates in recent developments in oncology, providing them with updated information required for current decision making processes in the health system, and supporting them to be competent partner for patients in oncology-related decisions.4

EONS11: The annual congress of the European Oncology Nursing Society is now integrated into the ESMO conference. Two days are dedicated to topics such as symptom management, patient safety and improvement of the cooperation between doctors and nurses in order to achieve improved integrated patient care.5

About the European Society for Medical Oncology

ESMO is the world’s leading medical oncology organization. With 18,000 members consisting of oncology specialists from 150 countries world-wide, ESMO is the reference organization for education and information in oncology. ESMO is dedicated to the optimal care of patients with cancer, by fostering integrated cancer care, promoting oncologists in their professional environment, and advocating for sustainable cancer care world-wide.

To the society’s web page: https://www.esmo.org/
Conference program and abstracts: https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-2018-Congress


1 https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-2018-Congress
Feig C et al., Targeting CXCL12 from FAP-expressing carcinoma-associated fibroblasts synergizes with anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 10;110(50):20212-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320318110.
3 https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-2018-Congress/Programme/Young-Oncologists-Track
4 https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-2018-Congress/Programme/Patient-Advocacy-Track
5 http://www.cancernurse.eu/