Marking its 27th year, ASCO Review at IU goes virtual

By Candace Gwaltney

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hundreds of cancer researchers and medical professionals turn to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center each year to learn the latest discoveries presented at the world’s largest annual oncology meeting.

Since 1994, the cancer center has hosted the ASCO Review at IU to summarize the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. Now in its 27th year, the ASCO Review at IU was held virtually Saturday, July 18, with more than 350 registrants.

The ASCO Review at IU was held virtually Saturday, July 18, with more than 350 registrants.

Cancer center researchers discussed the results of key findings from the ASCO meeting. This year’s topics included the latest cancer discoveries in lung, gastrointestinal (GI), genitourinary (GU), breast, head/neck cancers, melanoma and hematology.

About 40,000 cancer researchers from across the globe attend the ASCO annual meeting, which is typically held in Chicago. This year’s meeting, held in May, was conducted virtually because of the pandemic. The newest science of cancer and results from clinical trials are reported and discussed throughout the multiple days of presentations, hundreds of posters and countless abstracts.

ASCO at IU boils down key findings from the Chicago meeting to a one-day event attended by oncologists from across Indiana and neighboring states as well as nurses, pharmacists and others interested in the latest cancer discoveries.

“Because of IU’s success, other cancer centers have since developed their own review courses for their regional audiences,” Nasser Hanna, M.D., said.

Hanna is in his fourth year as course director for the ASCO Review at IU and has participated in the course since 2001. IU’s review course has run continuously since 1994 and was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

“We hope and expect to resume in-person meetings in 2021," Hanna said.

The following cancer center and IU School of Medicine faculty offered review and interpretation of the ASCO meeting during the IU event:

Researchers gave 20- to 30-minute lectures to review data reported at ASCO and two panel discussions will allow attendees to ask questions. Additionally, Patrick Loehrer Sr., M.D., director of the cancer center, presented a special keynote address.

IU School of Medicine's Division of Continuing Medical Education hosts the event, providing ongoing education for participants.

History of ASCO Review at IU

ASCO Review at IU was started by Lawrence Einhorn, M.D. Learn more about this annual tradition: With an eye on best practices, Dr. Einhorn began ASCO Review at IU.