Twitter Use at the ASCO Annual Meeting


Key Points

  • From 2011 and 2016, the number of tweet authors has increased at the ASCO Annual Meeting from 1,429 to 15,796.
  • The number of tweets increased from 7,746 to 72,696, with 49% to 69% being re-tweets.

As reported by Pemmaraju et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, use of Twitter at the ASCO Annual Meeting has increased dramatically between 2011 and 2016.

The investigators conducted a retrospective review of publicly available tweets collected by Nephrology On-Demand Analytics for the ASCO Annual Meeting from 2011 through 2016. Overall, there were 190,732 tweets from 39,745 authors.


The number of individual authors increased from 1,429 in 2011 to 1,863, 3,136, 6,416, 11,105, and 15,796 in 2012 to 2016 (11-fold increase vs 2011). The single author with the largest number of tweets at each meeting contributed 537, 678, 535, 803, 834, and 1,531 across the 6 meetings (accounting for 38%, 36%, 17%, 13%, 8%, and 10% of all tweets).


The number of total tweets increased 9-fold over the 6 meetings, from 7,746 (47% re-tweets) to 9,770 (49% re-tweets), 15,120 (50% re-tweets), 32,899 (61% re-tweets), 52,499 (68% re-tweets), and 72,696 (69% re-tweets). The most commonly tweeted terms or topics were “melanoma” for both the 2011 and 2012 meetings, “breast cancer” for the 2013 meeting, “lung cancer” for the 2014 meeting, and “ImmunOnc” or “immunotherapy/immuno-oncology” for both the 2015 and 2016 meetings.

The investigators concluded: “The use of Twitter among health care stakeholders during the ASCO meeting has markedly increased over time, demonstrating the increasing role of social media in the dissemination of findings at the most highly attended hematology and oncology conference of the year.”

The study was supported by a National Cancer Institute grant to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Naveen Pemmaraju, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Oncology Practice article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.