ASCO's Pre-Annual Meeting Seminar Series to Offer a New, Fourth Focus: Genetics and Genomics

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This seminar will introduce many clinicians to the remarkable progress being made in cancer genetics and genomics.

—Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH

ASCO’s pre–Annual Meeting seminar series continues this year, offering intimate, discussion-based seminars just before the start of the Annual Meeting in late May.

The seminars are an excellent educational opportunity for health providers who are attending the Annual Meeting but would like to drill down further into specific areas of interest. The seminars are also useful to those who are unable to attend the Annual Meeting or for whom the Annual Meeting’s topics aren’t closely targeted to their areas of focus.

Seminars Held Just Prior to the Annual Meeting

The seminars will take place at the same location as the Annual Meeting: Chicago’s McCormick Place, starting at 1 PM on Thursday, May 30, and continuing through 11 AM on Friday, May 31, the first day of the Annual Meeting.

ASCO has expanded the program from three to four sessions. The following three seminars, which are part of the series, will expand upon topics discussed last year:

  • New Drugs in Oncology
  • Contemporary Designs for Early-phase Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Care in Oncology for the Advanced Practice Provider

And this year, ASCO has added a new seminar:

  • Genetics and Genomics for the Practicing Clinician

Genetics and Genomics: Why Now?

“This seminar will introduce many clinicians to the remarkable progress being made in cancer genetics and genomics, and get them thinking about the ways this powerful new information is already changing oncology care for them, their patients, and—because some of the information goes beyond tumor genetics—their patients’ families,” says Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Cancer Risk and Prevention at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Co-chair of the Genetics and Genomics Seminar.

William Pao, MD, PhD, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Chair in Medical and Surgical Oncology, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Personalized Cancer Medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is the session’s other co-chair.

Explaining the particular relevancy and timeliness of this seminar to practicing clinicians, Dr. Pao says, “Recently, there’s been an explosion in two areas: next-generation sequencing technology that makes it feasible to quickly analyze tumor DNA from patients, and the number of targeted therapies that are most effective in patients whose tumors harbor certain molecular characteristics. The convergence of both areas makes it important for clinicians to know about this now.”

Expanding on Last Year’s Topics

The seminar Clinical Care in Oncology for the Advanced Practice Provider, cosponsored with the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology and the Oncology Nursing Society, is designed to meet the educational needs of advanced practice providers such as advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. Topics will include trends in oncology care, standards for cancer screening, and symptom and side-effect management.

New Drugs in Oncology will address the theoretical and practical aspects of both recently approved drugs and those on their way to approval. Oncologists who focus in specific disease areas will speak to generalists about the indications and side-effect profiles of the market’s new drugs. Topics will include mechanisms of action, administration, toxicity and side-effect management, and use in the clinic.

The seminar Contemporary Designs for Early-phase Clinical Trials co-sponsored with the Society for Clinical Trials, will bring together statisticians and clinicians to discuss the design, implementation, and analysis of phase I clinical trials. Lectures will be complemented by case studies and panel discussions with audience interaction.

To learn more and to register for one of the limited number of seats at the Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars, visit ■

© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.