Saturday, June 8, 2019

#ASCO19 Opening Session - Focus on Patients

The theme of this year's ASCO Annual meeting was
Caring For Every Patient, Learning From Every Patient

This theme was exhibited in many sessions I attended and highlighted in the Opening Session starting with Dr Bertagnolli, in her President's Address.You may read her complete speech at

Dr Ang, a medical oncologist from Aukland, New Zealand spoke next.

Having read two books Dr Atul Gawande wrote,  I was thrilled to be able to hear him in person.

 As I heard these next words I thought of how it matched with what I would be saying later that afternoon in the Fireside Chat with Dr Dickson.

It was a privilege to speak at this year's ASCO meeting and Tweet from the meeting.
I was moved by the dedication of the over 40,000 health care providers -surgeons, oncologists, nurses, social workers, and researchers from around the globe who attended the meeting to learn how to improve cancer patient care. Thank you to each and every one of them.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Oral Abstracts at #ASCO19

The Oral Abstract session took place on Monday June 3.
I was able to listen the first three abstracts presented before I left for the airport.

You may search the abstracts available online at
for information on the other studies presented during that session. 
5503 NACT compared to chemoradiation in cervical cancer
5504 Recurrence rates in cervical cancer abdominal vs minimally invasive surgery
5505 Niraparib and Bev vs niraparib alone in recurrent plat sensitive OC
5506 Olaparib monotherapy vs chemo for germline BRCA plat sensitive relapsed OC
5507 CLIO study on olaparib monotherapy vs chemo in plat sensitive OC
5508 EWOC-1 Three different first line chemo regimens for vulnerable elderly women with OC

5500 Powell -  Ph 3 Paclitaxel + carbo vs Paclitaxel + ifosfamidein chem naive patientswith carincosarcomea of the uterus or ovary
5501 Antill - Duralumab in adv endometrial cancer accroding to mismatch repare status PHAEDRA Study
5502 Konstantinopoulos  Ph2 avelumab in patients with microsatellite stable(MSS)  ,microsatellite instable (MSI) and polymerase epsilon mutated  (POLE)recurent endometrial cancer

My last post on ASCO19 will be about the Opening session.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Education Sessions related to Communication at #ASCO19

I chose to attend two education sessions that dealt with communication. One Professional Development education session on Friday titled Tweets Chats and Posts: Using Social Media to Transcend Boundaries and Create Opportunities for Patients and the other a Pediatric Education session on Monday titled Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis : Guiding Communication and Education. Below are some tweets and comments on each session

5/31/2019 Tweets Chats and Posts: Using Social Media to Transcend Boundaries and Create Opportunities for Patients 

Dr Subbiah, A Big World Made Small Using Social Media to Optimize Patient Care
I have followed Dr Subbiah on Twitter for a few years now so it was very nice to meet her in person.Dr Subbiah spoke on how to use Social Media effectively.

Dr Meisel, Using Social Media to Improve Clinical Trial Access and Opportunities
Dr Meisel mentioned how some health care providers may see social media as one more thing to do in their already busy day but went on to show the benefits of participating in social media such as recruiting for clinical trials. 
Dr Hamilton, The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Dr Knoll, The Patient Perspective : Improving Patient Engagement in Clinical trials

6/3/2019 Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis : Guiding Communication and Education

Dr Dobrozi Multidisciplinary Communication and Education Milestones Following a Cancer Diagnosis
Dr Mack Communication a New Cancer Diagnosis : From the Lense of the Patient and Caregiver

Dr Rosenberg Novel Approaches to Enhance the Educational Process and IMprove Patient Engagement

Some of the best advice to health care providers I heard at ASCO. 

Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Gyn Cancer Education Sessions at #ASCO19

Here is a short summary( Tweets) and notes from the Gyn Cancer Education Sessions I attended at this year's ASCO Annual Meeting. Please note these sessions were not necessarily only ovarian cancer sessions.
Abstracts are available online at

6/1/2019 Pharma to Table
Levinson  - Immunotherapy in Gyn Cancers

Rubin- Recognizing and Managing Immun-related Toxicities
irAE = immun-related Adverse Events
Events could include - cough, colitis, endocrine issues, pneumonitis
With adverse events is was recommended to not reduce the dose but rather hold the dose

Moore - Response Predictions and Signatures for Immuntherapy
Tumor Burden is number of mutations in a tumor.

Dorigo - The Future of Immunotherapy in Gyn Cancers
TIL - Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes
Trials ongoing with HPV positive ovarian cancer ( yes , HPV can cause more than cervical and head and neck cancers. ) , CAR-T cells and vaccines
Trials like this one opening soon.
6/2/2019 Are We Hitting the Bull's -eye with Targeted Therapy
Clinical Science Symposium
This session reviewed a number of Abstracts.
Abstract 5509 - Sex hormone, Insulin and insulin-like growth factors in High stage endometrial cancers
Drs Huang, Bae-Jump

Abstract 5010 - Phase 2 trial ribociclib and letrozole in ER positive ovarian and endometrial cancers Drs  Colon-Otero and Mackay

Abstract 5011 - Phase 2 avelumab plus entinostat or placebo in epithelial ovarian cancer
Drs. Cadoo and Hays

6/2/2019 Wanna Get Away - Continuous treatment vs Treatment Holidays in Gyn Cancers
Dr Buckanovich - Successful Maintenance?

Dr  Oza - Maintenance Standard of Care

 Dr Rustin - Maintenance - Not Ready for Prime Time

Dr. Trent - Sarcoma Perspective

6/2/2019 Gyn Cancers is it Time to Put Away the Knife? 
For this session I did not have a good view of the screen so here are the high points from my notes.

Dr. Duska  - Adv OC -Time to Put Away the Knife?
NACT ( Neoadjuvent chemotherapy) is a viable option for a certain population of patients with ovarian cancer

Dr Pfisterer  We need a sharper smarter knife
Residual Tumor is an independent prognostic indicator. The Goal is R0 ( no visible disease left) . What prevents R0 . Factors that influence R0 are Inoperability (sugery not tolerated), Insufficiency (surgeon not capable of performing surgery . Patient survival better when surgery is done by a gyn onc.) Irresectability ( surgery not possible due to location of tumor.)

Dr Ramirez Has Laparoscopy Sung its Final Song in Cervix Cancer
Reported on LACC Study (  Study found that radical hysterectomy by MIS (minimally invasive survery ) lead to lower rates of disease free survival compared to open hysterectomy.

Dr Boggess - There is still a Role of MIS in Cervical Cancer 

6/3/2019 The More Things Change the Ovarian Cancer Edition
Monk - Is It Time to Change Upfront Chemotherapy For Ovarian Cancer

Dr Randall HIPEC: Standard of Care or Hype

Dr. Grisham - Low Grade Ovarian Carcinoma: Fitting the Square Peg in the Round Hold

 Tomorrow  I will share information from sessions dealing with communication ( Tweets Chats & Posts and Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis).

Every Day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Reporting On This Year's ASCO Annual Meeting

I returned recently from the ASCO 2019 Annual Meeting. This meeting was one of the best I have attended. I had the opportunity to met in person for the first time advocates, physicians and nurses I had interacted with online - Facebook or Twitter.  I also met a number of advocates and health care providers from around the world - Australia, Canada, England, and Nigeria to name a few.

Dr Dickson and I - #ASCO19
I was invited to speak during a ticketed session titled A Fireside Chat What Patients Want From Providers in Gynecologic Cancer on Saturday afternoon.  My partner was Elizabeth Dickson-Michelson, a gynecologic oncologist. I shared what the gyn cancer patient needs and how to advocate for yourself and others while Dr Dickson focused on how health care professionals could provide the services both emotional and physical that patients need. We also shared the results of two studies, The WOCC Every Women Study and the Needs of Women Treated for Ovarian Cancer : Results from a #gyncsm Chat . I am extremely appreciative of the support provided to me by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey which allowed my attendance at this meeting.

Before and after my presentation I was able to attend a number of very informative sessions in gynecologic cancer, communication and social media. If you didn't catch my live tweets from the meeting, over the next few days I will share information I learned on this blog. I will cover the Gyn Cancer Education Sessions  (Pharma to Table, Are We Hitting the Bulls Eye with Targeted Therapy,Wanna Get Away -Continuous vs Treatment Holidays, The More things Change OC Edition and Gyn Cancers: Is It Time to Put Away the Knife ) and two sessions dealing with communication ( Tweets Chats & Posts and Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis), as well as an overview of the Gyn Cancer Oral Abstract Sessions and the Poster Discussion sessions. 

So Stand by --- or sit ---  more info is on its way.

Every Day is a Blessing!