Oncology's largest annual meeting brings 40,000 to Chicago to discuss cancer advances

The 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting was held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2024 (ASCO 2024) became the venue for global oncology professionals to discuss groundbreaking scientific discoveries and practice-changing novel therapies that are poised to change the landscape of cancer care. More than 40,000 oncology professionals convened at McCormick Place in Chicago from May 31 to June 4.

The ASCO 2024 Annual Meeting Program featured more than 200 sessions complementing the President’s theme, “The Art and Science of Cancer Care: From Comfort to Cure.” The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) faculty and trainees presented the latest clinical research data and discussed groundbreaking research in various education sessions, clinical science symposia, oral abstract sessions, case report panels, publications and posters.

Honors and awards

Two faculty members from the UCCCC, Fay J. Hlubocky, PhD, MA, and Mitchell C. Posner, MD, were recognized as new Fellows of the ASCO organization. This distinction recognizes members for their extraordinary volunteer service, engagement, dedication and commitment to ASCO.

Additionally, Siddhi Ramesh, a resident at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, received an ASCO Annual Meeting Merit Award for recognition of research in high-quality abstracts submitted to an ASCO Meeting.

UCCCC highlights at ASCO 2024

Everett Vokes, MD, John E. Ultmann Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Medicine, introduced and presented the 2024 Science of Oncology Award to Jennifer A. Pietenpol, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in recognition of her groundbreaking discoveries in triple-negative breast cancer and the p53 family-signaling network.

Alexander Pearson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, discussed two abstracts in a clinical science symposium session titled, "Using 'Artificial' Intelligence to Achieve 'Real' Improvements in Cancer Care." Both abstracts were on analyzing the existing clinical and imaging data using multi-modal AI models to estimate distant metastasis in HR+ HER2- breast cancer and to estimate immunotherapy response in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. In an oral presentation session, Pearson presented data from PATHWay study – a multi-site, randomized, placebo-controlled trial testing neoadjuvant pembrolizumab in high-risk head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) patients.

Ari Rosenberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, presented the updated results demonstrating the safety profile of HB-200, arenavirus-based immunotherapy in combination with pembrolizumab in recurrent/metastatic HPV16+, PD-L1+ HNSCC patients. In an educational session, Rosenberg reviewed the data of novel therapies such as antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, fusion proteins, and multikinase inhibitors that were tested in the management of metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Evgeny G Izumchenko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, presented a poster on developing saliva-based, non-invasive diagnostic tests for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers.

Fred Howard, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, presented a poster demonstrating the increased use of artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT to generate oncology scientific abstracts from 2021 -2023. This high impact work was simultaneously published in the ASCO journal, JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics.

Ardaman Shergill, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, presented results from an ongoing clinical trial evaluating the combination of FOLFOX6 and binimetinib that improve overall survival of patients with advanced biliary tract cancer with MAPK mutations in comparison with FOLFOX6 alone in second-line therapy. She also chaired a clinical symposium session on circulating biomarkers where clinical studies discussed circulating tumor cells and tumor DNA as diagnostic and prognostic markers for various cancers.

Justin Kline, MD, Professor of Medicine, chaired an oral presentation session, “Hematologic Malignancies—Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.” In the same session, Peter Riedell, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, discussed three abstracts focused on current treatment approaches in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Riedell also presented a poster with updated results from EV-103 study evaluating neoadjuvant enfortumab vedotin monotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients who were ineligible for cisplatin therapy.

In a rapid oral abstract session, Marina Chiara Garassino, MD, Professor of Medicine, presented updated results from KEYNOTE-671 study with data supporting the perioperative pembrolizumab as a new standard of care for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In an oral abstract session, Ami V Desai, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, presented the results of a feasibility study testing chemoimmunotherapy after autologous stem cell transplantation in newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma patients. In another session, she joined two panelists on a case-based panel of “Transplant in Neuroblastoma: When Do We Go Off-Script?” The panelists discussed how response to induction therapy is defined for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. The panel suggested the appropriate timing of transplant based on data for bridging therapy in North America.

John W. Moroney, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, reviewed four abstracts in a “Highlights of the Day” session.

In a clinical science symposium session, Ben Derman, MD, presented results from a prospective study “MRD2STOP” demonstrating lack of disease progression in multiple myeloma (MM) patients after discontinuation of maintenance therapy with a high rate of sustained MRD-negativity, suggesting MRD negativity as a potential biomarker in MM.

Jessica Donington, MD, MSCR, Professor of Surgery, discussed three abstracts in an oral abstract session, “Lung Cancer—Non–Small Cell Local-Regional/Small Cell/ Other Thoracic Cancers.” It highlighted the need for broader inclusion criteria and improved screening infrastructure for lung cancer screening and peri-adjuvant “sandwich” immunotherapy for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Tara Henderson, MD, MPH, Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Survivorship Center, presented results from the ENGAGE Study: Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (U24 CA55727) Ancillary Study, highlighting the potential barriers that are associated with lower rates of genetic counseling/testing in the cancer survivor community.

Daniel Olson, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, discussed three abstracts in an oral abstract session, “Developmental Therapeutics—Immunotherapy,” stressing the need for the development of novel, engineered cell therapies beyond antigen targeting to enhance safety and efficacy of emerging cell therapies.

In total, our faculty and trainees participated in more than 50 oral, rapid oral, poster and educational sessions. A full list of presentations at ASCO 2024 can be found here.

The next ASCO Annual Meeting will take place in Chicago May 30 - June 3, 2025.

Medical oncologist Sonali Smith, MD, and lymphoma patient Clayton Harris

UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

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