ASCO24: HCPs celebrate practice-changing trials and emphasise patient advocacy

20.06.2024 | Insight

ASCO24: HCPs celebrate practice-changing trials and emphasise patient advocacy

The ASCO conference, hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, is an annual gathering where HCPs, researchers, and patient advocates from around the world share the latest clinical and scientific advancements in oncology. The ASCO 2024 congress was held in Chicago, Illinois, from May 31 to June 4, with over 45,000 attendees. This year’s theme was “The Art and Science of Cancer Care: From Comfort to Cure.”

At CREATION.co, we analysed nearly 55,000 social media posts by more than 4,000 healthcare professionals (HCPs) from April 1 to June 6, 2024, to understand their take on conference sessions and trial data, identify the top three peer-engaged HCPs driving conversations online, and distil key learnings.

Pre-ASCO buzz: HCPs geared up for ASCO 2024

In the lead-up to ASCO 2024, we tracked over 2,200 HCPs posting more than 15,000 times on X about the conference.

Many shared lighthearted updates on their travel and preparation, expressing excitement about networking and learning about the latest advancements in oncology at ASCO. HCP Tejas Patil even compared ASCO24 to the Cannes Film Festival.

HCPs eagerly anticipated sessions like the OncBrothers lung cancer live, the IMGOncCoP session for mentoring medical graduates, and the JCO Journals Lounge events.

Many HCPs posted curated lists of top abstracts to look out for across various cancer types, and gratitude and congratulations were shared for colleagues receiving honours like the Young Investigator’s Award and awards from ASCO’s Cancer Foundation.

With a predicted ‘silver tsunami’ due to ageing populations globally many HCPs reshared ASCO’s post on incorporating ‘geriatric oncology principles into everyday practice’ and ASCO’s educational book on treating older adults, improving elderly representation in trials, and using digital technologies in geriatric assessments, in line with their 5-year strategic plan to reduce cancer burden.

During ASCO 2024: HCPs celebrated practice-changing trials

During ASCO 2024, we tracked 37,000 posts from over 3,000 HCPs, most of whom used the hashtag #asco24.

Results of major trials including LAURA, ADRIATIC, CROWN, ESOPEC and TRANSMET sparked conversations among HCPs online. 

LAURA
Top-discussed with 937 HCP mentions was AstraZeneca’s Phase III LAURA trial which received a “rousing ovation” for showing unprecedented benefits of osimertinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

However, 33 HCPs raised concerns about the accuracy of overall survival (OS) data as many metastatic patients did not undergo PET-CT scanning upon enrollment to determine how advanced their cancer was, leading to potentially incorrect conclusions on treatment efficacy.

ESOPEC
HCPs were also excited about the results of the ESOPEC trial, which they mentioned over 800 times during ASCO. One oncologist, Ben Westphalen, celebrated it as a new standard of care in esophageal cancer.

However, some HCPs were not convinced, arguing that CRT is an outdated comparator causing poor mOS, and that using surrogate endpoints over actual OS data may misrepresent treatment efficacy.

ADRIATIC
In 482 mentions, HCPs celebrated the efficacy of durvalumab post-chemoradiation for LS-SCLC in the ADRIATIC trial. HCP Charu Aggarwal, awarded the title ‘Woman Disruptor of the Year’ described the data as “truly historic” and a potential new SOC to improve patient outcomes.

CROWN
In 465 posts, HCPs celebrated the impressive 5-year median PFS of Lorlatinib in ALK-positive NSCLC in the CROWN trial. They considered it the “LONGEST PFS in mNSCLC” and “a new benchmark in precision oncology.

A few HCPs discussed the safety profile and encouraged peers to make “the lives of our patients better”. One oncologist suggested using dynamic monitoring to identify patients who do not benefit from lorlatinib use.

TRANSMET
The TRANSMET trial garnered 342 mentions, with HCPS echoing the efficacy of liver transplantation plus chemotherapy over chemotherapy alone. Some asked peers if it would become the new SOC

A few remarked that it contradicted ORCHESTRA trial data, and HCP Ibrahim Sahin critically appraised the trial, questioning the sample selection, cautioning against generalisation and highlighting the need for more data for definitive conclusions.

Top-discussed cancer types were lung, breast and GU cancers

Online lung cancer discussions centred on transformative trials like LAURA, ADRIATIC, and CROWN. HCPs highlighted the growing importance of biomarker analysis, genomic profiling for NSCLC, and the benefits of telehealth and palliative care for better QoL. The hashtags #lcsm and #lungcancer were used 1,968 and 595 times, respectively.

We tracked 3,040 breast cancer posts by HCPs. In these, HCPs shared “breaking news” on a new blood test for predicting cancer recurrence and discussed first-line treatments for HER2+ breast cancer, including positive results of Tucatinib-Trastuzumab combination and the #DAPHNe trial, which showed 92% recurrence-free rates. The hashtags #bcsm and #breastcancer were used 684 and 561 times, respectively. 

In GU cancers, including bladder, kidney, and prostate cancers, HCPs discussed positive results from drug combinations like toripalimab and disitimab for bladder cancer. They highlighted biomarker data from the CheckMate 901 trial showing higher long-term survival rates post-cisplatin treatment and praised AI digital histology for predicting prostate cancer recurrence and metastasis. 

AZ, Pfizer and J&J among top-mentioned pharmaceutical companies

HCPs termed AstraZeneca the “Real Madrid of ASCO” due to their record-breaking success at ASCO with six plenary sessions and setting new standards in cancer treatment. They celebrated their trial achievements, including CAR-T therapy’s efficacy in liver tumour reduction, Tagrisso’s success in LAURA, and the SCLC treatment breakthrough in ADRIATIC. However, a few voiced concerns about study design discrepancies and potential profit moves, despite promising trial results.

J&J was the second most mentioned company by HCPs online due to their significant advancements in prostate cancer treatment, including promising results in a metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer trial using JNJ-6420 radioligand therapy. Additionally, there were several posts on positive MARIPOSA and CHRYSALIS-2 trial results in NSCLC.

Pfizer mainly gained attention for passing the “truck test” in its CROWN trial. Others celebrated thought leaders like Katie Dermody at Pfizer for uniting the oncologic community and making a difference to cancer care.

AI and telehealth are playing an increasing role in oncology

In 401 posts, HCPs recognised the transformative role of AI in identifying biomarkers for diagnosis or predicting treatment outcomes in various cancers such as colorectal, gastrointestinal and prostate cancers. They shared educational sessions exploring the use of AI in cancer research, and noted how AI can bridge communication gaps to enhance patient-practitioner relationships.

https://twitter.com/PestanaRC/status/1797740260081963473

In 555 posts, HCPs recognised that telehealth services are as effective as in-person care for “palliative treatment in advanced lung cancer patients”, and in “delivering high-quality cancer care in rural areas.” They further advocated for its continued use post 2024.

Top 3 most peer-engaged HCPs disseminating congress updates online

Toni Choueiri

Based in the US, genitourinary oncologist Toni Choueiri (@DrChoueiri) is the Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was the most-mentioned HCP by peers online, and was tagged in 2,162 of their posts which praised him for his research presentations, mentorship role and leadership nominations. During ASCO he posted 134 times, mainly sharing the results of various genitourinary trials, celebrating peers for their research presentations, and sharing updates on the IMG CoP meeting. In his most engaged post, which garnered 242 likes, he congratulated Dr. Lynn Schuchter for her well-presented opening session at ASCO. 

Sumanta K. Pal

Genitourinary oncologist Sumanta K. Pal (@montypal) is the Co-director of the Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope. He was the second most-mentioned HCP by peers online, and was tagged in 1,523 of their posts which commended him for his talk on clinical trial search tools in kidney cancer, or reshared posts that he made praising colleagues

During ASCO he posted 307 times, mainly sharing ASCO24 highlights, congratulating peers for their contributions, or sharing trial results in genitourinary cancer.  

In his most engaged post, which garnered 136 likes, he praised his boss as he put up her poster at ASCO24.

Narjust Florez

Based in the US, thoracic oncologist Narjust Florez (@NarjustFlorezMD) is the Associate Director of the Cancer Care Equity Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She was the third most-mentioned HCP by peers online, and was tagged in 1,517 of their posts which congratulated her for becoming “the youngest Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology” and for receiving the “40 Under 40 in Cancer Award”, as well as lung cancer research that she presented. 

During ASCO she posted 401 times, mainly sharing ASCO24 highlights such as specific sessions she enjoyed, and lung cancer research that she or her colleagues presented. 

In her most engaged post, which garnered 127 likes, she expressed her gratitude for being the Associate Editor at JAMA Oncology. 

Key learnings for industry and policymakers

The online voice of HCPs during congress provides the world with immediate access not only to the latest data being shared, but to the perspectives of thousands of medical experts. These views have the potential to shape HCP behaviours as they gain new medical knowledge, and perhaps to predict or inform future policy. 

For industry, learning how HCPs react to data provides an opportunity to understand issues including:

  • Is our messaging coming across effectively?
  • How should we prioritise future research?
  • How valuable do HCPs consider our latest treatment to be?
  • What information needs do HCPs have?

Understanding the most impactful HCPs in a field – the Digital Opinion Leaders – is a powerful tool for industry to support medical knowledge sharing.

CREATION.co has been tracking the online voice of HCPs, and learning about Digital Opinion Leaders, for more than a decade. To learn more about how our online HCP insights can inform your next congress strategy, watch our webinar, How to make the most of your medical congress investment.

 

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Meet the Author

Eden Daniel

Eden, a recent Computational Neuroscience graduate who also holds a distinction in Life Science, is passionate about drawing unique insights from online HCP conversations. With strong investigative abilities and market research experience, she crafts data-driven stories about the healthcare landscape.

In her leisure time, Eden enjoys walking, listening to music, reading and spending time with family.

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