Tuesday evening Barry H. Kaplan, M.D. Ph.D. delivered by most attendee’s accounts his best rendition of his the 30-plus annual syntheses of the Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, called the ASCO Update. Malvina Fulman, MD, fellow hematologist-oncologist and practice partner, introduced Dr Kaplan as “the best speaker in her experience”. In his one-hour summary of the most important, exciting, or troublesome ASCO plenary sessions and break out presentations of the Chicago-based 4-day ASCO meeting, Dr. Kaplan gave regional oncologists actionable highlights they could employ in their practices the next day. He also pointed out potential flaws and inconsistencies that indicate more work is needed before some studies and papers can be considered reliable for patient care decisions.

Among the findings that Dr. Kaplan presented:

  • A completely new approach to patients with dangerous prostate cancer, which improves survival in these patients
  • Applications of immune therapy in combination with chemotherapy for the majority of lung cancer patients
  • Combined immunotherapies for small cell cancer of the lung
  • Using genetic markers across a variety of cancers to prescribe effective targeted therapies

The much-anticipated ASCO Update drew over 100 attendees for the formal presentation and networking opportunity. Some attendees gathered in the adjoining room as seats ran out. Each year Dr. Kaplan says he doesn’t know if he will present the ASCO Update again, as it is an enormous undertaking to boil down thousands of presentations into a one-hour meeting. However, if demand is any indication, QMA would be wise to make sure there is another Kaplan ASCO Update in 2018.

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