KCR’s Reflection from 2020 ASCO Virtual
by KCR CMO, Dr Anna Baran
Earlier today our scientific and medical team shared reflections from ASCO 2020 Virtual, which was opened on Saturday morning, with a presidential lecture containing a number of very emotional references to ongoing pandemics and photographs of ASCO Annual Meeting’s home (Chicago’s McCormick Place) which has been transformed into a field hospital that has now about 500 hospital beds.
The guest speaker this year was Dr. David Fajgenbaum, who shared his own story of survival and his quest to find a cure for the rare Castleman disease from which he nearly died five times. The presentation was based on the theme of re-purposing the drugs which was the case for Dr. Fajgenbaum and remains the theme for the current pandemics.
As regards the Sunday’s plenary sessions, one of the interesting points was the summary of the phase 3 ENDURANCE trial (Abstract LBA3). The replacement of carfilzomib for bortezomib in a regimen of bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRd) did not improve clinical outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. The other key topics included the presentation of Javelin Bladder 100 study, demonstrating significantly prolonged OS with 1L maintenance avelumab in advanced urothelial cell patients with PD-L1+ tumors.
Other interesting and potentially important studies from the meeting were the ALPHA trial (Allogene), which was on evaluating an off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, and the C-144–01 trial (Iovance Biotherapeutics) which investigated an autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy.
Interestingly the late breaking data includes two systematic analyses of COVID-19 course of the disease in oncology patients, presenting 20–25% date of severe/lethal cases.