Science and Society: The 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting Preview and Education Program Highlights

Feb 25, 2014

By Virginia Anderson, Senior Writer/Editor

As ASCO celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding and its Annual Meeting, oncology professionals from around the world will gather to learn about, debate, and discuss exciting and practice changing advances in oncology.

“Throughout ASCO’s first 50 years, we have collaboratively made life-prolonging and life-saving advances across all areas of oncology,” said 2013-2014 ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “At the 2014 Annual Meeting, we will hear clinical and scientific results that promise to broaden and accelerate global progress against cancer. Please come and be part of this landmark Meeting so that together we can deliver the best prevention and treatment for cancer to our patients everywhere.”

The theme of this year’s Meeting, chosen by Dr. Hudis, is “Science and Society.” This theme focuses on opportunities for the community of clinicians and researchers to lead all of society in the quest for knowledge and insight. It highlights the unique role that clinicians who treat cancer can play in closing knowledge gaps that can develop between those who work in science and those who govern and lead society. As the depth of our scientific understanding increases and the number of effective therapeutic options multiplies, there will be a growing need to communicate clinically important advances with precision and to convey the benefits of societal investment in science. Even within the increasingly specialized medical professional community, there is a growing need for ongoing and efficient communications so that everyone can keep up with advances in many areas of cancer prevention and treatment. 

“Thanks to decades of societal investment, the problem of malignancy has never been better understood than it is now, and the number of thoughtful experiments to test rational interventions that capitalize on our growing understanding of all levels of biology has never been greater,” Dr. Hudis said. “Accelerating the pace of progress requires even greater long-term investment and even more societal support and vision. To accomplish this, we must continue to educate all of society, and I believe the oncology community has a rare opportunity to do this passionately and effectively.” 

Dr. Hudis noted three areas in which recognition of the collaborative potential of science and society is particularly critical:

  • Understanding how behaviors and lifestyle choices contribute to cancer risk and prognosis 
  • Addressing the limits of fragmented and inefficient health care systems through innovative solutions such as CancerLinQ™
  • Communicating the immense value of clinical research and ensuring its funding

“I would like to see our membership constructively engaged at all levels in the joyful task of showing the world the good that good science accomplishes for each of us,” Dr. Hudis said. “Perhaps nowhere is the practical promise of scientific advancement greater than in oncology, and we need to share our excitement to focus society’s attention, and its support, on our work.”

Education Program

ASCO’s Education Program reflects the concerns, priorities, and issues that affect every oncology professional. Look for multidisciplinary sessions that emphasize collaborative care in the management of different cancers, topics relevant to daily practice, tools for delivering high-quality care, global health challenges in oncology, and understanding molecular pathways and genomics.

Preliminary session information is available online at; select “Meeting Program” on the left navigation bar to view an outline of sessions by day and faculty members. 

“We have a wonderful group of talks this year,” said 2013-2014 Cancer Education Committee Chair Gini Fleming, MD, of the University of Chicago Medical Center. “In almost every track, attendees will find a balance of overview and introductory content as well as more in-depth presentations,” accommodating learning at every level of expertise, particularly in emerging and rapidly changing disciplines such as immunology and genomics.

Several themes emerged organically from the Education Program, which reflect the prevailing interests and concerns in the contemporary practice of oncology. Attendees will find discussions of cost of care and value integrated into many sessions; ample coverage of hot-button issues, including genomics, global practice and research, environmental and behavioral contributors to cancer (including obesity, vitamins, tobacco, and inflammation); and a look ahead to new scientific horizons and the future of cancer care.

Sessions organized around some of these themes, as well as ASCO’s popular ticketed Meet the Professor and Clinical Problems in Oncology sessions, are outlined below. To register for a ticketed session, visit, select “Registration and Hotel Information,” then “Ticketed Sessions” on the left navigation bar.

Genomic Sessions

As researchers continue to make exciting discoveries in oncology on a molecular level, numerous sessions in the Education Program will offer information on genomics, both in the setting of specific diseases and in the context of broader topics such as secondary malignancies and hereditary cancer risk. The following sessions have been identified as particularly relevant to Annual Meeting attendees wishing to expand their understanding of genomics (view schedule at

  • Frontiers in Precision Medicine: Practical Application of Genomic Tools in Breast Cancer Management
  • BRCA Mutation-Associated Breast Cancer: Local and Systemic Treatment Considerations
  • Pharmacogenomics in the Era of Next-Generation Sequencing
  • Predisposition to Pediatric and Hematologic Cancers: A Moving Target
  • Cancer Genomics and Inherited Risk: Recent Advances and Current Challenges
  • Hereditary Breast and Colon Cancer, and Clinical Oncology: Past, Present, and Future
  • Second Cancers: Genomics and Detection
  • 50 Years of Precision Medicine: Advances in the Field and Prospective and Innovative Randomized Clinical Trials
  • Innovative Strategies for Picking Combination Therapy Regimens
  • Tumor Genomic Profiling in Cancer Care: Field of Dreams or Ethical Minefield?
  • The Evolution of Our Molecular Understanding of Colorectal Cancer: What We Are Doing Now, What the Future Holds, and How Tumor Profiling Is Just the Beginning
  • From Genetics to Geriatric Medicine in Bladder Cancer
  • Selecting the Best Therapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: Progress in Response Prediction over the Last 50 Years
  • Management of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the Genomic Era
  • Clinical Utility of Genetic Profiling in Myeloid Malignancies
  • How to Talk with Your Pathologist about Molecular Testing
  • Management and Future Directions in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Known Activating Mutations
  • Front-Line Approach to Metastatic BRAF-Mutant Melanoma: Diagnosis, Molecular Evaluation, and Treatment Choice
  • 50 Years of Pediatric Oncology: From Chemotherapy to Genomics to Targeted Therapy
  • Novel Molecular and Metabolic Targets in Sarcoma
  • Tumor Genomic Profiling and the Application to Personalized Medicine: Looking to the Future 

Maintenance of Certification activities: Earn MOC points

With the recent changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, ASCO recognizes it is more important than ever to provide opportunities to earn points more frequently. The 2014 Annual Meeting will feature two activities to help attendees earn MOC points while onsite at the Meeting.

The Annual Meeting Core Session MOC Self-Assessment Activity is designed for attendees who want to refresh their knowledge, update their skills, or prepare for their board certification or MOC examination. Registrants will complete a pre-examination to identify areas of educational need, receive a list of suggested Core Education Sessions to attend to fill knowledge gaps, and assess their improvement
with an online post-examination. After successful completion of the post-examination, participants will be eligible to claim 10 MOC points in Self- Assessment of Medical Knowledge.

The registration deadline for the Core Session MOC Self-Assessment Activity is May 16, 2014. 

The Maintenance of Certification and Lifelong Learning Workshop is a 3.5-hour interactive session that will use audience-response technology to review one ABIM medical oncology self-evaluation program module. Each of the module’s 30 multiple-choice questions will be reviewed through detailed group discussion led by expert faculty. At the completion of the session, diplomates will be able to submit their answers to the ABIM for MOC credit. Registration for this session is open to all Meeting attendees; however, those enrolled in the ABIM Maintenance of Certification process will receive first priority.

The Maintenance of Certification and Lifelong Learning session will take place on May 30 from 1:00 PM-4:30 PM and will utilize the ABIM 2013 Update in Medical Oncology module. Visit, select“Registration and Hotel Information,” then “Maintenance of Certification” in the left navigation bar to learn more about these opportunities.

Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars: Extend your learning experience

ASCO will be offering five Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars dedicated to topics of interest in the oncology community. Each seminar will be held onsite at McCormick Place from 12:30 PM on May 29 (lunch included) until 11:00 AM on May 30 (breakfast included). Visit and select “Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars” on the left navigation bar for more information and to register for the following:

  • Hematology for the Oncologist (new in 2014): This seminar will focus on hematologic issues which medical oncologists commonly encounter in a consultative practice. Experts in the field will discuss clinical aspects of bleeding and clotting disorders, new oral anticoagulants, iron therapy, and other topics in benign hematology. Ample time will be dedicated to question-and-answer periods to encourage discussion and ensure maximum interaction between faculty and participants.
  • Improving Quality of Cancer Care and Patient Safety for High-Value Oncology Practice (new in 2014): This limited-attendance seminar will center on value, safety, quality measurement, and quality improvement for oncology practices. Through didactic lectures and experiential learning activities, attendees will interact directly with experts and take on an active role in expanding their knowledge base and developing new skills. Participants will take home feasible strategies to evaluate their practice’s policies, engage staff in identifying and addressing problems, and promote quality improvement for high-value cancer care.
  • Clinical Care in Oncology for the Advanced Practice Provider: Cosponsored by the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology and the Oncology Nursing Society, this seminar is designed to meet the educational needs of the advanced practice providers such as advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. Topics covered will include effective team-based care, improving productivity and value, and survivorship care. This seminar will provide continuing nursing education (CNE) credits in addition to the continuing medical education (CME) credits available from all Pre-Annual Meeting seminars.
  • New Drugs in Oncology: This seminar’s focus will be the theoretical and practical aspects of both recently approved drugs and those on their way to approval. As more and more molecular targets are identified and novel therapeutic agents are approved, physicians and researchers alike must synthesize large quantities of information to stay up-to-date. In the first half of this seminar, speakers from the regulatory and academic arenas will discuss novel trial designs and strategies to reduce the cost and time associated with drug development. The second half of the seminar will provide a consolidated, practical update on recently approved agents, including mechanisms of action, toxicity and side-effect management, and use in the clinic.
  • Genetics and Genomics for the Practicing Clinician: This seminar will focus on cancer genetics and tumor genomics specifically for the clinician. Recognized experts in the field will cover tumor and germline topics, new technologies, and the tests and tools available to oncologists. A multidisciplinary tumor board and case-based presentations highlighting clinical application issues will connect the seminar’s educational content to real-world scenarios, ensuring participants are able to apply what they learn to their practice. 

These live activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Abstract selection

Abstract selection and session planning for the Scientific Program is currently underway; read more about the scientific sessions in the upcoming May 2014 issue of ASCO Connection. Abstracts selected for presentation (with the exception of Late-Breaking Abstracts, which are released daily during the Meeting) will be available online on May 14 at 5:00 PM EDT on

2014 ASCO Annual Meeting: Products and Resources

Online and mobile tools streamline, organize, and simplify your Meeting experience

During the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting expect rapid access to Meeting information through the channel of your choice, wherever and whenever you want it—before, during, and after the Meeting. All digital publications and resources link to the most up-to-date online resources and are optimized for viewing on portable electronic devices.

Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I and ASCO Educational Book

Attendees have several ways to receive these publications:

  • The Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I and ASCO Educational Book will be available online in advance of the Meeting (with the ability to download/print).
  • Onsite at the Annual Meeting, attendees can pick up the eTote, a USB flash drive containing the Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I and ASCO Educational Book.
  • Print versions of the Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I and ASCO Educational Book (selected articles) can be purchased by attendees online as part of registration for pickup onsite, or purchased onsite. If pre-purchased, pick up in Registration areas; to purchase onsite, visit the ASCO University® Bookstore or Registration areas. 

Annual Meeting Proceedings Part II

Late-breaking abstracts will be printed on the day of their presentation in ASCO Daily News, Section D, available throughout McCormick Place, and online at

Attendee Resource Center

The mobile-friendly Attendee Resource Center is a onestop shop for all resources related to the Annual Meeting; visit am.asco. org/arc in April to access everything you need as an attendee before, during, and after the Meeting: 

  • BEFORE—Search and browse sessions and build your itinerary using the iPlanner and download all Meeting-related apps. Download abstracts from the Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I or ASCO Educational Book articles in advance of the Meeting. Both publications will be available in a variety of digital formats. The Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I will be available after the  May 14 abstract launch at 5:00 PM (EDT) on It can be downloaded as a PDF (with a bytrack or full download option) or as an ePub file (for iPads and Nooks). The ASCO Educational Book, which will be available by mid-April, can be downloaded as a PDF (with a bytrack or full download option), as an ePub file (for iPads and Nooks), and as a mobi file (for Kindles).
  • DURING—Stay abreast of happenings during the Meeting: access Virtual Meeting videos and podcasts, find shuttle schedules, locate an exhibitor, download slides from the Meeting Library, and read ASCO Daily News online, to name just a few. 
  • AFTER—Access Virtual Meeting to revisit favorite sessions or those you missed, download slides from the Meeting Library, request Certificates of Attendance, and submit CME and MOC requests.

Virtual Meeting

Virtual Meeting and its companion product, the ASCO iMeeting app, provide video and podcast access to completed Meeting presentations; this highly valued resource is included in the Annual Meeting registration fee. Attendees will be able to access the Meeting presentations in several ways:

  • Personal computer. View presentations via streaming video. Search presentations by session title, author, or track.
  • Podcast. Download audio from your selected presentations to your handheld device. Pick and choose the presentations you want to hear at your convenience.
  • Mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site is available for accessing Virtual Meeting on smartphones and other web-enabled devices (
  • ASCO iMeeting app for iPad. Attendees can stream Meeting presentations and save videos for offline viewing on this iPad app. The app is free to download, but a subscription to Virtual Meeting is required to see the full content; a subscription is included with Annual Meeting registration. If you do not attend the Meeting, you may purchase a subscription to Virtual Meeting. ASCO iMeeting will be available to iPad users in early May. 


Build your Meeting itinerary on your computer or mobile device with the iPlanner, a scheduling tool that allows you to search presentations and add them to your personal calendar. The mobile version of the iPlanner automatically syncs with the online version. Take advantage of a new feature this year: the ability to claim continuing medical education (CME) credit while in a session. The iPlanner website will be available in mid-April, and the mobile app will be available for Apple and Android devices in early May. 

The ASCO University Bookstore

The ASCO University Bookstore, located in both the Oncology Professionals Hall and Concierge Services, features product demonstrations by expert staff, who will showcase ASCO University’s suite of products, including the Oncology Slide Library and the  newest edition of ASCO-SEP®, featuring all-new self-assessment questions, an Online Question Bank, an eBook component, and ASCO Flashcards—a new app to help you test your knowledge.

Simplify Your Meeting Experience

Use the iPlanner to build your own Meeting itinerary and search for sessions, speakers, and abstracts. The iPlanner launches in mid-April.

The history of ASCO, progress against cancer, and the advances being made today will come to life at McCormick Place. Annual Meeting attendees will hear from pioneers and the next generation of trailblazers in the field while engaging in lively discussions. Sessions in most tracks reflect ASCO’s 50th anniversary celebration, provide a comprehensive review of the state of the field, and examine oncology topics from historical, current, and future perspectives: 

  • 50 Years of Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment: What Have We Learned? Where Are We Going?
  • Hereditary Breast and Colon Cancer, and Clinical Oncology: Past, Present, and Future
  • Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco: Renewing Our Commitment to Effective Cancer Treatment and Control
  • Progress in Prevention and Opportunities for the Future
  • Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: Past, Present, and Future
  • Immunotherapy: Transforming Frustration to Cure in the Next 50 Years
  • 50 Years of Precision Medicine: Advances in the Field and Prospective and Innovative Randomized Clinical Trials
  • 50 Years of Fluorouracil, Radiation, and Surgery: What We’ve Learned, Recent Advances, and How to Treat Patients Today
  • The Evolution of Our Molecular Understanding of Colorectal Cancer: What We Are Doing Now, What the Future Holds, and How Tumor Profiling Is Just the Beginning
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Noncolorectal Gastrointestinal Cancers: Have We Moved the Bar?

The 2014 ASCO Educational Book will feature special articles from Society and oncology leaders discussing the anniversary. ASCO
Daily News will include a special supplement highlighting elements of the 50th anniversary, as well as profiling oncology luminaries identified by ASCO leadership—Past Presidents, Special Award recipients, notable donors, and visionaries in the field. These profiles celebrate the contributions of more than 50 individuals who have directly or indirectly advanced scientific progress and patient care. 


Annual Meeting attendees can expect to see geographic diversity in speaker selection and international perspectives on oncology topics throughout the Education Program. Attendees with a particular interest in the global burden of cancer and the conduct of multinational clinical trials may benefit from the following sessions:

  • The Changing Landscape of Federally Sponsored Trials
  • Developing a Usable Biomarker: Odyssey of Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma—From a Journal Report to a Multinational Clinical Trial
  • What We Can Learn from International Health Care Systems: Approaching Sustainable Cancer Care from a Global Perspective
  • ASCO/European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) Joint Session: Value and Cancer Care
  • Tumor Boards: Optimizing the Structure and Improving Efficiency of Multidisciplinary Treatment of Patients with Cancer Worldwide


Core Sessions highlight the latest updates in science and clinical practice. These sessions are designed to help practicing oncologists streamline their Annual Meeting experience by focusing on topics and updates every oncologist needs to know: 

  • 50 Years of Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment: What Have We Learned? Where Are We Going?
  • Navigating a Changing Sea: Optimizing Treatment of Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer
  • Frontiers in Precision Medicine: Practical Application of Genomic Tools in Breast Cancer Management
  • Hereditary Breast and Colon Cancer, and Clinical Oncology: Past, Present, and Future
  • Progress in Prevention and Opportunities for the Future
  • Hype versus Hope: Repurposing Metformin, Vitamin D, Aspirin, Beta-Blockers, and Folic Acid for Cancer
  • Tools for the Best Outcomes in the Management of Brain Metastases
  • 50 Years of Precision Medicine: Advances in the Field and Prospective and Innovative Randomized Clinical Trials
  • Optimizing the Use of New Targeted Therapies in the Face of Toxicity
  • The Value of Cancer Care, and the Professional and Ethical Obligations of the Practicing Oncologist: A Debate
  • 50 Years of Fluorouracil, Radiation, and Surgery: What We’ve Learned, Recent Advances, and How to Treat Patients Today
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Noncolorectal Gastrointestinal Cancers: Have We Moved the Bar?
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Selecting Initial Treatment Strategies
  • 50 Years of Progress in Advanced Prostate Cancer
  • Renal Cell Carcinoma from Small Renal Masses to Advanced Disease
  • Migration from Carcinogen to Virus: 50 Years of Evolution in Epidemiology and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
  • Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer: Point/Counterpoint
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Therapy: An Update on Front-Line and Novel Therapies
  • 50 Years of Lung Cancer: The Current Status of Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer—Adjuvant Therapy, Chemoradiotherapy, and Systemic Treatment
  • Lymphoma and Myeloma: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Are Going 
  • From Coley to Cure? Past, Present, and Future of Immunotherapy for Melanoma 
  • Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Advances in Sarcoma
  • Tumor Genomic Profiling and the Application to Personalized Medicine: Looking to the Future


  • Clinical Problems in Oncology (CPO) sessions combine case-based panel discussion with interactive keypad technology for audience participation:
  • Breast Cancer Central Nervous System Metastases: A Strategic Approach to Integrating Local and Systemic Therapies
  • Breast Density: Clinical Impact and Emerging Legal Issues 
  • Optimizing the Use of New Targeted Therapies in the Face of Toxicity
  • Treatment of Elderly Patients with Complications Related to Colorectal Cancer
  • Navigating Treatment Options in Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Rare Genitourinary Tumors: Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer, Non-Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma, and Penile Cancer
  • Toxicity Management in Head and Neck Cancer
  • Therapeutic Advances in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Focus on Myelofibrosis and Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Raising the Bar: Moving toward Improved Outcomes in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Multimodality Management of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Curative and Palliative Care
  • Clinical Conundrums in Lymphoid Malignancies: Uncommon Problems in Common Diseases and Common Problems in Uncommon Diseases
  • Clinical Research in Children with Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Successes in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors: Long-term Considerations and Survivorship


Meet the Professor (MTP) sessions facilitate interactive discussion between attendees and recognized experts in an informal, small-group environment:

  • BRCA Mutation-Associated Breast Cancer: Local and Systemic Treatment Considerations
  • Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: Past, Present, and Future
  • A New Age of Immunotherapy in Genitourinary Tumors?
  • The Best Therapy for a Newly Diagnosed Patient with Advanced-Stage Ovarian Cancer
  • Intermediate Risk of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Management of Oligometastatic Disease and Oligoprogression of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Challenging Cases in T-cell Lymphoma
  • Treatment of the Patient with High-Risk Myeloma
  • Identification and Management of Systemic and Cutaneous Toxicities from Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib, Trametinib, and Ipilimumab for Melanoma
  • Ask the Specialist: Cardiac Complications of Cancer Treatments
  • Nonrhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Children and Young Adults
  • How to Smartly Use Smartphones, Twitter, and Social Media to Efficiently Enhance Clinical Practice
  • Tips for Successful Contract Negotiation
  • The Management of Intra-abdominal Sarcomas
  • From Immunotherapy Research to Clinical Vaccines
  • Management of Hepatocellular Cancer: Right Patient, Right Treatment, Right Time


The ASCO President and Presidents of oncology-focused organizations collaborate to prepare Joint Sessions on topics of interest to oncology professionals across disciplines and specialties:

  • ASCO/American Association of Cancer Research (AACR): Inflammation and Cancer
  • ASCO/European CanCer Organisation (ECCO): Value and Cancer Care
  • ASCO/Radiological Society of North America (RSNA): Precision Imaging for Precision Medicine

Sessions are subject to change. Visit for the latest information.

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