1. Nalley, Catlin

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The 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, which will be held online from June 4-8, is an opportunity for the worldwide cancer community to come together and explore the latest advancements in cancer research, treatment, and patient care.

Asco 2021 - Click to enlarge in new windowASCO 2021. ASCO 2021

The theme of this year's meeting is Equity: Every Patient. Every Day. Everywhere. and discussions will center on identifying ways to "ensure that all patients have access to and benefit from the latest cancer advances and high-quality cancer care," according to ASCO.


Attendees will have access to more than 4,900 abstracts covering topics that span the spectrum of oncology, including treatment advances in prostate, breast, lung, and renal cancers as well as screening, prevention, access to care, immunotherapy, and precision medicine.


Program Highlights

With a mix of live and on-demand content, there will be no shortage of cutting-edge research available to attendees. The scheduled broadcast will feature 48 sessions with real-time engagement and live Q&As.


Beginning June 4, participants will also have access to on-demand presentations-including poster and poster discussion sessions, clinical science symposia, and education sessions-that align with their unique interests.


Here are a few of the key highlights from the program:


* Opening Session, which includes a Presidential Address from Lori Pierce, MD, as well as guest speakers who are experts in health policy and equity


* Plenary Session


* Oral abstract sessions with live Q&A


* ASCO Book Club: A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles by Mary Elizabeth Williams, featuring a discussion with Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO and Williams; moderated by Ann Partridge, MD, FASCO


* ASCO Voices


* Case-based Panels, featuring discussions on real-world clinical scenarios


* Eight ASCO Award Lectures



Networking Opportunities

A key component of any professional conference is making connections and sharing ideas. While ASCO 2021 is virtual, there are still a plethora of networking opportunities.


The "Find a Colleague" directory can be used to search for registered attendees or presenters and send a direct, private message. Participants can also connect with presenters during the broadcast sessions or by clicking on "Contact Presenter" in the meeting program.


Looking for a new career opportunity? Browse the ASCO Career Center for open positions organized by location, category, or title. The annual meeting is also an opportunity to grow your network via social media. Use #ASCO21 to follow the latest from the conference as well as to see what your colleagues are sharing.


How to Make the Most of a Virtual Conference

Attending a virtual event may not have the exact same feel as in-person, but that does not mean you can't get the same-if not more-value from the meeting. Check out a few tips below to help you maximize your time.


1. Prepare ahead of time. Take the time to review the entire program, so you know exactly what sessions you want to attend.


2. Create a schedule. Set time aside for the conference as though you are there in person. Avoid scheduling unrelated meetings or other tasks during the conference. And, add the presentations you plan to watch to your calendar, so you don't miss a moment.


3. Avoid distractions. It is easy to get distracted when you are viewing a conference from your home or office. Give the event the same level of attention you would an in-person conference. Creating a dedicated space for you to "attend" the meeting is a great way to stay focused.


4. Engage with colleagues and presenters. Building connections virtually can seem difficult but it remains an important part of any professional meeting. The value gained from this event will grow exponentially if you take the time to network with presenters and other attendees.



Top Research from ASCO 2021

Conference attendees will have access to the latest advancements in oncology practice and treatment. A few of the top studies, include:


* OlympiA: A Phase III, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of adjuvant olaparib after (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutations and high-risk HER2-negative early breast cancer (Abstract LBA1, Plenary)


* JUPITER-02: Randomized, double-blind, Phase III study of toripalimab or placebo plus gemcitabine and cisplatin as first-line treatment for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) (Abstract LBA2, Plenary)


* Adjuvant chemotherapy following chemoradiation as primary treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer compared to chemoradiation alone: The randomized Phase III OUTBACK Trial (ANZGOG 0902, RTOG 1174, NRG 0274) (Abstract LBA3, Plenary)


* Phase III study of lutetium-177-PSMA-617 in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (VISION) (Abstract LBA4, Plenary)


* Pembrolizumab versus placebo as post-nephrectomy adjuvant therapy for patients with renal cell carcinoma: Randomized, double-blind, Phase III KEYNOTE-564 study (Abstract LBA5, Plenary)