For those interested in oncology new product development, and cancer biomarkers in particular, the joint ASCO-EORTC-NCI “Markers in Cancer” meeting in Hollywood, FL (near Fort Lauderdale) from October 11-13, 2012 looks well worth attending:
Markers in Cancer 2012 will stimulate discussion on the use of biomarkers as a tool for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. This year’s theme is “Bridging the Translational Divides” with a focus on practical aspects of biomarker development, future approaches, and optimal applications in translational research.
In his video preview of the meeting, Dr James Abbruzzese from the MD Anderson Center Center, says that the emphasis of this years meeting is to try and provide a roadmap to take work from the laboratory and translate that into patient care and actual clinical practice.
An area where biomarkers may have an important role to play is in selecting patients for clinical trials, especially where there is the opportunity of misdiagnosis. If inappropriate patients are selected, then not only may they not respond to the treatment, but they could negatively skew or undermine the clinical trial results. Biomarkers can also be important in helping to make differential diagnoses.
Cancer clinical trials such as the “catch-all” ridaforlimus phase III SUCCEED trial in sarcoma, for example, can end up showing favorable responses in some patients and little or no-responses in others, thereby canceling out the responders. More predictive biomarkers are needed to help determine the patient response to a particular treatment or identify those patients who are most likely to respond.
For those unable to make it to Florida, ASCO are offering a “virtual meeting” that will give access to recordings of the main presentations.