Highlights from ASCO 2023

These highlights from ASCO represent just a small glimpse into the broader fight against cancer.

Highlights from ASCO 2023.

Last week, I traveled to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting. It’s always an exceptional meeting where the brightest minds in oncology, including researchers, health care providers and industry stakeholders gather to learn about the latest advancements in cancer research and development (R&D).

Here are just some highlights from the 2023 ASCO meeting:

  • A breast cancer pill in combination with endocrine therapy after surgery was found to reduce the risk of recurrence of certain early breast cancer by 25% in a key clinical trial. This is particularly exciting as the type of breast cancer studied is one of the most common variants.

  • One study found an antibody-drug conjugate prolonged survival in advanced ovarian cancer by three months, or 33%. Participants in this study all had tumors with resistance to an initial course of chemotherapy.

  • And in what some attendees hailed as an “extraordinary” finding, new clinical trial data indicate that a pill to treat non-small cell lung cancer reduced the risk of death by 51% for patients who have had their tumors removed.

These highlights from ASCO represent just a small glimpse into the broader fight against cancer. Today, there are more than 1,300 medicines and vaccines in development for cancer, all of which are in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These potential medicines seek to address the unmet medical needs of patients who lack any treatment option or are not adequately helped by current standards of care.

However, at a time in which we need all of the tools in the toolbox, last year policymakers took a step in the wrong direction by including harmful price setting provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, putting our work to fight cancer in jeopardy and running counter to the President’s Cancer Moonshot goal.

Biopharmaceutical companies are committed to fighting the many diseases that comprise cancer. Given the nature of cancer research and the expansion of therapeutic value over time, the IRA’s drug price setting provisions are projected to have an acute impact on the future of fighting cancers and other diseases. Instead, Congress should make it a priority to fix the pill penalty against small molecule medicines impacted by the IRA and preserve innovation in lifesaving cancer medicines.

Learn more about the fight against cancer.

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