RFS news highlights resources, issues, and news relevant to in-training members of the ACR. If you have a topic idea or would like to contribute to the blog, please email RFS Secretary Patricia Balthazar, MD.




RO Corner: American Society of Clinical Oncology — 2019 Annual Meeting Recap 


The 55th annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting took place May 31 – June 4 in Chicago. This is one of the largest meetings in the world for oncologists, with over 32,000 attendees convening at McCormick Place. The theme this year was “Caring for Every Patient, Learning from Every Patient.” 

The meeting featured a myriad of topics ranging from specific cancer disease sites to immunoncology to health services and survivorship in the 2,400 abstracts accepted for presentation and 3,200 abstracts accepted for online publication. The full set of abstracts is available at abstracts.asco.org.

Notable early highlights included the opening session with guest speaker Atul Gawande, MD, who focused on palliative care and the importance of enabling patients’ goals, and the presidential address from Monica Bertagnolli, MD, who encouraged a collective effort to learn and care from every patient through initiatives such as ASCO’s mCODETM and CancerLinQTM to develop and analyze common structured language in oncology.

There were also a number of opportunities for mentoring and networking such as the Trainee and Early-Career Oncologist Member Lounge and Women’s Networking Center. These special lounges featured one-on-one mentoring and talks on contract negotiation, work-life-balance, and building resilience as well as Guided Poster Walks and Cancer Takeaways sessions to help attendees learn from seasoned experts in various oncologic specializations.

Some of the interesting features for radiology and radiation oncology trainees included educational sessions on the evolving role of PSMA-PET, social media as a support system for clinicians and engaging patients as research partners, and debates about proton versus photon radiation therapy in various pediatric diseases and in relation to second malignancy rates.

It was an exciting whirlwind of talks, posters, exhibits, and networking this year. There was even a new ASCO Walking Challenge (with its own app). Now it’s time to continue the important work of caring for cancer patients back at our home institutions around the world.

Save the date for next year’s meeting in Chicago from May 29 – June 2, 2020!

 Anna Laucis, MD, MPhil, is a radiation oncology resident at the University of Michigan

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