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World-renowned oncologists share their insights on data presented at ASCO

Tim Browning, Expert Partnership Lead | 10/2/2023

Get exclusive insights from ASCO 2023 as leading oncologists from i-ONE Lung highlight key advancements in lung cancer, and explore the renowned programs offered by the i-ONE team to stay ahead in oncology.

Four world-renowned oncologists selected 20 key, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) abstracts presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual conference. Their goal is to use their platform as educators to share unbiased perspectives on the studies’ clinical data, the methodologies, and its potential for improving patient outcomes in lung cancer.

Lung and breast cancer advances dominated the 2023 ASCO conference, and sessions on antibody-drug conjugates, biomarkers, and multi-cancer screening tests raised significant interest among oncologists. However, with 43,000 attendees, 200+ sessions, and more than 500 posters presented, it’s not uncommon for physicians and industry leaders to feel overwhelmed. The International Oncology Network for Education on Lung, or i-ONE Lung, was established to provide industry colleagues with independent expert insights on key emerging data. Professors David R. Gandara, Tony S. K. Mok, Solange Peters, and Heather Wakelee independently selected 20 studies they considered significant for review and held two informational sessions with industry leaders as part of the i-ONE Lung program.

i-ONE offers industry leaders independent, expert insights into the scientific evidence presented, which could lead to directional guidance on research, clinical trials, product planning and commercialization. In addition to providing on-site analysis at meetings, i-ONE also offers post-conference webcasts and private Q&A sessions for industry executives.

The faculty members are individuals whose curriculum vitae reads like a Who’s Who in lung oncology. All are thought leaders in the field, one is the current president of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), two are past presidents, and one is the immediate past president of the European Society for Medical Oncology. They’ve authored landmark studies, led biomarker discoveries, and served as editors of leading oncology journals. And according to these faculty members and industry subscribers, the i-ONE program plays an important role in the interpretation and contextualization of emerging data.

“We select the most important abstracts to review, some important clinical trials, and other laboratory data and then give our interpretations,” noted Gandara. “We present an unfiltered and unbiased view of the studies. Most importantly, we don’t always agree. That is to be expected since our interpretations vary. It is a perspective that our industry partners appreciate.”

Because all of the faculty members are also clinicians from different parts of the world, they are able to share the potential impact of these new studies from a global perspective, extrapolating their interpretation of the data and how it could be applied in different countries.

“Each of us brings an understanding of how healthcare systems in other parts of the world work,” said Professor Wakelee. “We debate how a potential therapy or approach can impact a practice in the US, Asia, or Europe and discuss what needs to change to help make sure that patients everywhere will have access to new drugs when approved.”

“We can also see the commercial implications in some of these studies, which we take into consideration,” added Mok. “We can raise the questions about the potential pitfalls of the data, how it will impact clinical practice, and how it could benefit patients significantly.”

i-ONE gives the industry a different glimpse of the innovations that have led to breakthroughs in how they visualize, understand, and treat cancer. Continuing to discuss, question, and challenge data sets can open the door to progress.

The faculty members impart their experience to subscribers but also to each other. When talking about their colleagues, their respect and admiration is palpable.

“I am always interested in what my other colleagues are saying,” Solange said. “We learn from each other when we disagree. I begin to look at data or a study from a different point of view. These perspectives are from individuals I trust so I leave these sessions seeing the lung cancer data in a different way and I’m able to impart that knowledge with others.”

i-ONE attendees include directors and vice presidents at biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. They sign up to participate because they believe the presentation is unique, commenting that what they hear from the i-ONE thought leaders is something which can’t be heard from a podium discussion or advisory board.

Many in the industry would say that the insights these recognized experts provide are invaluable. They offer perspectives that perhaps could help improve the results in the next phase of study or suggest areas that a research methodology could refine. Their objective is simple — to help accelerate the delivery of innovative medicines to market and maximize the potential of existing treatments.

As patients and treating oncologists all continue to benefit from this golden age of oncology, new approaches and new drugs, such as antibody-drug conjugates, will continue to rise up. There is a growing need for the pharmaceutical industry to hear unbiased, global perspectives on new data from thought leaders external to their own company interpretations. In addition, they share the common goal of ensuring that all patients receive access to new therapies, regardless of where they live or their economic status.

i-ONE Lung provides a valuable tool to inform and educate the oncology community by identifying which strategies remain investigational, sometimes despite incredible “hype,” which are clearly clinically applicable, and which will truly improve patient outcomes.

“There is such an educational need for these types of programs,” added Professor Solange. “Because there are so many exciting and new strategies in oncology research, it is easy for practicing oncologists to feel overwhelmed. We can help narrow the focus and provide information that will be helpful.”

Our Expert Partnership

i-ONE is a subscription-based program established to empower industry leaders to advance patient care and provide better treatment options in complex and challenging therapy areas, including lung and breast cancer. i-ONE is one of three Expert Partnerships with programs also running in dermatology and hepatology. Tim Browning leads the Expert Partnership team and works to build relationships between pharma and independent global opinion leaders to facilitate better-informed decision making.

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Learn more about our work with i-ONE and our other expert partnerships.

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A version of this article was originally published on PharmaLive.

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