11 October 2016


“ESMO 2016 Congress has broken records, not only of attendance, but in terms of the quality science being presented, that will impact the practice of oncology,” said Professor Andrés Cervantes, Scientific Chair of the ESMO 2016 Congress at the closing press conference today.
Cervantes announced that there were 20,522 participants at ESMO 2016. “This is certainly a record number, but what is most important is the good news for physicians and patients in many areas of unmet needs such as ovarian cancer, lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, sarcomas and other less common diseases,” he said.
Prof Solange Peters, ESMO 2016 Press Officer, said the key points of the meeting were: “The accent on immunotherapy, that has changed the oncology landscape as well as targeted therapies and personalised medicine in general. The use of biomarkers for predicting response and outcomes is of huge benefit to patients.” Peters continued: “Beyond data, our preoccupation is about patients, that is why a study on quality of life, beyond survival, was included in a Presidential Symposium. That is also why we have a hugely successful Patient Advocacy Track and we also publish guidelines for cancer patients.”
The top ten countries in number of delegates were the US, France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, China, Japan and Denmark.
There were over 1,640 studies presented at ESMO 2016, including 47 late breaking trials and over 1500 quality posters. A record number of research presented at ESMO 2016 was published in major medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), The Lancet Oncology and JAMA Oncology.
Some of the practice changing studies with good news for physicians and patients, presented at ESMO 2016 include:
  • ENGOT-OV16/NOVA concerning landmark study for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer
  • Keynote-024 and Keynote-021 presenting new immunotherapeutic options for advanced lung cancer
  • Monaleesa 2 with good news for patients with HER2 negative advanced breast cancer
  • EORTC 18071 with good survival results for patients with stage III melanoma
  • Checkmate 141 study of patient reported outcomes in head and neck cancers
Speaking at the press conference, Professor Ulrik Lassen, ESMO National Representative in Denmark and Local Officer for the ESMO 2016 Congress said: “ESMO 2016 has given us the opportunity at a local level to strengthen collaboration with health authorities and other stakeholders in view of prioritising cancer in the national agenda. We were proud to present the Danish model for cancer care as well as our new and ambitious 4th National Cancer Plan.”
Lassen concluded: “ESMO brought us a lot of information in terms of better practice and science and we will be busy in the coming months finding ways to integrate this new knowledge into our oncology practice.”

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