Launched in December last year, the European Society of Medical Oncology´s (ESMO) digital magazine – accessible to members and non-members alike, ESMO Perspectives delivers fresh perspectives and important updates on the people, committees, programmes and stories behind what makes ESMO so great.
In the May edition, dedicated to research, ESMO Perspectives interviewed VHIO´s Director of Translational Research and ICREA Professor Joan Seoane to get his take on the performance and promise of patient-derived tumour models (PDX) in progressing prediction science against cancer. As Secretary General of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), and co-Chair of the Translational Research Track at the recently celebrated ESMO Congress, 08 – 12 September, Madrid Spain, the piece also revealed which directions the Congress´ Translational Track would take in delivering on the meeting´s key theme: Integrating science into oncology for a better patient outcome, organized for the first time in partnership with EACR.
Discussing his research focused on glioblastoma and just how PDX are revealing important insights into the complexity of disease and accelerating efforts aimed at identifying the Achilles´ heels that can be explored and exploited for therapeutic gain, and considering the potential of circulating tumor DNA in better monitoring and managing patients more precisely, the interview served to anticipate some of the most important ´take-homes´ of his talk that he subsequently delivered at last week´s ESMO Congress during a Special Symposium on Targeted therapy in neuro-oncology: Patient-derived models and liquid biopsies.
To read the ESMO Perspectives interview with Joan Seoane click here.
The very latest edition which focused on policy and launched during the recent ESMO Congress in Madrid, featured a KOL Experience article: Improving access to cancer medicines: A multi-stakeholder responsibility, with Josep Tabernero, VHIO´s Director, Head, Medical Oncology Department, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and Director, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain; ESMO President-Elect; ESMO Cancer Medicines Working Group Chair; ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale Working Group; ESMO Public Policy Steering Committee.
In this expert article, Josep highlights many ways in which all stakeholders in oncology should collectively work together in concert to combat the growing issue of patient access to effective cancer medicines – an increasingly important challenge. More specifically, he calls for a three-step approach: define the problems, identify the reasons, and formulate the solutions on a region to region basis. He also identifies stock depletion as a major factor that should be considered in the mix along with the lack of incentives for pharma companies to continue to produce these medicines.
Reviewing the successes of ESMO action to-date including the fostering of relations and direct engagement with bodies including the European Parliament and the World Health Organisation, coupled with the dedicated work of ESMO´s Cancer Medicines Working Group (CMWG) launched in 2015, he also tackles the additional issue of sustaining health care systems in view of the skyrocketing costs of oncotherapeutics and supportive care drugs.
Building on these points and addressing several other aspects, Josep later delivered his Keynote Lecture at this year´s ESMO Congress entitled Coping with escalating healthcare costs in 2017 and beyond. Based on the fable of the hare and the tortoise, he promoted a careful and ´smarter ´ balance combining the speed of the former and the slower pace of the latter, raised some essential policy points, and road mapped key directions that the entire oncology ecosystem should collectively follow if we are to reduce the global socioeconomic burden of cancer – now and in the future.
Also featuring in this latest edition of ESMO Perspectives is the announcement that Guillem Argilés, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of VHIO´s Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group, has been appointed as the new Chair of ESMO´s Young Oncologists Committee (YOC):
Already a member of the YOC Committee, Guillem Argilés is “truly honoured” to be its next Chair (2018-2019). “In collaboration with my fellow Committee members, together with the invaluable guidance and input from ESMO´s Executive Board, I want to expand the partnership with the EACR and other strategically targeted disciplines to enhance the translational content of existing and future initiatives.”
Developing the role of the YOC is high on his agenda. “I believe in modernising our profession by better integrating YOC and ESMO so that we can prepare, nurture and develop the careers of oncology leaders of the future.”
Commenting for VHIO Communications he observed, “Devising and leading important educational and scientific programmess aimed at delivering on the essential requirements of young oncologists in today´s ever-emerging landscape of precision medicine in oncology, ESMO´s YOC represents a driving force in identifying real solutions matched to the needs of our Society´s junior members.”