ESMO 2023: A Wealth of New Data Across Cancer Types

MADRID — New data on immunotherapies and targeted therapies in a wide range of cancers, as well as novel chemotherapy regimens, will feature alongside key themes on oncology workforce resilience and cancer prevention at the upcoming European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2023 being held in Madrid, Spain from October 20-24.

“What makes ESMO special is not only having the latest data, but it’s also about putting that data into perspective, alongside all the educational activities that also happen during the Congress,” said Angela Lamarca, MD, PhD, MSc, a medical oncologist at Fundacion Jimenez Diaz University Hospital, Madrid, and the press officer for this year’s meeting.

“We have a quite a lot of very interesting abstracts,” especially in the lung cancer space, Lamarca told Medscape Medical News.

Lung cancer research will be on display during the Presidential 1 session on Saturday, October 21. The opening presentation will feature CheckMate 77T, which compares neoadjuvant nivolumab plus chemotherapy vs chemotherapy alone, followed by surgery and adjuvant nivolumab or placebo in previously untreated, resectable stage II–IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The Presidential 1 session will also include data from ALINA, which explores the efficacy and safety of adjuvant alectinib vs chemotherapy in patients with early-stage ALK-positive NSCLC as well as from LIBRETTO-431, which looks at first-line selpercatinib vs chemotherapy and pembrolizumab in RET fusion-positive NSCLC.

Larmaca highlighted studies focused on less common cancer types as well. In the Presidential 1 session, for instance, the LIBRETTO-531 trial compares treatment options — specifically, selpercatinib vs cabozantinib or vandetanib — in advanced, kinase inhibitor-naive, RET-mutant medullary thyroid cancer.

Gynecologic cancers will feature prominently in this year’s program, which has not been the case for previous conferences, Lamarca noted.

“It may be difficult” to conduct studies in these malignancies, she said, in large part because they are not as common as lung cancer. “But we have very interesting studies in cervical cancer and endometrial cancer with immunotherapy,” she said.

These analyses include KEYNOTE-A18, which looks at the effect of pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy for high-risk locally advanced cervical cancer, and BEATcc, which focuses on first-line atezolizumab plus a platinum doublet and bevacizumab for metastatic, persistent or recurrent cervical cancer. Both studies will be presented during the Proffered Paper session 1 – Gynaecological cancers on October 20, while the Proffered Paper session 2 – Gynaecological cancers on October 21 will include numerous studies on endometrial cancer.

The Congress will feature trials in urothelial cancer — another less common tumor type. The Presidential 2 session on October 22, for instance, will highlight KEYNOTE-A39, which looks at enfortumab vedotin plus pembrolizumab vs chemotherapy in previously untreated, locally advanced metastatic disease.

Although studies exploring novel therapies and less common cancer types will be key features at this year’s ESMO Congress, research on new approaches to chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy as well as new ways of delivering antibody–drug conjugates will be important highlights, Lamarca said.

The Presidential 2 session will explore results from INTERLACE, which evaluated induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation vs chemoradiation alone in locally advanced cervical cancer. On October 23, the Presidential 3 session will include MARIPOSA-2, which compares amivantamab plus chemotherapy, with or without lazertinib, with chemotherapy alone in EGFR-mutated locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after progression on osimertinib.

On the antibody–drug conjugate front, the Presidential 2 session will focus on data from innovaTV 301, which assesses tisotumab vedotin vs investigator’s choice in recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, and findings from TROPION-Breast01 will explore datopotamab deruxtecan vs chemotherapy in previously-treated inoperable or metastatic hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

Several key themes outside of therapeutic trials will run through the ESMO Congress.  A dedicated session on October 22 will focus on building resilience in the oncology workforce, and another session, hosted on October 20, will highlight strategies to improve access to medications through patient engagement. This year’s Congress will also include a host of sessions on cancer prevention, including talks on early detection and screening practices as well as exercise and eating habits.  

Lamarca noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of ESMO Women for Oncology. The Opening session on October 20 will include this annual award.

ESMO Congress 2023. To be held October 20-24 in Madrid, Spain.

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