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Clinical Development

Oncology Breakthroughs – ASCO 2024 Highlights

  • June 13, 2024

Oncology Experts Share Highlights from the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting

Earlier this month, Medpace’s oncology experts attended the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. 

ASCO 2024 Overview

The ASCO Annual Meeting is a pivotal gathering, uniting the oncology community in a collective effort to advance the fight against cancer and work towards a future where cancer is preventable or curable. This year’s summit featured presentations from leading biopharmaceutical companies, showcasing the latest advancements in oncology trials and discussing key industry topics.

The Medpace team always enjoys this opportunity for face-to-face interactions with our Investigators and Sponsor partners. Congratulations to our Investigators and Sponsors on the exciting new data they were able to present this year. We look forward to another productive year as we work to advance the development of new drugs for oncology patients so in need. 

Explore insights from Medpace oncology experts as they identify several of the latest innovations in hematologic and oncologic research. Their review highlights transformative studies poised to reshape the clinical landscape and therapeutic approaches to cancer care.  

Major Advancements Showcased at ASCO 2024

Targeted Novel Therapies and Precision Medicine

Mutations in the KRAS gene are among the most challenging to treat in cancer. However, the development of KRAS inhibitors, a drug designed to block this gene and halt cancer cell growth, marks a significant advancement in cancer therapy. Pharmaceutical companies have made notable progress in targeting previously inaccessible cancer pathways, offering new hope for patients with treatment-resistant cancer pathways. By developing innovative therapies that address these undruggable targets, we can potentially overcome the limitations of traditional treatments and improve outcomes for patients who have exhausted standard therapeutic options.  

Among the variety of oncology trials showcased, cancer vaccines emerged as a key focus. Recent pharmaceutical collaborations have exemplified this, leveraging innovative mRNA technology to develop a treatment combining the personalized mRNA-4157 therapy with humanized antibody KEYTRUDA® for melanoma.   

Harnessing the potential of cancer vaccines to stimulate the immune system and target specific cancer antigens offers a promising avenue for cancer treatment and prevention. While development initiated often in melanoma, this approach is now being attempted across a broad array of cancers. 

Novel Drug Classes and Mechanisms

Innovation continues to drive oncology research, with new drug classes and mechanisms being explored. The shift from traditional chemotherapy to novel target therapies has brought significant advancements, such as Anti-Body Drug Conjugates (ADCs), which also emerged as a key topic at the summit.  

ADCs represent a significant advancement in cancer therapy, offering targeted therapies with enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity. With rapid drug development facilitated by advancements in technology, ADCs have gained regulatory approval for various tumor types, with notable success in breast cancer. Understanding the landscape of ADCs, including FDA-approved agents, those in clinical trials, and discontinued candidates, is vital for optimizing trial design and patient selection in oncology clinical trials. 

Also of note, the introduction of next generation therapies continued to push boundaries in cancer treatment. Dr. Patricia LoRusso’s presentation featured a first-in-class KAT6 inhibitor and a highly selective CDK4 inhibitor, representing innovative approaches with unique mechanisms of action.

Patient-Centric Outcomes

This year’s meeting emphasized the importance of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and the quality of life for cancer patients receiving treatment. Tailored patient care models and holistic approaches are increasingly recognized as essential for effective cancer therapy.  

This approach was exemplified in Dr. Shilpa Gupta’s presentation on PROs from a Phase III trial, highlighting the significance of evaluating treatments based on their impact on patients’ daily lives, beyond traditional clinical trial endpoints.

Emerging Biotech Continues to Lead in Innovation

While ASCO has traditionally been known for highlighting breakthroughs from large pharmaceutical companies, this year, emerging biotech companies led in innovation, presenting their pipeline candidates that are making significant contributions to cancer research. Topics presented included groundbreaking research in immunotherapy, Checkpoint Inhibitors (CPIs), radiotherapy, microbiome-based therapies, and more. 

Ultimately, biotechnology is a key driver of innovation in the life sciences industry. With advances in oncology, immuno-oncology, targeted and advanced therapies as examples, the global biotech industry is estimated to reach a market value of $1,684B by 2030. [Global Newswire

Miss our team at ASCO? We welcome the opportunity to discuss your upcoming clinical development. Contact our hematology and oncology experts today.

Your Cancer Breakthrough Starts Here

Medpace is at the forefront of oncology clinical research, known for executing some of the most complex studies in the field. Drive your hematology and oncology clinical development programs by partnering with Medpace, a full-service CRO with dedicated cancer experts for clinical trial delivery in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.  

Our extensive, global experience encompasses Phase I-IV trials in over 45 countries, in a full range of oncologic and hematologic indications and therapies from classic multi-cytotoxic agents to cutting edge and targeted therapies.