ARTICLE | Product Development

ASCO by the numbers

June 6, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

Top indications Breast and lung cancer dominate the presentations at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, which kicked off on Friday in Chicago. About one-fifth of the 404 breast cancer abstracts cover triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), one of the most challenging subsets of the disease. In contrast, only 8% of the 401 lung cancer abstracts described work in the poorly served small cell lung cancer (SCLC) population. The analysis below is based on ASCO's category and subcategory designations. (A) Abstracts not falling under the listed subindications; Source: ASCO abstracts as of May 20

Abstracts from this year's ASCO meeting show PD-1 and PD-L1 have come to dominate the discourse about clinical research. The two immuno-oncology targets were mentioned in a combined total of 391 ASCO abstracts, outnumbering classical cancer targets HER2 (362 abstracts) and EGFR (287 abstracts). PD-1/PD-L1 were mentioned in conjunction with all major oncologic indications. The most common indications for PD-1 agents were lung and melanoma, for which two anti-PD-1 agents are approved. The third most frequently mentioned indication - gastrointestinal cancer - is not among the approved indications of PD-1 and PD-L1 agents. The below analysis uses ASCO's disease categories. The analysis was constructed by searching more than 4,700 abstracts for mentions of the top 20 cancer targets in BioCentury's BCIQ online database, ranked by number of therapeutic development programs; selected additional targets of late-stage cancer therapies; and targets covered most often in the cancer therapeutics section of BioCentury Innovations' Distillery, a weekly summary of academic research with commercial potential published in leading journals. Every mention of a target was included, whether in a therapeutic, diagnostic/prognostic or descriptive context. For instance, the ranking for HER2, while a major target for breast cancer drugs, was boosted by mentions of HER2-positive or -negative breast cancer in abstracts even if the work being presented did not focus on the target. Abstracts mentioning more than one target are represented more than once in the analysis below. Source: ASCO abstracts as of May 20 ...