The Melanoma Letter

2018, Vol. 36, No. 2

ASCO 2018: It’s Personal – Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine

For the third year in a row, I attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and for the second straight year we are dedicating an issue of The Melanoma Letter to what emerged as the most important trends in state-of-the-art medical practice and the most promising research into the prevention, detection and treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers. As a service for the busy medical professionals reading this, I have distilled what I think are the dozen most important developments from the many sessions I attended. The first two have to do with the conference itself and medical practice in general, then we touch on prevention, detection/diagnosis and treatment in turn.

Mark Teich
Scientific Director
The Skin Cancer Foundation

In This Issue

From the Editors

For the third year in a row, the scientific director of The Skin Cancer Foundation, Mark Teich, attended the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on behalf of The Melanoma Letter readership. For the many of you who did not have the privilege of being there in person, in this issue Mark walks you through what it was like to attend the meeting, rushing from session to session trying to glean the most important ongoing and anticipated developments in the field of melanoma.

The largest annual gathering of oncologists in the U.S., the meeting draws more than 40,000 physicians, researchers, other health professionals and patient advocates from over 100 countries who come to learn about state-of-the-art diagnostics, prevention and treatment modalities, newly approved and experimental therapies, and ongoing controversies in the field. The attendees participate in lectures, seminars, oral presentations and poster presentations going on 10 or 11 hours a day, and in their spare moments, can explore an exhibitors’ hall stretching over several acres.

Mark attended sessions exploring new and improved strategies for melanoma and other skin cancers. Some of the most exciting developments he encountered this year were the practice-changing modifications made in sentinel node biopsy, complete lymph node dissection and staging, the revolution in adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy and the giant steps forward in personalized, precision medicine. In this issue of The Melanoma Letter, he shares the highlights and dominant themes.

Allan C. Halpern, MD • Editor-in-Chief

Ashfaq A. Marghoob, MD • Associate Editor