DCI at ASCO: A Preview (May 29-31)

Landon Brown
Landon Brown, MD

Duke Cancer Institute will present more than 100 abstracts across multiple cancer types during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program of the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology — to be held May 29 to 31. The ASCO20 Virtual Education Program will be held August 8 to 10.

Each year researchers throughout the world gather for this scientific retreat to share groundbreaking research across multiple cancer types. Over the course of the symposium, attendees will engage in educational sessions, keynote lectures, oral abstract presentations and poster sessions highlighting the latest, breakthrough cancer care.

Founded in 1964, ASCO represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Landon Carter Brown, MD, medical oncology fellow at Duke Cancer Institute, will be presented with a Conquer Cancer ASCO Merit Award for his abstract (Abstract 3007) "Association of LRP1B pathogenic genomic alterations with favorable outcomes with immune checkpoint inhibitors across multiple tumor types." He will deliver an oral presentation of his abstract at the annual meeting. Mentored by Andrew Armstrong, MD, MSc, Brown's research suggests that a subset of patients with LRP1B mutations may be more sensitive to immunotherapy. Per the study abstract conclusions: "This multicenter study shows impressive and durable objective response rates to ICI for patients harboring pathogenic LRP1B alterations when compared to those with LRP1B VUS, independent of TMB/MSI status. Further mechanistic insights and prospective validation studies are warranted."   [Read More]

Kevin Oeffinger
Kevin Oeffinger, MD

Duke Cancer Institute member and family physician Kevin Oeffinger, MD, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO), this year. The new Fellows of ASCO, including Oeffinger, will be officially conferred FASCO status at the annual meeting. Oeffinger currently serves on the ASCO Cancer Prevention Committee. He is one of 36 recipients nationwide to earn the FASCO recognition this year. [Read More]

Once conferred, the FASCO designation is for life. Other DCI Fellows of ASCO also include James L. Abbruzzese, MD, FASCO (2008); Christopher Willett, MD, FASCO (2011); Susan Halabi, PhD, FASCO (2018); Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, FASCO (2019); and Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FAAHPM, FASCO (2019).

On April 29, ASCO announced, in a press release, the top 12 studies to be presented at the cancer science meeting.

Junzo Chino, MD
Junzo Chino, MD

One of the 12 studies — "Changes in cancer mortality rates after the adoption of the Affordable Care Act" (Abstract 2003) — counts  Junzo Chino, MD (a DCI member and radiation oncologist) and Fumiko Chino, MD (a radiation oncologist who joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after completing her residency at DCI last year) among its authors.

Fumiko Chino
Fumiko Chino, MD

Per the study abstract conclusions: "This is the first study to show a directly measured cancer survival benefit from the Affordable Care Act on a national scale using a comprehensive database. Hispanic populations appear to have the highest differential cancer mortality benefit after Medicaid expansion. Further study is needed to elucidate why other populations like black patients did not appear to reap the same mortality decrease." The oral presentation of that study will be delivered by study first author Anna Lee, MD, MPH, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Thomas LeBlanc, MD
Thomas LeBlanc, MD

Thomas LeBlanc, MD, with co-first author Areej El-Jawahri, MD (Mass General) will deliver an oral presentation of their abstract "Multisite randomized trial of integrated palliative and oncology care for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)."

Vishal Vashistha, MD, a Duke medical oncology fellow, is first author of "Barriers to prescribing targeted therapies for NSCLC patients with highly actionable gene variants in the VA National Precision Oncology Program" (Abstract 2005) He will deliver an oral presentation on the study at the Care Delivery and Regulatory Policy Session. Per the study abstract conclusions: "A substantial minority of patients with advanced NSCLC bearing highly-actionable gene variants are not prescribed available targeted agents. Further provider- and pathologist-directed educational effort are needed, as well as implementation of health informatics systems to provide near real-time decision support for test ordering and interpretation." (Neil Spector, MD, is also a listed author on this paper)

Brent Hanks
Brent Hanks, MD, PhD

Brent Hanks, MD, PhD, is the Discussant at the Clinical Science Symposium “Systems Biology Approaches to Immunotherapy Response and Toxicity” presentation entitled ‘Rise of the Machines: AI in Predicting Immunotherapy Outcomes’.

Tian Zhang
Tian Zhang, MD, MHS

Tian Zhang, MD, MHS, is an official ASCO Featured Voice for #ASCO20 on Twitter @TiansterZhang , in English and Chinese — for genitourinary cancers). Zhang will also be a Discussant for the Genitourinary Cancer—Kidney and Bladder poster discussion session — “Single agent targeted agents vs combinations with IO: what is the optimal future therapy in advanced urothelial cancer?” (find on page/precise link not available yet)

Yousuf Zafar
Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, FASCO, is also an official ASCO Featured Voice for #ASCO20 on Twitter @yzafar — for Gastrointestinal Cancers, Care Delivery and Health Services Research.

April Salama
April Salama, MD

April Salama, MD, director of DCI's Melanoma disease group, is on the ASCO Annual Meeting's  Scientific Program Committee on Melanoma and Skin Cancers. She will be a Poster Discussant for “Characterizing Long Term Outcomes in Metastatic Melanoma in 2020.” (find on page/precise link not available yet)

Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH, Mary and Deryl Hart Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Duke Chief of Breast Surgery, is on the Breast Cancer – Local/Regional/Adjuvant Scientific Program Committee.


Approximately 2,215 abstracts worldwide were accepted for presentation during the Virtual Scientific Program, and more than 3,400 additional abstracts worldwide were accepted for online publication.

Download Duke at ASCO Booklet or View the list of Duke abstracts (organized by categories and with hyperlinks) via the Duke Cancer Institute website

The following investigators, from Duke/DCI, are first authors:



Download the Virtual Scientific Program (PDF) or

Access Virtual Scientific Program (interactive, with search, via ASCO website)

Thursday, May 28, at 5 p.m. ET

* Late-Breaking Abstracts (LBAs), including Plenary abstracts, will be released online

Beginning on Friday, May 29, 8 a.m. ET

*Oral, Poster Discussion, and Poster Sessions, as well as track-based Clinical Science Symposia, will be available on demand.

*Registrants will have exclusive access to hundreds of video and slide presentations, as well as discussant commentary for 180 days.

Saturday, May 30

  • 9:30 a.m. ET: Opening Session with President's Address from Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD and Guest Speaker's Address by David Fajgenbaum, MD
  • 10:30 a.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Breast Cancer; Head and Neck Cancer
  • 11 a.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Gastrointestinal Cancers; Central Nervous System Tumors
  • 11:30 a.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Hematological Malignancies; Gynecological Cancers
  • 1:00 p.m. ET: Special Clinical Science Symposium: Harnessing Immunotherapy with Novel Approaches Beyond Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • 2:30 p.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Genetics; Symptoms and Survivorship
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: Special Clinical Science Symposium: Redefining Cancer of Unknown Primary: Is Genomics the Answer?
  • 4:30 p.m. ET: Special Clinical Science Symposium: Cancer Care in the time of COVID: Assessing Impact and Future Directions

Sunday, May 31

  • 9:30 a.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Melanoma; Health Services Research and Quality Improvement
  • 10 a.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Lung Cancer; Pediatric Oncology
  • 10:30 a.m. ET: Special Clinical Science Symposium: Drug Development for Rare Mutations: The Opportunity to Unite and Conquer
  • 1 p.m. ET: Plenary Session
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Genitourinary Cancers; Sarcoma
  • 4 p.m. ET: Highlights Sessions: Developmental Therapeutics; Care Delivery and Regulatory Policy

Register Now at ASCO'S Annual Meeting Website