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Jun 1, 2022

Dr. Sonali Smith, of University of Chicago Medicine, highlights dynamic sessions and hot topics that will be featured in the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting Scientific Program, including practice-changing advances in breast cancer, colorectal cancer, sarcoma, and myeloma.  



 ASCO Daily News: Hello and welcome to the ASCO Daily News podcast. I'm Geraldine Carroll, a reporter for the ASCO Daily News. I'm delighted to welcome Dr. Sonali Smith, professor and chief of the hematology-oncology section at University of Chicago Medicine. 

Dr. Smith is also the Chair of the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting Scientific Program and joins me to discuss the hot topics and must-see sessions that will be featured at the meeting. 

Her full disclosures are available in the show notes and disclosures relating to all guests on the podcast can be found on our transcripts at 

Dr. Smith, it's great to have you on the podcast today. 

Dr. Sonali Smith: Thank you, Geraldine. It's a pleasure to be here. 

ASCO Daily News: Well, thousands of abstracts were submitted for consideration this year and more than 2,900 were selected for presentation. We'll talk about some of the must-see sessions. First, can you tell us about the areas that have shown tremendous advances this year—the practice-changing abstracts that will make the headlines? 

Dr. Sonali Smith: Yes, that's right. There were over 6,000 abstracts submitted for consideration this year and more than 2,900 abstracts were selected for presentation with over 250 oral presentations. We had 2,200 that were online publication only. And given the hybrid nature of ASCO [Annual Meeting] this year, we will have 86 sessions that will be livestreamed, including all of our abstracts that are oral. 

I'm really excited about the Plenary. In particular, there are going to be some practice-changing abstracts involving breast cancer, colon cancer, sarcoma, and myeloma. We are really thrilled with the quality and the excitement around the data and I do think this is going to be very important for people who are in practice. 

When we think about the different abstracts that have been submitted for the Plenary, they will focus on front-line colon cancer, the approach to Ewing sarcoma in pediatric patients, and the use of antibody-drug conjugates for breast cancer in a very specific subset. And then also some discussion about, or presentation about, the use of maintenance therapy in patients with myeloma. 

ASCO Daily News: Excellent. Well, the Clinical Science Symposia are quite popular among participants. Can you tell us about some of the topics that will be featured this year? 

Dr. Sonali Smith: Yes. So, the Clinical Science Symposia (CSS) were really a lot of fun to pull together. As this audience knows well, this is an opportunity for us to take a look at all of the abstracts submitted and look for cross-cutting themes between all of the different cancers that we take care of. They can focus on new technology. They can focus on new approaches to therapy. And after looking at all of the submitted data, we have 3 really outstanding special Clinical Science Symposia for which I'm really excited. 

One is going to focus on circulating tumor DNA, “ctDNA: Dawn of a New Era,” and I really do believe in that title and encourage everybody to come and hear how this could be applied in practice. 

The second special CSS will be on Bispecifics. Really asking the investigators as well as the discussants. “Bispecifics: Are Two Better Than One?” And then the third special Clinical Science Symposium will be called, “Is There a Ghost in the Machine? Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work.” And as many of us know, machine learning is finally finding its way into oncology. And I'm just thrilled at the abstracts that have been submitted. 

I also just wanted to say that we've had a really outstanding speaker lineup and it's incredibly diverse with international perspectives brought to the table. 

ASCO Daily News: Absolutely. And so, what are some of the other sessions that will be on your own list this year? 

Dr. Sonali Smith: Well, I'm really excited about the opening session, which will be at 9:30 in the morning on Saturday, June 4th. We will have our president, Dr. Everett Vokes, speaking on his theme, Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation. 

We also have our FASCO presentations, and we have 2 special speakers. One will be Ned Sharpless, who is the head of the National Cancer Institute. And then we will also have Dr. Andre Ilbawi, who is the lead of cancer programs at the World Health Organization. He has had an incredible impact on improving access for children with cancer on a global level. And I think this series of speakers really fits with our theme this year. 

Another session I'm really looking forward to is the [David A.] Karnofsky [Award and] lecture by this year's widely respected speaker, Dr. Jedd Wolchock. This is anticipated to be an incredibly thought-provoking and clinically relevant presentation, and I hope all of you will join us. 

ASCO Daily News: In following up then on the theme of the meeting this year, it is, of course, Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation, can you comment on how important it is that this theme is represented in as many of these programs, as many of these sessions as possible at meetings such as the [2022] ASCO Annual Meeting and other symposia? 

Dr. Sonali Smith: A global approach and a global mentality when we are developing therapies, preventive approaches, are really incredibly important. In the United States, at least, the survival for patients with cancer has doubled, and I think it is really important to remember that we are a global organization and there are many people around the world who can benefit. And if we can put innovation into this, hopefully, it can be done better and faster. 

ASCO Daily News: Absolutely! Well, thank you so much, Dr. Smith, for taking the time to be on the podcast today and for sharing some of these highlights. And a big thank you for your efforts to create a really robust scientific program for the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting. 

Dr. Sonali Smith: Thank you so much. It's been a real pleasure. 

ASCO Daily News: And thank you to our listeners for your time today. If you're enjoying the content on the ASCO Daily News podcast, please take a moment to rate, review and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. 




Dr. Sonali Smith has been paid for any consulting or advisory role by ADC Therapeutics , Adaptive Biotechnologies , Gilead Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb, MorphoSys, Janssen, Bantam Pharmaceutical, and Karyopharm Therapeutics, currently or during the past 2 years. Dr. Smith has received research funding from Portola Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Acerta Pharma, Pharmacyclics, Celgene, Curis, Bristol Myers Squibb, TGTX, Merck, Forty Seven, and Novartis, currently or within the past 2 years.  


The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. 

Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. Guest statements on the podcast do not express the opinions of ASCO. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.