Our Chief Executive, Katherine Taylor, flew to Chicago earlier this month to attend the world's biggest cancer conference. She shares her experience and explains why it is so important to make global connections.
"In early June I was lucky enough to attend the world’s biggest cancer conference – the mighty ASCO – American Society of Clinical Oncology – annual meeting in Chicago.
The organisation, to its credit, is dedicated to keeping the patient voice at the heart of what it does, and for that purpose runs a bursary scheme for non-profit organisations to attend.
It was an extraordinary experience. Firstly for its scale – it’s a meeting of 30,000 delegates from across the world who go to share knowledge, network, meet industry partners and gossip.
The conference venue itself is a like a small village. I cannot imagine how many thousands of cups of coffee were drunk across the five day meeting.
But why does it matter for women with ovarian cancer? Exciting news came through about early positive trials run at the Royal Marsden.
I heard industry experts talk about the future and potential benefit in combining therapies – a parp inhibitor with immunotherapy, for example. And it was exciting to hear about new drugs coming onto the market, such as different parp inhibitors.
For me personally, the opportunity to network with other ovarian and gynaecological cancer organisations from many different countries was invaluable. Added to that I was able to connect with global ovarian cancer scientists committed to making a difference for their patients.
Knowing that we are standing shoulder to shoulder in the same fight, internationally, makes a fundamental difference."