Annual Meeting showcases data from late-breaking, innovative clinical trials

While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed some things, it has not slowed the pace of progress and innovation in cancer research, as scientists and clinicians around the world continue to make important strides and break new ground in cancer research. As evidence, look no further than the quality and the quantity of clinical trials submitted for presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022, said Timothy A. Yap, MD, PhD, who serves as co-chair of the AACR Annual Meeting Clinical Trials Committee alongside Julie R. Brahmer, MD, MSc.

Timothy Yap, MD, PhD
Timothy A. Yap, MD, PhD

“On top of the excitement of our return to an in-person meeting this year, it’s been so exciting to see the breadth and the depth of clinical trial abstracts submitted for presentation at this year’s meeting,” Yap said. “In fact, we set a record this year for the number of submissions.”

Among the themes and topics expected to garner a lot of attention this year are trials looking at cellular therapies, novel immunotherapeutics, and molecularly targeted therapy drugs, including new ways of targeting the DNA damage response and new information on targeting KRAS.

“There will also be findings from important trials helping us understand how to combine different immunotherapy drugs rationally and effectively, as well as how we can give immunotherapy effectively in the neoadjuvant and perioperative settings. That is so important for the field as we try and improve patient outcomes and patient benefit,” Brahmer said. “The program also includes trials exploring a whole new range of different targets for immunotherapy and for molecularly targeted agents, as well as new ways of delivering these therapies to our patients.”

Julie R. Brahmer, MD, MSc
Julie R. Brahmer, MD, MSc

As the committee was reviewing this year’s abstract submissions, Yap said one of the things that stood out was the number of clinical trials that are biomarker-driven.

“We’re dissecting down the biology of patient tumors and identifying robust predictive biomarkers of response for all of these different drugs in trials,” Yap said. “We’re seeing more and more trials incorporating biomarker selection, and that is so important for better patient selection—for choosing patients who will likely respond to a particular treatment. We know we have to do more than just develop good drugs. We also have to get them to the right patient at the right time and in the right context.”

Along with the clinical trials presented during the daily plenaries, symposia, and poster sessions, the Annual Meeting program features three Clinical Trials Minisymposia and four in-depth Clinical Trials Plenary Sessions that include paired presentations from discussants presenting the science behind the trials



Sunday, April 10

Clinical Trials of Cellular Immunotherapies
1 – 3 p.m. CDT | Hall B-C, Convention Center


Clinical Trials Targeting the DNA Damage Response and KRAS
3 – 5 p.m. CDT | Great Hall AD, Convention Center

Monday, April 11

Neoadjuvant and Perioperative Immunotherapy Clinical Trials
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CDT | Hall B-C, Convention Center

Tuesday, April 12

Combination Immunotherapy Clinical Trials
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CDT | Hall B-C, Convention Center



Sunday, April 10

Biomarker Advances in Clinical Trials 
3 – 5 p.m. CDT | Great Hall BC, Convention Center

Monday, April 11

Patient Selection Strategies for Molecularly Targeted Agents in Clinical Trials 
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. CDT | Great Hall BC, Convention Center

Tuesday, April 12

Immunotherapy Combination Strategies in Clinical Trials 
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. CDT | La Nouvelle Orleans A-B, Convention Center

Check the online planner for the most up-to-date information on session topics, dates, and times.