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BTOG 2021 | BTOG 2021 highlights: immunotherapy for mesothelioma and cardiac toxicity updates

Tom Newsom-Davis, BSc, MBBS, PhD, FRCP, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, shares his highlights from the 19th British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG) Annual Conference 2021, in particular commenting on updates on the use of immunotherapeutic agents in the treatment of mesothelioma, and a presentation on the cardiac side effects of drugs such as osimertinib.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

So, my highlights from BTOG was the fantastic number of people that we had. We had over a thousand people, 1,100 people registered, which was actually our highest ever for BTOG. And of course, we’d all rather be together. We’d all rather be networking and meeting friends and colleagues, and we haven’t been able to do that. But in the absence of that, having a meeting of over a thousand people is truly fantastic...

So, my highlights from BTOG was the fantastic number of people that we had. We had over a thousand people, 1,100 people registered, which was actually our highest ever for BTOG. And of course, we’d all rather be together. We’d all rather be networking and meeting friends and colleagues, and we haven’t been able to do that. But in the absence of that, having a meeting of over a thousand people is truly fantastic.

So one of the highlights I thought was the end of the meeting on the Friday afternoon. This is normally the time when everyone has cleared off and everyone’s going off to the airport, feeling a little bit tired and the worse for wear, but the advantage of a virtual meeting is you can stay for the whole thing. And we had a couple of really, really good talks. And to me, the highlight of that session was a talk on mesothelioma by Riyaz Shah. Gave a lovely summary of where we are and finished with exciting new data of combination immunotherapy as a first-line treatment for mesothelioma and just showing really that the number of different treatments we have for this very difficult to treat disease. If you can look at the highlights, look at that.

And following Riyaz’s talk was a really nice summary from Alex Lyon who’s a cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and he was talking about cardio-oncology. Now this might sound like a really niche area, but it’s not. We know the drugs we are using unfortunately have cardiac side effects, drugs like osimertinib, which is one of the of course the EGFR inhibitors, but also the immunotherapy drugs. Very interesting data, up to 5% of patients have cardiac side effects with these drugs. Not only acute side effects, but there’s also actually data on long-term impacts on cardiac health on people on immunotherapy. So that was the very end of the Friday, but really it was one of the highlights of the whole two days for me.

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Disclosures

Tom Newsom-Davis, BSc, MBBS, PhD, FRCP, has received support to attend educational conferences from AstraZeneca, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly, MSD, Otsuka, Roche and Takeda; has participated in an advisory role for Amgen, Bayer, AstraZeneca, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli-Lilly, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda; and has participated in speaker’s bureaus for AstraZeneca, MSD, Roche and Takeda; and has participated in an independent data monitoring committee for Blueprint.

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