1. Science and the real world: Too many abstracts touted their “real-world” data meaning to say their analysis was retrospective. No shame in a well-done chart review, but calling it “the real world” dilutes the phrase. When the NCI director referred to real world data in his not-well-enough-attended ASH speech, it was to describe prospective collection of structured data in routine clinical practice. It can also be used to describe pragmatic clinical trials, with looser eligibility criteria and fewer treatment restrictions. The “real world” abstracts I saw were neither.
  2. Steve Horwitz’s weird weekend: How many oral abstracts can one person have in a single meeting? Apparently, four; three of which were spread over two T-cell lymphoma sessions held on the same day. These were all multi-center trials, one global, so not exactly venues where one may cede the podium to their mentee (some of whom had their own orals to deal with). But sheesh.
  3. T-cell lymphomas have their day (maybe?): The global trial was ECHELON-2, and it showed an overall survival benefit of first-line brentuximab vedotin + CHP over CHOP in CD30+ T-cell lymphoma. Which is great, only ~80% of patients in the control arm did not get BV on progression due to the trial being global and BV not being available in most of the countries. There were several more would-be flies in the ointment, but US FDA approved BV for first-line treatment of CD30+ TCL even before the paper was out in The Lancet (which was on the day of the talk). Thus the incredible path of data for BV in first-line TCL was: press release -> FDA approval -> Lancet paper -> ASH oral. Again, sheesh.
  4. Spotlight so bright: I moderated an oral abstract session, and it was fun, but oh wow did the spotlights hurt my eyes. Much respect for anyone who has to stand in front of them professionally.
  5. Let’s have it in San Diego every year, please, and thank you.