What’s been on influential oncologists' minds? Mostly ASCO, but also health equity, according to new Harris Poll research
Over the past few months, oncologists have been talking a lot about the ASCO conference. Not surprising considering its import and the study data presented, but what may be less expected is the second most talked about topic of health equity.
That’s according to data from The Harris Poll and the new expert network the researcher is building out. While the company has been doing deep data dives into specific health issues or conditions for pharma clients, it’s now monitoring influencer networks of therapy area specialists to find out what experts are really thinking about.
“The key element of this work is that we are getting to the real ‘insider’ expert point of view,” Harris Poll managing director Rob Jekielek said. “First by building an oncology-centric, high influence network, then by looking deeply into the content and discussions that resonate most, specifically within that network of experts.”
Its first oncology expert dive previewed for Endpoints News looks at what Twitter influential cancer doctors were posting, chatting up and retweeting from March through the end of June. ASCO, held during the first week of June, fueled the leading theme of clinical trials and studies among 61% of the oncologists, while health equity came in second with 15% mentioning related topics. Oncologists’ mental health and burnout was a lesser trending topic, but still notable with 6% talking about it.
Among the specific clinical trials and studies talked about, the AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s Destiny study presented on Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan) in previously treated HER2-low advanced breast cancer led the way with 19% talking about it on Twitter. Tied for the second-most discussed study at 11% were GSK’s PD-1 blocker dostarlimab-gxly (Jemperli) rectal cancer trial and the Cosmic-021 for cabozantinib–atezolizumab (Exelixis’ Cabometyx and Roche’s Tecentriq) to treat urothelial carcinoma.
Alongside those study discussions were related health equity takes, especially around access and trial diversity. The parallel commentary “kind of poked holes” in the trials by looking at them through an inequity lens, Jekielek said.
For example, one influencer wrote: “I don’t want to bring people down but while the results are great, the Destiny of MOST women with #bcsm worldwide will be NOT to get trastuzumab deruxtecan since they cannot even access surgery, radiotherapy, endocrine therapy or trastuzumab. We need to do better.”
“Around ASCO there are very specific trials and studies that are cited and released and you can see the ones that stand out the most,” Jekielek said. “The thing that’s equally interesting is the degree of focus on health equity within the ASCO conversation and directly tied to both healthcare practitioners as well as how trials and studies are built.”