The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting is a flagship event in the global oncology calendar aimed at oncology professionals, patient advocates, industry representatives, and major media outlets worldwide.
Since 2019 AplusA analyzes online conversations during the ASCO events, particularly since it became virtual in 2020, using in-house social media intelligence.Last year, our social media intelligence analyst, Habib Mbacke, analyzed the conversations happening around the first 2020 virtual ASCO meeting.
This year, the event went virtual for the second time in a row. The volume of mentions online pertaining to ASCO 2021 meeting was up when compared to ASCO 2020, going from 65K mentions to 77K this year (+18%).
An increased adaptation of HCPs to the virtual format
HCPs made up the bulk of this increase going from 17,702 mentions last year to a little more than 30K mentions this year (+70%). While not yet back at a pre-pandemic level, this rise demonstrates an increased acceptance and preparedness of the virtual format from HCPs. It will be particularly interesting to follow online activity during ASCO 2022 and assess whether the level of conversations returns to pre-2020 level. If ASCO22 remains virtual, it will be interesting to see if the trend continues to increase.
Lung and breast most discussed
As with last year, lung and breast cancer remain the most discussed cancer type fuelled by encouraging results from multiple clinical trials in lung cancer. The most discussed trial was OlympiA in breast cancer (olaparib).
The impact of new hashtags to increase visibility
Gynaecological cancers were the third most mentioned group of cancers this year, driven by the new hashtag #goasco21. Similarly, #goasco20 was first used last year and appears to have helped raise the level of mentions around this group of cancers. #goasco21 was actually the 10th most used hashtag, surpassing (another hashtag related to gynaecological cancers) #gyncsm.
Looking at the posts with the highest engagement (in terms of replies and retweets) helps to identify the type of content that creates interest from HCPs online. Besides results from clinical trials, the most commented and reshared tweet focused on debating the differences in translating trial results to clinical practice between subspecialties/types of cancers. This stimulated conversation amongst HCPs, highlighting different possible reasons such as the strength of patient advocacy (depending on cancer type), and different ways of interpreting results for example. This gives us a glimpse into the thoughts and questions HCPs could have when presented with clinical trials results.