Kenny's Corner: Bonehead Beats

ASCO 2024 Review

What is ASCO?

This past weekend, I attended the 2024 ASCO Conference held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. McCormick Place is the largest conference center in North America. When trying to host about 40,000 participants, I’m not sure if there are too many other places that could hold this many do-gooders. 


ASCO is the American Society for Clinical Oncology. This annual meeting is one of the largest and most significant gatherings for oncology professionals, bringing together clinicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals worldwide to discuss the latest advancements in cancer treatment, research, and patient care.  I was able to meet with all sorts of people who are directly and indirectly involved in treating cancer patients. Their energies and focus cover all manner of needs within the cancer space. And not just one type of subtype of cancer. Some ASCO attendees focus broadly on cancers such as solid tumors or hematological variants. Others are more interested in resolving specific issues related to only one type of cancer patient.

Why did I attend ASCO?

At another time, I might attend a conference like ASCO to check on the latest studies relating to cancers like mine (multiple myeloma) or to see if there is any new trend or regulation affecting or promoting equity in healthcare—another passion of mine. I used some of my Delta SkyMiles and called in favors to make this trip financially doable but for a slightly different reason this year. Like healthcare professionals, patient advocates, industry analysts, academic institutions, regulatory representatives, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies, I was there to connect, seek advice, share our vision for Cancer Active, and seek funding for the Cancer Active Patient Portal. 

The Cancer Active Patient Portal is a solution that Cancer Active, Inc. (Throwing Bones) has conceptually worked on for the past 4 years (or so). The purpose of the patient portal is to give tools to patients, healthcare providers, and caregivers to treat the entire patient, focusing on mental wellness, diet/nutrition, strength, dexterity, cardio, and range of motion. The platform offers a personalized and adaptive approach to managing health. This portal includes comprehensive health self-assessments, real-time monitoring and feedback, personalized resources, and support networks.  

It doesn’t exist anywhere yet. 

To make this adaptive (with a little bit of A.I. for flavor) patient portal truly valuable, it must be free to patients. That requires a partner or partners with resources who can benefit from the anonymous data collected from the patient experience.

What did I talk about?

The vision of Throwing Bones is to create a world where cancer patients are empowered to live active and fulfilling lives, supported by comprehensive care that addresses their physical, mental, and nutritional needs. The Patient Portal is our manifestation of that vision. Once adequately funded, we will launch our anchor program in about 16 weeks!

There is a lot that we don’t know, and won’t know about the portal’s efficacy until well after we start. We’ll need patient, caregiver and HCP feedback to know which direction to go next. This is where we start, though.

So, I talked about the portal. 

It makes my heart beat faster to know that we could possibly have data—real data—by the end of this year. We could possibly know how to do it better. We could know how well patients interact with their active treatment and purposeful movement.

So, I talked about the portal – until my energy ran out.

Was I successful?

I think the trip was successful, but I guess I won’t truly know until that partner or partners sign on and the 16-week countdown begins. 

What’s next?

Now that I’m back home, there is laundry to do and suitcases to put away. After a little rest and decompression, I’ll start sending emails and following up with all of my new and old connections. On my way home through Ubers and airports yesterday, I confided to Cindy that I am not, nor have I ever really been a salesperson. What I am, is passionate. I believe in the Cancer Active Patient Portal and what it can mean to cancer patients and all healthcare professionals in the cancer space. Whether it is led by Cancer Active, Inc., or if our goals are taken on by another well-suited group, I will keep pressing for the portal’s creation.

First, I need to move my clothes to the dryer.