It’s that time of the year again where we cogitate and contemplate on what might be hot at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) before the abstracts are available (they’re released online tomorrow at 6pm ET).

This year, while interesting early data from up and coming small biotechs is likely to be eagerly presented in poster sessions, the focus is more likely going to be on big Pharma with various phase III and also late phase II trials that are due to report data.  Unfortunately, not all of these will produce overwhelmingly positive results though!

What I’m most interested is things that shift the needle meaningfully  in terms of survival by six months or more, as we saw from the recent BOLERO2 and CLEOPATRA trials in ER+ and HER2+ breast cancer.  There are plenty of agents that offer minor or incremental improvements (colon cancer has long suffered from that syndrome, sadly), but let’s be honest – most of us get excited by the possibility of major shifts in survival.

Please note that I’ve mostly selected some promising agents in development that might achieve that effect, explained why they are different and focused on new data/drugs rather than rehash what I call the ‘middlings’ i.e. minor upgrades to the standard of care.

Without much further ado, here are my ASCO preview highlights for 2012:

Please do check back during the convention both here on PSB, and also on Biotech Strategy, for reports and analysis as the interesting data emerges at ASCO.

If you have any comments or thoughts, please do share them below…