Pharmaceutical Technology lists the top five terms tweeted in oncology in Q1 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Breast cancer – 1,633 mentions

The Covid-19 pandemic has raised new concerns and care for diseases such as cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension that could cause serious illness among those affected. As a result, guidelines to treat breast cancer patients and to stick to regular hormonal therapy regimes were some of the top oncology topics discussed in March. For example, an article shared by Hal Burstein, a breast cancer specialist and professor, lays down some important guidelines for surgery, medical and radiation oncology treatments in patients suffering with breast cancer.

Concerns over metastatic breast cancer patients being ignored over asymptomatic celebrities getting tested for Covid-19, were also being raised. Anirban Maitra, a pre-eminent pancreatic cancer expert, tweeted about a breast cancer patient who despite showing all the symptoms of Covid is having to jump through hoops to get tested and met with no success in Florida.

In another tweet, Liz O’Riordan, shared a study that suggests that exercising more (150 minutes weekly) after being diagnosed with breast cancer could halve one’s risk of dying.

2. Lung cancer – 726 oncology mentions

Rapid fall in lung cancer mortality in the US due to smoking cessation and immunotherapy and targeted therapy leading suggesting better outcomes in patients were popular topics discussed this month. According to Roy Herbst, a professor of medicine and pharmacology, immunotherapy and targeted therapy led to better and improved outcomes in lung cancer patients. The American Cancer report shared by the influencer depicted an accelerated rate of mortality reductions for lung cancer, among both men and women over a period of 87 years.

In other news, James L Gulley, a medical oncologist, tweeted that it was a delight to see the cancer statistics which showed a dramatic fall in lung cancer deaths. He further added that this was on account of smoking cessation. He also noted that findings depicted drops in prostate cancer-specific mortality as well.

3. Immunotherapy – 644 mentions

Right from shakeups in thinking on cancer immunotherapy, to top challenges and short-term starvation techniques to help cancer immunotherapy work, were some well discussed topics in March. Eric Topol, a physician and scientist, shared an article on how a study indicated a new perspective in cancer immunotherapy, where PD-1 on myeloid cells takes centre stage in orchestrating immune checkpoint blockade.

Meanwhile, Jean-Charles Soria, a medical oncologist, shared a review on the top challenges in cancer immunotherapy. The article noted that cancer is complex, heterogeneous, and adaptable and in numerous ways can disturb the normal functioning of cells. They also present themselves differently in different people. Cancer immunotherapy, therefore, comes with its own set of challenges such as determining the dormant drivers, optimising long-term survival, and more.

In other news, Eric Topol discusses whether short-term starvation could make cancer immunotherapy work. He shared a study which establishes that fasting-mimicking diets can enhance the immune response to cancer. The article further noted that a number of preclinical studies revealed that caloric restrictions with chemotherapy protects the host from side effects and leads to delays in cancer progression.

4. Multiple Myeloma – 562 mentions

The management of plasma cells disorders like Myeloma, the implications on diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring of Multiple Myeloma, revaccination, drug developments, and novel therapeutic regimens for newly diagnosed Multiple Myeloma, were some of the topics discussed during the month. Adam Feuerstein, a senior writer of Stat News, shared an article regarding Karyopharm Therapeutics XPOVIO.

Karyopharm received accelerated FDA approval of XPOVIO in July 2019 in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have received at least four prior therapies and whose disease is refractory to at least two proteasome inhibitors, at least two immunomodulatory agents, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. The STAT article referenced was regarding Karyopharm seeking expanded use of XPOVIO, following positive results from its pivotal BOSTON study, to treat a larger number of patients.

Mike Thompson, a clinical researcher and oncologist, also discusses revaccination after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and its safety and efficacy in patients with Multiple Myeloma receiving Lenalidomide maintenance. However, study noted that practices varied for patients on maintenance therapy, with some centres not immunising at all.

In other news, Robert Z Orlowski, an oncologist, shared an article on selected study abstracts on novel therapies for newly diagnosed Multiple Myeloma. For example, the monoclonal antibody daratumumab in combination with three drug combinations for patients newly diagnosed with the plasma cells cancer.

5. Pancreatic Cancer – 458 oncology mentions

Molecularly tailored therapy options and clinical trial recommendations to test the survival of patients suffering from pancreatic cancer were some of the popular topics discussed in the month of March. For example, Anirban Maitra, a pre-eminent pancreatic cancer expert, shared an article on the largest molecular profiling study of pancreatic cancer in over 1,000 patients. The study found that precision medicine can have a substantial effect on the survival of patients, whereas molecularly guided treatments warranted more evaluation.

In other news, Mark Lewis, an oncologist, tweeted on bacteria associated with pancreatic cancer that can enzymatically degrade gemcitabine. This implied that some pancreatic cancers harboured bacteria that would be breaking down one of the most commonly used chemo drug. He further noted that this would make the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) even more difficult.