Wednesday, 28 May 2014

ASCO 2014 – Celebrating 50 years of Science for Society

Watch ASCO president Dr. Clifford Hudis discuss 2014 Annual meeting theme: Science and Society

There are just a few days to go before the ASCO general meeting gets under way in Chicago, with this year’s theme being “Science and Society”.  2014 represents a golden anniversary for ASCO, as it is now the 50th year of its continued support and advocacy of the continued development of oncological science for society.

A traditional gift for a 50th anniversary is gold, and ASCO has once again delivered a wealth of important information, over 5000 abstracts released this year, each selected for its relevance to continuing the advance in cancer research and improvements in patient care.

The Branding Science Group has been around for a quarter of that time and has continuously supported the creation and development of Oncology brands.  For this reason, we will be paying particular attention to discussions around;

-          New developments amongst targeted therapies - In particular those relating to Breast Cancer, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.  These indications are all facing significant change with multiple new market entrants bringing increased hope for patients, but potential headaches for prescribing physicians and payers.

-          Progress in immunotherapy - conceptually one of the most exciting areas of Oncology (working with your own immune system to fight malignancies) as well as one with real momentum and a highly anticipated future development pipeline.

-          Improving patient care and quality of life – remembering that ASCO is not all about the Science, it’s about improving patient lives and end of life care.  Here there are a number of interesting studies evaluating how lower intensity treatment regimens or a greater focus on palliation can improve the survival vs. QoL balance for patients and their carers.

We hope that you also enjoy ASCO 2014 and would be delighted to hear your thoughts on this golden year.  What are you most looking forward to?  What do you think will be the most interesting discussion this year?  Which new data will especially change patient outcomes for the better?
Written by Joe Gadilhe, Director at Branding Science

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Patients across cultures...

Exploring cultural values

During the last EPHMRA Asia conference in Singapore, Axel Rousseau and Odette Navarro from our Asian offices presented a short paper based on the cultural value dimensions identified by sociology professor Geert Hoefstede and his team. Further this, they explored the implications of cultural values in healthcare and gave insights on how interviewers can tailor their approach to better engage with respondents during market research projects.

An adaptation of our presentation can be found on our Prezi page.

In addition, the conference abstracts are available online on the EPHMRA website, alongside the slides of all the presentations that were given during the conference.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Branding Science Trinity Hospice visit and our pledge to "Light up a Life"

Recently, a small group from our EU office was invited to visit our local charity, the Trinity Hospice.

The hospice is probably the first in the world and was founded as the Gods Hospice in 1891 and later changed its name to Trinity Hospice. It raised the first charity in an appeal on Christmas day in a Times newspaper ad asking to provide a home “for the man who is neither curable nor incurable but simply dying”.

Waiting for the number 37 bus the four of us, Sofia, Elly, Anthony and I, had no Idea what a hospice looked like from the inside. Curiosity and expectations grew as our bus finally arrived and Anthony was pointing the sights from the back row of the bus heading to Clapham Common.

From the street, Trinity Hospice is an unassuming building with a small parking lot. But only once we walked inside and were greeted by our lovely host Clare, did we realise the sheer size of the building.

“So what do you want to see first?” asked Clare. The puzzled looks on our faces told her to start walking and we followed.

The anticipated image in my mind’s eye of an NHS hospital décor with creaky linoleum floors was replaced by a modern open plan interior, where every detail was designed for one purpose – to make the lives of terminally ill patients a little bit better.

The corridors are wide, dotted with sitting areas with large windows facing the garden, the rooms are designed for comfort and dignity for patients that need help to move around, the mattresses prevent bed sores, the showers accommodate wheelchairs and the windows face the garden. There was even an Xbox in one area, which Clare used to remind us that terminally ill patients are not necessarily old. They could be young, parents, teenagers and even children. Other amenities included are activity workshops for arts and crafts, a hairdresser and a coffee shop.

Clare led us out into the garden, we were amazed by the sheer beauty even at the end of the winter. It was truly unexpected to see such a garden. “All the maintenance is being done by volunteers” Clare explained, and patients enjoy walking around and sitting here.

Trinity Hospice’s activity is not only in-house. The majority of their activity is actually in support of patients who are at home, where most terminally ill patients would like to spend their last days. The Hospice employs about 70 nurses who travel around London in support of around 2000 terminally ill patients a year. Their help at patients’ homes is far more than anyone can envision and the charity’s role is to fund the nurses as well as the running of the hospice.  The ratio of inpatients to patients at home supported by the hospice is 1:14.

“Don’t tell a fund raiser that you like sport” Clare warned us jokingly. It costs £10m to maintain the hospice’s services, £3m are given by the NHS and the rest comes from fundraising.

To help Trinity Hospice raise the remaining £7m, we could take part in charity events from galas at the garden through golf events to endurance sports, such as the London Marathon, and the Sunflower bike ride from London to Paris, but you don’t have to be a top athlete to support, as Elly already started the ball rolling with her welsh cakes sale.