Top 5 Most-Read Conference Stories of 2021

In a year that saw conferences return to in-person venues, the most popular conference coverage on included articles and videos from meetings on oncology, cardiology, dermatology, and more.

In 2021, returned to convention centers to cover some conferences while tuning into others virtually, and the result was an array of coverage that brought readers the latest updates from meetings familiar from past years, such as the American College of Cardiology, and new to the site, such as the American Academy of Dermatology. The most popular items that emerged from that conference coverage touched on guideline updates, the fight against COVID-19, and dueling clinical trials, among other topics.

Here are the top 5 most-viewed conference coverage items of 2021.

5. SGLT2 Inhibitors Added to ESC Guidelines for Treatment of Chronic HFrEF

This article published in August covered the 5-year update of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines on heart failure treatment, unveiled at the ESC Congress 2021. Highlights of the guideline updates included the recommendation of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors empagliflozin (Jardiance) and dapagliflozin (Farxiga) for treatment of chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The guidelines also touched on recommendations for prevention and screening in addition to suggesting specific therapies.

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4. Dr Christine Ko: “COVID Toes” Not Active Skin Infection

When the term “COVID toes” entered the medical lexicon to describe discoloration in the toes of patients with COVID-19, questions arose about whether this phenomenon is caused by infectious virus in the skin. Christine Ko, MD, professor of dermatology and pathology at Yale University, who was a panelist during a session of the American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience, explained in this April interview that patients with “COVID toes” do not have truly active infection in the skin, as studies have found no viral RNA in the lesions.

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3. With No End in Sight on Omega-3 Debate, Nissen Calls for More Trials

Conferences provide a forum for investigators to discuss conflicting results, which occurred at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in May. As this article explains, Steven Nissen, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s chair of cardiovascular medicine, revealed additional results from the STRENGTH trial that cast doubt on the effectiveness of omega-3 carboxylic acid in preventing cardiac events. Other researchers, who found in a prior trial that fish oil capsules were effective, questioned these latest findings. Nissen called for additional randomized controlled trials with a neutral comparator such as corn oil to settle the debate on effectiveness.

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2. Dr Christopher Arendt on Positive Mobocertinib Results Seen in Metastatic NSCLC

In this July interview, Christopher Arendt, PhD, head of the Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda, explained updated data on mobocertinib that were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. The once-a-day oral therapy for metastatic non–small cell lung cancer was found to have a duration of response of 17.5 months and overall survival of 24 months. New data also provide reassurance that the drug works across patients with a variety of exon 20 mutations, Arendt explained. The FDA later approved the drug for a certain indication in September.

Watch the video.

1. Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines in Real-World Settings Even Better Than Expected, Fauci Says covered the American Thoracic Society conference in May, which yielded this recap of a speech by Anthony Fauci, MD, to attendees. The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussed the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, which appeared to be just as good in the real-world setting as in clinical trials. Fauci closed his speech with a call to get vaccinated in order to “crush the outbreak” like we did with smallpox and polio.

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