Cancer-focused drugmakers tend to save their most promising data to present at two premiere medical conferences. One of those, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference, begins this Saturday and lasts until Tuesday.

Along with ASCO, which occurs in early June, ASH is where drugmakers like Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) that treat a variety of blood-cancer-related disorders choose to present their most interesting data, because these conferences reach such a large number of doctors. ASH is to drugmakers that treat blood and bone-marrow disorders what ASCO is to solid-tumor drug developers.

Investors looking to get important science-related data on drugs like Millennium Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:MLNM) Velcade or MGI Pharma's (NASDAQ:MOGN) Dacogen should take advantage of ASH's free abstract viewer, which allows users to search for the presentations these drugmakers will make about their compounds.

One hint: When using the abstract viewer, it's better to search by a drug's active ingredient, rather than its trade name, if you want to see all the abstracts concerning it. For example, search for "darbepoetin alfa" rather than "Aranesp" if you want to see all the abstracts related to Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) top drug.

Besides actually attending, there is no better way for investors to get a better understanding of the competitive landscape, and the pros and cons of one drug versus another, than by viewing the abstracts of a medical conference such as ASH.

Investigators presenting at medical conferences do tend to skew toward a rosy view of things when giving their viewpoints on the compounds they study. But through these presentations, investors can get a much clearer picture of the side-effect profiles of drugs like Pharmion's (NASDAQ:PHRM) Vidaza, or Exelixis' (NASDAQ:EXEL) hematology drug candidates, than they would by following a drug's progress primarily through company press releases and conference calls.

Exelixis and Millennium are active picks of our Rule Breakers newsletter. You can check out all our recommendations with a 30-day free trial.

Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has an A+ disclosure policy.