American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting Showcases Significant Developments in Understanding and Targeting Cancers
LOS ANGELES - Data demonstrating genetic differences in individuals’ susceptibility to certain cancers as well as differences in how people respond to specific cancer treatments will take center stage when more than 17,000 scientists from around the world gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center April 14-18 for the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Key data presented at the meeting will also include findings related to the safety and effectiveness of several new, high-profile cancer therapies and vaccines.
“Because of significant diagnostic and therapeutic advances such as personalized and targeted therapies that prolong patients’ lives, the number of people successfully managing and living with cancer continues to grow,” said Geoffrey M. Wahl, Ph.D., President, AACR. “By hosting the largest meeting in the world of its kind - where the science behind these significant developments is shared and analyzed by researchers at the leading edge of cancer study - the AACR promotes clinical exchange with the goal of ensuring research discoveries translate directly into improved patient outcomes.”
The theme of this year’s annual meeting, “A Century of Leadership in Science - A Future of Cancer Prevention and Cures,” commemorates the AACR’s Centennial and underscores the remarkable scientific advances that researchers have achieved in the 100 years since the organization’s founding, well as the critical importance of ongoing research.
The opening Centennial Ceremony will set an exciting and inspirational tone for a week of science and discovery, with a procession of young researchers bearing flags of all 70 AACR member nations, appearances by the University of Southern California (USC) Marching Band, the All-American Boys’ Choir and presentation of Centennial Medals and other honors to leading cancer researchers and advocates.
The opening plenary, “Translating a Century of Science into a Future of Cancer Prevention and Cures” - featuring world leaders in the fields of cancer genetics, cellular metabolism, stem cell biology, molecular diagnostics, targeted therapies, early detection and the impact of future cancer science on public health - will provide a vantage point for historical and current perspectives across the spectrum of basic and applied cancer science.
Late-breaking plenary sessions in basic, translational and clinical cancer research will cover the latest advances from the laboratory and their translational potential to the clinic. Special sessions will also feature phase I and phase II studies of novel therapeutic agents in early-stage clinical trials, as well as the latest phase III clinical trial findings.
“This meeting provides an unmatched opportunity to exchange information on current and emerging discoveries, forge new collaborations and identify future opportunities in virtually all areas of modern cancer research and patient care,” said Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., scientific chairperson of the 2007 AACR Program Committee. “In our Centennial year, this deeply reflects the intent of our founders on a scale that they could scarcely imagine.”
AACR’s Annual Meeting attracts attendees including leading academic, industry and government scientists, as well as clinical oncologists, students, cancer survivors, advocates and other health care professionals. Such a diverse group facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of new ideas and collaborations. This year, more than 6,000 abstracts were submitted for presentation, complementing an outstanding program of scientific and educational events.
Among meeting highlights, the AACR has selected more than 35 scientific abstracts for presentation by their authors in 10 press briefings, each highlighting a critical or emerging area of cancer research. Featured press briefing topics include:
-The role of genetics in increasing susceptibility to certain cancers and decreasing positive outcomes among African Americans
-Clinical data illustrating the impact of the HPV-16/18 LI VLP AS04 candidate vaccine on precancerous lesions and the human papillomavirus
-Studies demonstrating the protective effects of certain vegetables, fruits and tea against ovarian, pancreatic and breast cancers
-Late-breaking findings from studies of cetuximab in people with chemotherapy-refractory colorectal cancer
Additional briefings will focus on the latest research in patient prognosis, personalized medicine, inflammation, cancer biomarkers, stem cells and cancer diagnosis.
With the aim of inspiring the next generation of young cancer researchers, the AACR has invited nearly 300 local high school students to participate in “The Conquest of Cancer and the Next Generation,” a day-long program on the floor of the AACR meeting that will feature educational lectures and a tour of poster displays and exhibits as well as a networking reception. Many of these high school students will be paired with mentors among the AACR membership for guidance and education.
“Over the last 100 years, the AACR has been privileged to be an integral part of the scientific discussion surrounding cancer,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., President-Elect, AACR. “It is critical that we maintain our commitment not only to providing a venue for research and collaboration but also to stimulating the achievement of the cancer scientists of the future.”
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