International gathering of scientists looks toward future of cancer research

04/07/05

Latest advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment to be revealed and discussed at AACR Annual Meeting

PHILADELPHIA -- Leading researchers will be gathering for the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), featuring the latest advances in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research. The meeting will take place April 16-20, 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Calif.

"Clearly, we are on the verge of an exciting journey in the history of cancer research," said Lynn Matrisian, Ph.D., president of the AACR. "The AACR Annual Meeting will guide our future efforts as we work to find newer and more effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the 200 or so diseases we collectively call cancer."

This year's Annual Meeting will highlight new understandings and innovative technologies across the scientific spectrum, from basic and translational cancer research to clinical studies.

"In our efforts to communicate with each other and the public, we often refer to the metaphor of a pipeline to describe the scientific process, with the output of that pipeline taking the form of new diagnostic tools and devices, vaccines and drugs," said Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., scientific chairperson of the 2005 AACR Program Committee.

"But it is important to note that any pipeline, by its very nature, has a front, middle, and end. Each is necessary and each is interdependent.

"At this Annual Meeting, scientists from basic, translational and clinical research will exchange information and learn from each other with the understanding that each has an essential role and each has a common mission: the prevention and cure of cancer."

Presentations at this meeting will run the gamut: from new insights into the fundamental nature of the cancer process to new ways of inhibiting those processes, from novel approaches to prevent and diagnose cancer before it becomes life-threatening to new therapies capable of targeting tumors while limiting damage to healthy cells and tissue.

The opening plenary session, "The Impact of Scientific Discovery on Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment," will feature a talk by Clifton Leaf, executive editor of Fortune magazine, whose cover article last year "Why We are Losing the War on Cancer (and How to Win It)" sparked considerable discussion within the cancer research community.

Scientific talks during the session will explore, among other things, the link between basic research and clinical applications, including signaling pathways, immunology, estrogen receptors, and growth factors.

AACR's Annual Meeting attracts attendees including leading industry, academic 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 formulations of new collaborations. This year, more than 6,250 abstracts were submitted for presentation, complementing an outstanding program of scientific and educational events already scheduled.

Other meeting highlights include:

  • Press conferences: overcoming Gleevec resistance; COX2/NSAIDs for chemoprevention; targets for diagnostics and therapies; predicting risk, treatment and outcome based on genetic variables; drug and supplements that lower risk; latest on diet and risk.
  • Symposia and Forums: covering a diverse range of timely and central topics of critical interest to the broad cancer community, as well as state-of-the-art cancer research development reviews.

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