International scientists, physicians assemble at AACR Annual Meeting to discuss latest advances

World-renowned scientists, physicians, academicians and advocates will gather for the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), taking place April 1-5 at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. About 16,000 attendees from around the world are expected at this year's meeting where presentations will focus on the latest cutting-edge findings in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

"We are at a critical juncture in the field of cancer research and the exchange of scientific information has taken on a greater urgency," said Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., president of the AACR. "With pending cuts to the research budget of the National Institutes of Health, and specifically the National Cancer Institute, the free-flow of information shared amongst researchers and oncologists at the AACR Annual Meeting has never played a greater role in advancing the field."

This year's Annual Meeting will focus on new and promising therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of cancer, and will highlight data from all stages of the research spectrum - from early stage basic research through late-stage clinical trial results.

The opening plenary session, "Looking into the Future of Cancer Therapy," will feature world leaders in the fields of cancer genetics, molecular diagnostics, chemistry, imaging, clinical research, and stem cell biology.

Additionally, a special clinical plenary session, "Breakthroughs in Clinical Research," will be offered for the first time at AACR.

During this session, investigators will discuss major breaking news about late-phase clinical trials, highlighting the science that led up to the trials and new data with direct clinical impact.

"We believe that the accelerating pace of cancer research discoveries is unprecedented and will lead to opportunities for more effective treatment of many forms of cancer. The rapid progress in our understanding of different types of cancer at the molecular level is now starting to bear fruit and it will have a very significant impact in our ability to treat and hopefully prevent these diseases," said Daniel Haber, M.D., Ph.D., scientific chairperson of the 2006 AACR Program Committee.

"Research presented during the AACR Annual Meeting allows us to link together the latest advances in laboratory research in molecular biology, genetics and chemistry, with discoveries in public health and population science, and recent breakthroughs in clinical research.

Through its exceptional scope, the Meeting will offer a broad view of recent progress in cancer research, as well as an array of novel findings, from molecular pathways to technological devices, diagnostic tools, strategies for reducing cancer risk, and developing new therapeutic approaches."

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 6,100 abstracts were submitted for presentation, complementing an outstanding program of scientific and educational events already scheduled.

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Other meeting highlights include:

Press briefings: COX-2 inhibitors for cancer prevention; panitumumab for treatment of colorectal cancer; health disparities in cancer care and etiology; early diagnosis of cancer; latest on diet for cancer prevention; effects of smoking on cancer patients; significance of infection and inflammation on cancer incidence; novel, early stage drug studies; prognostic outcomes for cancer; impact of funding on cancer research and patients.

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.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 60 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts over 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.


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