The National Foundation for Cancer Research’s (NFCR) presence is considerable at the 109th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which kicks off tomorrow in Chicago and runs through the following four days. One of the most widely anticipated regular gatherings of cancer scientists in the United States, nearly 18,000 attendees from various oncology research, government and industry organizations around the world will participate, including multiple NFCR fellows and members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Three current NFCR fellows will be speaking about recent studies or offering analysis and perspective on various subjects pertaining to cancer research. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Rakesh Jain, Ph.D., a recent inductee into the National Academy of Inventors, is a major symposium presenter on Sunday evening, discussing new findings on the role of microenvironments (the non-cancerous cells, structures and fluids surrounding tumors) in cancer metastasis (spread to other tissues and organs of the body).
Lung cancer expert, Alice Shaw, M.D., Ph.D., too of both Mass General and Harvard Medical, will be thrice featured. On Sunday afternoon she presents a session on the efficacy of Pfizer’s experimental Lorlatinib drug on a category of non-small cell lung cancer patients host to a particular biomarker. Monday morning Dr. Shaw chairs a session on new experimental immunotherapy treatment combinations. That evening she has been invited to speak at a forum on the timing of the administration of precision medicines (tailored to an individual’s genetic or molecular profile)—upfront or upon relapse.
Metastatis authority Danny Welch, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas Cancer Center on Monday afternoon co-chairs a minisymposia on organ-specific cancer spread. On Tuesday afternoon he chairs and is a presenter at a major symposium concerning regulation of cancer metastasis.
In addition to these six speaking roles, poster and third-party presentations on research co-authored by NFCR scientists too will run throughout the AACR annual meeting. No fewer than 43 such sessions among at least 21 of NFCR’s current and recent researchers, scientific advisors and past winners of our Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research will be held. Those scientists are Doctors Frederick Alt, Robert Bast, Esther Chang, Yung-Chi Cheng, Laurence Cooper, Ronald DePinho, Paul Fisher, Daniel Haber, Waun Ki Hong, Kathryn Horwitz, Laurence Hurley, Rakesh Jain, Jin Jen, Brian Leyland-Jones, Wayne Marasco, Alice Shaw, Michael Sporn, Daniel Von Hoff, Danny Welch, W.K. Alfred Yung and Wei Zhang.
Additionally, NFCR is excited to this year be partnering with Envigo, one of the chemical, medical and drug development industries’ premier contract research service providers. Visitors to the company’s booth will have the opportunity to play an exciting and fun game of chance. Dollar value “wins” associated with the activity will be aggregated and the total value donated to our organization.
We join the global cancer science community, and our colleagues in the vast oncology funding, patient, caregiver and advocacy fields, in calling attention to the groundbreaking, insightful and promising work being profiled by AACR in the coming few days. Such efforts continue to be about the NFCR moto and call to action: Research for a Cure!