AACR Takes Action Against the “Epidemic” of Youth E-cigarette Use

In the past year, the number of American teenagers using tobacco products has increased by nearly 40 percent, reversing a trend that public health officials worked tirelessly to achieve.
The primary culprit in the resurgence of smoking? E-cigarettes. Taking aim at this growing public health problem, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held a congressional briefing on Wednesday, June 12, titled “E-cigarettes and Nicotine Addiction: A Potential Health Crisis for Youth and Young Adults.” The roster of speakers included leaders from government, research, and policy sectors.

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How Can Identifying and Measuring Exposures to Environmental Carcinogens Help Prevent Cancer?

A recent estimate suggests that more than 40 percent of cancers could be prevented. Modifiable factors linked to cancer include tobacco use, obesity, alcohol consumption, and exposure to ­environmental carcinogens, which are substances in our surroundings that can cause cancer and may facilitate progression of the disease.

Environmental carcinogens could be present in our air, water, or food. While some of these carcinogens have been identified, scientists believe that current measures to mitigate our exposures are inadequate. Other carcinogens present in our environment have yet to be fully defined.

To address these issues, the AACR is hosting a conference focusing on Environmental Carcinogenesis: Potential Pathway to Cancer Prevention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina. This meeting will review current advances in the field with the goal of sparking ideas and discussion about novel ways to prevent cancer.

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Taking Aim at Tobacco: Highlights From Annual Meeting Symposium

The tobacco product landscape is evolving and the AACR Tobacco Products and Cancer Subcommittee has been cognizant of the shift from combusted products (e.g., cigarettes) to alternative nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes. While it is generally accepted that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes, these products still present risks and the AACR has been active in trying to keep children from having access to them.

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From the Journals: Editors’ Picks for May

Every month, the editors from the eight AACR journals select one “must read” article from each issue, which we highlight on this blog. For May, research articles span from an investigation of enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer to an examination of how distance to care affects treatment initiation and completion among patients with cervical cancer living in urban and rural areas. As usual, all articles summarized here are freely available for a limited time.

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Educating the Public on Cancer Prevention

On Saturday, May 4, Philadelphians flooded the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Franklin Institute’s ninth annual Philadelphia Science Festival. For the fourth consecutive year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was a sponsor of the community event, giving eager kids and their families the opportunity to learn about science with hands-on experiments and activities.

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Why Are Liver Cancer Death Rates Up?

Since the 1990s, the cancer mortality rate in the U.S. has steadily declined. Yet liver cancer death rates in the U.S. have increased. Why?
Liver cancer is caused principally by the combination of a chronic hepatitis B virus infection and dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1, a contaminant that grows on corn and peanuts. Recent efforts to better control liver cancer globally include wide distribution of hepatitis B virus vaccines—more than a billion so far—and deployment of food safety tactics to prevent exposure to aflatoxin B1.

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FDA Approvals Provide New Advances Against Bladder, Lung, and Kidney Cancer

During late March and early April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made several decisions that have increased the number of treatment options for certain patients with bladder, lung, and kidney cancer. On March 18, 2019, the agency approved the immunotherapeutic atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for treating certain patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). On April 12, 2019, it approved a new molecularly targeted therapeutic—erdafitinib (Balversa)—for treating certain patients with bladder cancer. Then, on April 19, 2019, it approved the immunotherapeutic pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for treating certain patients with kidney cancer.

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New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference Draws to a Close

The Fifth AACR New Horizons in Cancer Research (NHiCR) international conference has concluded, and the more than 400 attendees are en route to their home countries, which included Australia, China, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Qatar, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States. 

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Conference in China Examines Genomics, Drug Development

Shenzhen is a remarkable place. It serves as a gateway to Hong Kong, and in its short 40-year history has grown to become China’s seventh largest city, with a population of 20 million and some of Mainland China’s tallest buildings. The Fifth AACR New Horizons in Cancer Research (NHiCR) International Conference sessions have attracted more than 350 basic, clinical, and translational researchers and practitioners from throughout China, the Asia-Pacific region, and worldwide.

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