Karen Olsen, PhD

Karen Olsen, PhD, is a science writer at the AACR, where she facilitates the communication of the latest cancer research to the general public and to the trade press. Before joining the AACR, Olsen completed her postdoctoral training at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, where she investigated the role that epigenetic regulators play in cancers and neuronal disorders. She received her doctorate in chemistry from Purdue University, where she focused on integral membrane proteins associated with disease. Olsen lives in Center City Philadelphia.

Experts Forecast Cancer Research and Treatment Advances in 2020

Around 400 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates is believed to have first described tumors as “cancer,” using the words “karkinos” or “karkinoma,” which stem from the Greek word for “crab”. Today, hundreds of different types of cancer have been described. As our understanding of this group of diseases continues to grow, cancer prevention, detection, and treatment advancements continue to evolve.

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Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Conference: Understanding Adverse Events

Immunotherapeutic advances have dramatically changed the treatment landscape for a host of different cancer types. Notably, immune checkpoint inhibitors – drugs that target the CTLA-4 or the PD-1/PD-L1 axis – have been approved for the treatment of more than a dozen cancers, and numerous clinical trials evaluating such agents in combination with other drugs are currently underway.

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Bringing Awareness to Breast Cancer in October

Breast cancer can be a scary diagnosis. Even though mortality rates have declined in recent years in the United States, it is estimated that over 40,000 women and roughly 500 men will die from breast cancer in 2019. Despite progress in developing new treatment modalities for patients with this disease, there is still substantial work to be done in the field.

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AACR Meeting Highlights Recent Advances in Pediatric Cancer Research

Pediatric cancer, while rare, is a devastating diagnosis that is estimated to affect over 11,000 children in the United States in 2019. Among those diagnosed between birth and age 14, more than 1,000 are anticipated to die from the disease this year. The most common types of cancer in this age group are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.

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From the Journals: Editors’ Picks for September

As we welcome the fall season, it’s time for our September edition of Editors’ Picks, a monthly collection of articles hand-picked by the editors of the eight scientific journals published by the AACR. This month, articles span from an assessment of a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate targeting the antigen CD205 in xenograft models, to results from a clinical trial evaluating the dual inhibition of VEGFR2 and MET in patients with advanced solid tumors. Read on to learn about this month’s selections, which are freely available for a limited time.

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Upcoming AACR Meeting Focuses on Recent Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Research

Pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States by 2030. The prognosis for this disease remains grim: The overall five-year survival rate is lower than 10 percent, and this rate drops to less than 3 percent if the disease is identified after the cancer has metastasized, a stage at which more than half of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed.

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Recent Studies Tap Into AACR Project GENIE Registry

The AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (AACR Project GENIE) is a unique registry that aggregates, harmonizes, and links clinical-grade cancer genomic data with clinical outcomes from tens of thousands of cancer patients. AACR Project GENIE recently released its sixth data set, increasing the database to nearly 70,000 de-identified genomic records. The database now has information spanning more than 80 major cancer types, including data from more than 11,000 patients with lung cancer, over 9,700 patients with breast cancer, and nearly 7,000 patients with colorectal cancer.

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July Editors’ Picks from AACR Journals

As a monthly staple on this blog, we feature the editors’ picks from the 10 journal issues published by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). This month, selections include two articles detailing laboratory culture methods to model human cancers, as well as results from two clinical trials, among other studies. Per usual, articles summarized here are freely available for a limited time.

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