AACR Annual Meeting 2019: Optimizing PD-1/PD-L1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have become part of the standard of care for more than 14 different cancer types, including melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and to treat patients with any type of solid tumor that is microsatellite instability–high or mismatch repair–deficient. In a clinical trial plenary session held April 1 at the AACR Annual Meeting 2019, titled “Optimizing PD-1/PD-L1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy: Dedicated to the Memory of Waun Ki Hong,” cancer researchers updated attendees on the latest advances in the utility of this class of immunotherapeutics, either as monotherapy or in combination with other treatment modalities.

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019: Recent Progress For Patients With Hard-to-treat and Rare Cancers

Recent advances in cancer research has led to enormous progress against many cancer types. From 1991 to 2015, we witnessed a 26 percent reduction in the U.S. cancer death rate, representing over 2 million lives saved. Deaths from several common cancers, including breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers, have declined in recent years, which is attributed to smoking cessation, advances in early detection, and treatment improvements.

Progress against many other cancers, however, has been much slower. Death rates for some types of cancer, such as esophageal cancer, have increased in certain populations, and pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality by 2030.  

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019: Preclinical Steps Toward a Cancer Preventive Vaccine for Lynch Syndrome

Cancer prevention refers to measures that people can take to reduce their risk of developing cancer. These measures can include lifestyle changes, like eliminating tobacco use, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and limiting exposure of skin to ultraviolet light. As our scientific knowledge of cancer etiology and the biology of premaligancy has grown, so too has our ability to rationally develop targeted and immunotherapeutic interventions for cancer prevention, in particular for those who inherit genetic mutations that predispose them to developing cancer.

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019 Opening Plenary Session: Wearable Technologies, Precision Medicine, and Immunotherapy

The spectacular sight of the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 Opening Ceremony, held Sunday, March 31, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta was immediately followed by a splendid opening plenary session, titled “Achieving Equitable Patient Care through Precision and Convergent Cancer Science.”

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019: The Biden Cancer Initiative

Like many Americans, Dr. Jill Biden has been personally affected by cancer. Friends, her parents, and her son Beau have all died of the disease, fueling her desire to fight for better treatments.

She and her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, established the Biden Cancer Initiative to build upon the work begun as part of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative in 2016. Dr. Biden attended the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019 on Sunday to share some of the progress that has been made, and to discuss how collaboration will be important in securing future progress.

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019: NCI Leaders Praise Progress and Collaboration

Two of the nation’s preeminent leaders in cancer research and policy took the stage Sunday morning at the Opening Ceremony of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019.

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, FAACR, and Douglas R. Lowy, MD, discussed recent progress against cancer from the vantage point of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Sharpless has served as director of the NCI since October 2017, and will soon leave the agency to become acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lowy will take over as NCI acting director, a position he held from 2015-2017.

Sharpless and Lowy discussed the rapid pace of progress in cancer care, drug development, clinical trials, and research funding over the past few years, and vowed to continue the momentum in their new roles in Washington, D.C.  

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Enabling Promising Postdocs to Become the Global Research Leaders of Tomorrow

Funded in partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), our new Transatlantic Fellowships provide high-potential early-career researchers with a unique opportunity to accelerate their careers. The Fellowships offer £300,000/$400,000 over four years to support the development of recently graduated PhDs and early-career postdocs into independent researchers at top institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States.

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March Editors’ Picks from AACR Journals

Back for March are the editors’ picks from the portfolio of scientific journals published by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). This month, articles include results from two clinical trials, two preclinical pancreatic cancer studies, and more. As always, articles summarized here are freely available for a limited time.

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Prostate Cancer Disparities: Race-related Biological Differences

Non-Hispanic black men in the United States are much more likely to develop prostate cancer and to die from the disease than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Many factors contribute to this striking disparity, including access to and use of health care, social and economic status, and biology. As discussed by Steven R. Patierno, PhD, and colleagues in a recent perspective article in the AACR journal Clinical Cancer Research, alternative RNA splicing is one biological factor contributing to prostate cancer disparities.

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