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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Addressing Ovarian Cancer’s Unique Challenges

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an apt time for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Advances in Ovarian Cancer Meeting, scheduled for Sept. 13-16 in Atlanta.

Ovarian cancer is a fairly rare cancer, accounting for only 1.3 percent of new cancer diagnoses in 2019. However, it is a deadly cancer, with only 47.6 percent of patients surviving for five years or longer. Because there are no good diagnostic tests for ovarian cancer, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when the disease is difficult to treat.

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AACR Welcomes First Science Policy Fellow

Policy plays a critical role in the fight against cancer, influencing the funding of cancer research and driving the approval of safe and effective anticancer therapies. With the increasing complexity of cancer-related policy issues, the need for active engagement of cancer researchers and physician-scientists in the policymaking process has never been greater.

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Second Targeted Therapeutic Approved for Use Based on Tumor Biomarker, Not Tumor Origin

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the second of a new wave of molecularly targeted therapeutics that can be used to treat patients with any type of cancer provided their tumor tests positive for a specific biomarker.

The therapeutic in question, entrectinib (Rozlytrek), was approved for treating adults and adolescents age 12 and older whose cancers have an NTRK gene fusion and who have no other effective treatment options.

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FDA Approvals Provide Advances for a Range of Cancer Types

During late spring and early summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved four new molecularly targeted therapeutics—alpelisib (Piqray), polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (Polivy), selinexor (Xpovio), and darolutamide (Nubeqa)—for treating certain patients with a wide array of cancer types. Molecularly targeted therapeutics are the cornerstone of precision oncology. So, this flurry of approvals highlights that progress in this important area of cancer care is continuing unabated.

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AACR’s Global Scholars in Training Reflect on Annual Meeting Experience

This spring, in the inaugural year of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Global-Scholar-In-Training Awards (GSITA) program, 15 young researchers from around the world arrived in Atlanta eager to share their knowledge and to draw upon the global brain trust of cancer scientists attending AACR’s 110th Annual Meeting. Recipients also participated in a networking and mentoring event hosted by Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute which included a tour of laboratory and clinical facilities, presentations by doctoral students, and research and career advice from Emory faculty and staff.

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Let’s End HPV-related Cancers: A Congressional Briefing

Every two minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies of cervical cancer.

That harrowing statistic, shared by Anna R. Giuliano, PhD, founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, reflects a great frustration in public health. There is a vaccine that prevents infection with the virus that can cause cervical cancer and several other cancer types, yet worldwide, not enough people are taking advantage of it.

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Cancer Today Highlights Lessons in Survivorship

Every person who hears the words “you have cancer” has a unique story. As part of Cancer Today’s mission to provide “practical hope” and “real knowledge” to those who are affected by cancer, we strive to highlight those stories to provide a real-life glimpse into the challenges of treatment and what comes after.

As National Cancer Survivor Month comes to a close, we’d like to take an opportunity to reflect on some of the lessons we’ve learned from the cancer survivors who have shared their stories with Cancer Today, the magazine and online resource for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers, which is published by the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Survivorship Issues Reshape a Researcher’s Career

When I started my postdoc at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in May 2016, I was thrilled to experience a truly comprehensive training in breast cancer. During my tenure, I decided to take advantage of opportunities offered to me outside of the lab to learn about cancer from every angle, including attending weekly breast tumor boards and presenting my work to the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates (GBCA).

I’ll never forget at the end of my presentation with GBCA, one of the advocates, Jamie, asked what the side effects were for a new treatment I was proposing. I was proud that I had done some research on this and confidently stated, “they are the same as tamoxifen,” a commonly used breast cancer treatment.

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Highlights from AACR Meeting Focusing on Environmental Carcinogenesis

Decades of research have led to the identification of an increasing number of cancer-causing substances in our environment. These substances, known as environmental carcinogens, can be found anywhere, including in our air, water, food, and workplace.

Despite the progress we have made in identifying and increasing awareness of such carcinogens, experts believe that we have a long way to go before we have fully delineated them and successfully regulated our exposures to reduce cancer incidence. Therefore, establishing methods to better identify all of the carcinogens in our environment, to measure our exposure to them, and to prevent cancer caused by them are areas of active investigation in the field.

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