AACR Blog Turns 4: How Far Has Immunotherapy Advanced in That Time?

This week marks the fourth anniversary of Cancer Research Catalyst, the official blog of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). As outlined in the welcome post from AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), the blog was launched to increase the spread of new knowledge about cancer.

Over these four years, our blog posts have disseminated information about advances across the breadth of cancer research and the clinical cancer care continuum. One area in which advances have occurred at a particularly rapid pace is immunotherapy.

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FDA Expands Use of Pembrolizumab to Two Additional Cancer Types

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased the number of types of cancer for which pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is a treatment option when it approved the immunotherapeutic for treating certain patients with cervical cancer and certain patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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AACR Award Recipient Tells Her Story in NY Times

For many aspiring investigators, pursuing a career in cancer research can be a complex exploration of self and purpose.

In this touching and inspiring piece published in The New York Times, a former AACR Undergraduate Scholar Awardee, Mya Roberson, now a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, shares how her participation in the AACR Annual Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved helped her realize the meaning in her research.

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STAR Act Aims to Boost Pediatric Research

This week, President Trump signed the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, which is aimed at supporting pediatric cancer research. The legislation calls for expanding the collection of patient biospecimens and records, improving surveillance, and investigating pediatric survivorship.

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An Important Skin Cancer Prevention Reminder: Don’t Fry

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Every year, about 5 million Americans are treated for various forms of the disease.

Skin cancer types include basal and squamous cell cancers, as well as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. About 73,870 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year. Survival rates are significantly higher when the disease is diagnosed at its earliest stage.

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FDA Approves Targeted Therapy Combo for Thyroid Cancer

On May 4, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a combination of molecularly targeted therapeutics for the treatment of a certain type of thyroid cancer. Specifically, the FDA approved the use of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) in combination with trametinib (Mekinist) for treating patients who have anaplastic thyroid cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or that has metastasized, and that tests positive for a BRAF V600E gene mutation.

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