Leading researchers are gathering today for the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the premier multidisciplinary assembly, which features the latest developments in basic, prevention, translational and clinical cancer research. The meeting occurs from March 27 – 31, 2004 at the Orlando Convention Center, Fla.
"Because scientific advances are pushing forward at such an incredible pace, our insight into cancer mechanism and progression is growing exponentially," said Karen Antman, M.D., president of AACR. "The AACR Annual Meeting will help us harness this information to develop and discover cutting-edge diagnostics and treatments necessary to conquer this disease."
This year's Annual Meeting will spotlight new information and innovations that are leading to a new understanding of cancer and its course of action. Presentations by top scientists will include novel technologies and research approaches, lifesaving therapies in the pipeline, and new insights into prevention.
"Thanks to persistence and determination on part of the researchers, we can better understand the intricacies of cancer that will ultimately lead to its cure," said Dr. Antman.
The discussions presented during the opening plenary session, Targeting the Conquest of Cancer through Conceptual Integration and Innovation (Sunday, March 28, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.), reflect the theme of this year's Annual Meeting – Information Integration for Innovation.
Researchers will present a broad range of discoveries in the field of cancer research, including an in-depth review of telomerase, a DNA shield which may be central to cancer progression, followed by a continued investigation into the impact of COX-2. The increasingly important area of genomics also will be highlighted by researchers who will discuss the identification of undiscovered gene functions as potential targets for the development of anti-cancer drugs. The session will close with a discussion of the evolving practice of targeted cancer therapy approaches.
"AACR is committed to continual progress and improvement in this field, focusing on support for discoveries and breakthroughs to which the ultimate goal will be the feasible management of cancer," said Geoffrey Wahl, PhD, professor in the gene expression laboratory at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Annual Meeting Chairperson. "The Annual Meeting provides a valuable opportunity for scientists to share their theories and findings and learn new techniques, as well as to discuss ways to prevent the onset, delay the progression and save lives due to cancer," he added.
AACR's Annual Meeting attracts attendees including leading industry, academic and government scientists, as well as clinical oncologists, students, cancer survivors, advocates and other health care professionals. Such a diverse group facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of new ideas and formulations of new collaborations. This year, more than 5,700 abstracts were submitted for presentation, complementing an outstanding program of scientific and educational events already scheduled.
Other meeting highlights include:
- Press Conferences: Moderate exercise such as walking promotes breast cancer survival, reduces endometrial cancer risk; vitamin E lowers risk of prostate, bladder cancers; tobacco-induced genetic changes may be targets for intervention, prevention; new diagnostic tools from proteomics to fight ovarian cancer; the effect of sun on cancer prevention, immune response.
- Symposia and Forums: covering a diverse range of timely topics of critical interest to the broad cancer community, as well as state-of-the-art cancer research development reviews.