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Cancer Research, Prevention to be Focus of Conference

Cancer Research, Prevention to be Focus of Conference
M. D. Anderson News Release 10/28/02

Medical professionals, students and top cancer specialists nationwide will gather in Orlando, Florida on November 21-23 to discuss the latest research findings and treatment options for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Hosted by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the multidisciplinary conference will highlight current translational and therapeutic research directions for gastric, liver, pancreatic and colorectal tumors.

"Our goal is to build an interactive forum where the free exchange of scientific information educates and creates an awareness for both the medical community and the public," said Dr. Jaffer A. Ajani, a professor of medicine in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at M. D. Anderson, and organizer of the conference. "The conference will look at the GI tract as a whole, which is significant because currently there is no such forum in North America."

One area of research to be highlighted at the conference is the growing use of predictive and prognostic markers to individualize treatment for gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr. Stanley Hamilton, head of M. D. Anderson's Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, will discuss his research on developing predictors for how well patients with colorectal cancer will respond to treatment. Such prognostic indicators may lead physicians to recommending more precise treatment for advanced colon cancer.

"Our study is a step toward achieving the goal of individualizing treatment based on molecular characteristics of their tumor," Hamilton said.

The conference convenes at 6 p.m., Thursday, November 21, Wyndam Palace Resort and Spa, 1900 Buena Vista Drive, with keynote speaker Paula Kim, who will discuss her efforts to create a non-profit organization to promote public and academic awareness of pancreatic cancer. Kim will discuss the level of research and patient support that is focused on and needed for finding new therapies and approaches for treating the disease.

"This conference gives us the opportunity to facilitate the international presentation of new data, in hopes of one day developing solutions and finding new therapies for patients with cancer," Ajani said.

Others presentations include topics in radiation oncology, pathology, cancers of the esophagus and colon cancer.

Physicians, researchers, nurses, allied health professionals, students and the public are invited to attend. For more information, visit the M. D. Anderson website or contact M. D. Anderson CME/Conference services at (713) 792-2222.

10/28/02


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