Some of the world's top minds in cancer research will gather this weekend to ponder new ways of ensuring that people won't ever need to seek cancer treatment.
The Tenth Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research theme is Advancing Cancer Prevention Through Technology.
"Cancer treatment has been transformed by technology to facilitate personalized cancer therapy. We chose this theme to promote the same transformation to a personalized approach for cancer prevention," says Powel Brown, M.D., Ph.D., chair of MD Anderson's Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention and scientific program chairman for the meeting. He will open the meeting's first session Saturday night.
High-tech discovery, analysis and application of genetic variation, gene expression and protein activity are allowing oncologists to more precisely match a course of treatment to a patient's specific tumor.
Such advances are usually used first in patients with advanced disease, says Waun Ki Hong, M.D., head of MD Anderson's Division of Cancer Medicine and the principal investigator in a series of groundbreaking personalized medicine clinical trials for lung cancer known as BATTLE.
Hong will discuss "reverse migration," applying personalized treatment tactics to cancer prevention, during the opening session Saturday night in Boston. Hong chaired the first AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention meeting in 2002, developed with the American Association for Cancer Research to stimulate research by establishing a scientific meeting devoted solely to prevention.
MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, M.D., follows with the distinguished lecture, "The Age of Cancer: Can Our Understanding of the Molecular Circuitry of Aging Illuminate the Path to Prevention?" DePinho, internationally recognized for basic and translational research in cancer, aging and age-associated degenerative disorders, became MD Anderson's fourth president on Sept. 1.
Keynote speaker will be Caryn Lerman, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Tobacco Use and Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center. She will address translational research on nicotine addiction treatment.
The evening's program closes with a special lecture by Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., head of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition, titled "Cancer Prevention Over 30 Years: Challenges, Distractions, but Progress.
Scientific sessions continue Sunday through midday Tuesday. Check out the program.
"I expect to see cutting-edge science focused on cancer prevention presented and disseminated to the scientific and lay communities," Brown says. "We'll learn the results of cancer prevention clinical trials, cancer screening and early detection, preclinical studies and epidemiologic studies. Ultimately, I hope that this meeting stimulates new collaborations and accelerated progress in the field of cancer prevention research."
Select sessions will be covered in Cancer Frontline posts and on Twitter at @CancerFrontline.