PHILADELPHIA — In recognition of World Cancer Day, Feb. 4, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) expressed its support for the international awareness day and highlighted several activities it is undertaking to promote collaboration among cancer researchers around the world in 2017.
“The global burden of cancer remains immense. Defeating this scourge will require a robust and productive exchange of ideas among cancer researchers and other stakeholders from all over the world,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR is proud to facilitate these collaborations through our scientific meetings, initiatives such as AACR Project GENIE, partnerships with other cancer organizations, and offices outside the United States in Shanghai and Toronto.
“We also believe strongly in the importance of public education to combat the cancer problem. On this World Cancer Day, we enthusiastically join people across the globe in raising awareness about the importance of cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Together, we can stem the tide against this insidious disease and save more lives.”
Earlier this year, the AACR hosted two events in Cape Town, South Africa: the AACR-AORTIC Workshop on Capacity Building for Cancer Research in Africa and the AACR International Conference on New Frontiers in Cancer Research. These groundbreaking events—the first programs ever offered by the AACR on the African continent—are stepping stones for increased collaborations among laboratory researchers, population scientists, and clinicians in the United States and in Africa. This May, the AACR will host another “first:” the AACR International Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine in São Paulo, Brazil. This conference, held in cooperation with the Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group (LACOG), will bridge basic and clinical research and thus fosters translational cancer research in Latin America, thereby providing service to the scientific and medical communities in the region. The next conference in the New Horizons in Cancer Research Series will be returning to Shanghai, China, in the fall.
The organization will partner with a number of international organizations on other conferences and workshops throughout the year:
• The 14th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) in Lugano, Switzerland, is the must-attend event for the scientific community involved in the study and treatment of lymphoid neoplasms. The AACR partners with the organizers on various aspects of the program which, this year, will include a sponsored keynote lecture, a special joint session, and a pre-conference workshop.
• The ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research in Zeist, the Netherlands, is an educational program that introduces junior clinical oncologists to the principles of good clinical trial design.
• At the EACR-AACR-SIC Special Conference 2017: The Challenges of Optimizing Immuno- and Targeted Therapies: From Cancer Biology to the Clinic in Florence, Italy, leading experts will discuss both targeted and immunological approaches to interfere with cancer, the need to increase our fundamental understanding of tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance mechanisms, how to better stratify patients for therapy, and the role of microenvironmental factors influencing therapy response.
• In August, the Croucher Foundation will host its third biennial Summer Course on Cancer Biology in Hong Kong. As in 2013 and 2015, the AACR will offer travel awards to three meritorious students to offset the cost of their attendance.
• The Third CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference will take place in Mainz/Frankfurt, Germany. Through this conference collaboration, the organizers aim to more effectively and efficiently disseminate the latest cutting-edge information and research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and to provide an opportunity for teaching, learning, and networking among all stakeholders in the field.
The AACR’s international efforts reach far beyond its scientific meetings. AACR membership now includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. Thirty-one percent of AACR members are located outside the United States.
The AACR is the Coordinating Center for AACR Project GENIE, an international data-sharing project that counts institutions in Canada, France, and the Netherlands among its participants. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the AACR collaborates with SU2C and cancer research organizations around the world on several research grants.
The AACR is a longstanding co-host of the annual International Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics with the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. In 2014, the organization opened offices in Shanghai, China, and Toronto, Canada.
Held annually on Feb. 4, World Cancer Day is an international initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) that aims to raise awareness about the global cancer burden, empower individuals with information that will help them take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, and encourage governments to make cancer research, screening, and treatment national priorities. The AACR is an active member of the UICC, an organization that brings together the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, and patient groups to accelerate the fight against cancer.