American Association for Cancer Research

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Two Leading Researchers to Be Honored at the 35th Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium


November 28, 2012

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SAN ANTONIO — The 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium will honor two leading breast cancer researchers during its 35th annual symposium, which will be held here Dec. 4-8 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.

Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., will receive the 2012 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, and Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., will present the 2012 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research.

Hosted by the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the AACR and Baylor College of Medicine, the symposium is a four-day program that presents a balance of clinical, translational and basic research focused on breast cancer. It provides a forum for interaction, communication and education for a broad spectrum of researchers, health care professionals and those with a special interest in breast cancer.

2012 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Polyak will deliver her award lecture, “Breast Tumor Evolution: Drivers and Clinical Relevance,” on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Exhibit Hall D of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Polyak is a professor of medicine in the department of medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. Her laboratory investigates the molecular basis of breast tumor evolution, with special emphasis on the role of the microenvironment and intratumor diversity in these processes. Her work focuses on identifying molecular alterations between normal and cancerous breast tissue using various technologies, determining their consequences and utilizing them to improve the clinical management of patients with breast cancer.

Funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, this award recognizes an investigator younger than 50 whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.

2012 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research, supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bissell will deliver her award lecture, titled “Genes and the Microenvironment: The Two Faces of Breast Cancer,” on Friday, Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Exhibit Hall D of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.

Bissell is a distinguished scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Her innovative breast cancer research has had a profound influence on the understanding of cancer biology, in particular how three-dimensional organ architecture is responsible for normal behavior and how the loss of this crucial information influences the genesis of tumors. Her work demonstrated the pivotal role of reciprocal signaling between the nucleus and the extracellular matrix that surrounds tissues. She argued that it is the imbalance of this dynamic exchange of information that causes cancer. The research generated by Bissell and her team indicates that it is not only the genetic mutations that drive cancer, but also disruption of microenvironmental control.

Supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, this lectureship was established in 2008 and is given annually to an individual who has undertaken outstanding scientific research that has inspired or has the potential to inspire new perspectives on the etiology, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.

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The mission of the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is to produce a unique and comprehensive scientific meeting that encompasses the full spectrum of breast cancer research, facilitating the rapid translation of new knowledge into better care for patients with breast cancer. The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Baylor College of Medicine are joint sponsors of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This collaboration utilizes the clinical strengths of the CTRC and Baylor and the AACR’s scientific prestige in basic, translational and clinical cancer research to expedite the delivery of the latest scientific advances to the clinic. For more information about the symposium, please visit www.sabcs.org.

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110
Tara.Yates@aacr.org
In San Antonio, Dec. 4-8:
(210) 582-7035