American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

Scientists Take Cancer Research Back to the Basic Molecular Level


September 18, 2008

AACR Convenes Third International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sept. 22-25, 2008

PHILADELPHIA - Scientists and clinicians from around the world will gather in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, next week at the American Association for Cancer Research's third International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Therapeutic Development.

The conference is subtitled, "Fulfilling the Promise of Personalized Medicine," which reflects the potential of molecular diagnostics to provide new strategies for tailoring therapies to fit the needs of each cancer patient's unique biology.

Sessions will include discussions on the use of biomarkers in clinical practice and new drug development, advanced imaging technologies for diagnosis, and the application of proteomics in personalized medicine.

Novel findings to be reported at the conference include:

  • A new gene expression analysis that shows important differences in brain cancer.
  • A groundbreaking method of measuring changes in DNA.
  • A new biomarker that could more accurately determine the prognosis of patients with head and neck carcinoma.
  • A more complete and accurate test for blood disorders.


"As genetic, proteomic, imaging and other new technologies have become more sophisticated and our knowledge of tumor biology and signaling pathways advances, so too does our ability to molecularly characterize individual tumors and identify germ line and somatic determinants of patient prognosis and response," said conference chairperson Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

"This new era of personalized medicine has brought with it great opportunities to enhance cancer drug development and improve patient care," said Mills. "However, in order to harness this potential and maximize these opportunities, it is essential that there be an ongoing exchange of new ideas and information."

In addition to the symposia and poster sessions, the conference will include two keynote lectures. The first will be from David Sidransky, M.D., director of head and neck cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, who will deliver, "Personalized Cancer Medicine in the Next Decade." The second will be from Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., director of the Division of Life Sciences at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, who will speak on, "Models of Molecular Diversity to Facilitate Marker Guided Therapy."

The AACR's third International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development will be held September 22-25, 2008, at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia. For press registration and more information about the conference, please visit: /page14221.aspx.


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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
267-646-0557
Jeremy.moore@aacr.org