AACR Annual Meeting 2019


On Friday, March 29, 2019, a program of Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops will be presented beginning at 3 p.m. The Opening Ceremony and the Opening Plenary Session will take place on Sunday morning, March 31. The meeting will conclude at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. The 2019 Program in Progress follows.


Educational Sessions 

  • Approaches for Utilizing the Microbiome in Cancer Epidemiology Research
  • Biomarker Studies: Study Design and Statistical Considerations
  • CAR-T Therapy State of the Art
  • Characterizing Cancer Disparities Nationally and Internationally Using Publicly Available Data
  • Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 1: Lead Optimization in Cancer Drug Discovery
  • Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 2: Novel Chemical Tools and Leads for Unprecedented Targets
  • Chemistry to Clinic: Part 3: Unconventional Modalities to Extend the Antitumor Target Space
  • Co-Evolution of Tumor and Microenvironment in Cancer Metastasis
  • Convergence
  • Developing Standardized Platforms for Immune Monitoring in Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trials
  • Diverse Functions of Neutrophils in Cancer
  • Drug Development in China/Asia
  • The Endothelium and Fluid Flows: Linking Metastasis and Immunity
  • The Evolution of the Art and Science of Go/No Go Decisions in Cancer Drug Development
  • Extracellular Vesicles and Intercellular Communication in Cancer
  • FDA Session on Introduction to Oncology Drug Regulation
  • FDA Session on Topics in Oncology Regulation
  • Fibroblasts in the Driver's Seat: Impact on Tumor Progression and Therapy Resistance
  • Fluorescence Image-Guided Surgery for Improved Clinical Outcomes
  • From Cancer Genomics to the 3D Organization of the Genome
  • Genetic Predispositions to Childhood Lekemias: Implications for Pathogenesis and Screening
  • Host Versus Tumor Autophagy in Cancer
  • How Genetic Predispositions Predispose to Pediatric Hematologic Disorders
  • Immune-Targeted Biomarker Incorporation into Therapeutic Decision Making
  • Integrating Tumor Immunology and Molecular Epidemiology
  • Intersection of Radiation and Immune Therapy
  • Liquid Biopsies for Early Detection of Cancer
  • Metabolic Drivers of Cancer
  • Modulation of the Gut Microbiome to Treat Dysbiosis and Cancer
  • Molecular Regulation of Cancer Inflammation, Progression and Treatment Resistance
  • Obesity: Local and Systemic Inflammation Affecting Cancer
  • Oncolytic Virus Therapy
  • Ordering Genomic Changes as Actionable Targets in Pediatric Cancers
  • Organoids as Model Systems in Cancer
  • Pancreatic Tumor Microenvironment
  • Pathology 101
  • Personalized Circulating Tumor DNA Analysis for Minimal Residual Disease Detection
  • Precision Medicine in 2019
  • Preleukemia and Clonal Hematopoiesis
  • Quantitative Approaches to Study Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity
  • Resistance to Therapies and Cancer Cell Dormancy
  • Single Cell and Spatial Genomics
  • Stromal Niches for Organ-Tropic Metastasis
  • Systems Biology Approaches to Cancer
  • Targeting Cancer Neoantigens
  • Tools for Deep Learning in Cancer Image Analysis
  • Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists: Roundtable Discussions
  • Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists: Standard Cancer Therapies are Ultimately Immunotherapies
  • Update on Young Women’s Breast Cancer
  • Vascular-Immune Cell Cross Talk: Implications for Cancer Immunotherapy

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Methods Workshops

  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 1: The ABCs of Doing Cancer Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 2: Novel Trial Designs
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 3: Biomarker-Directed Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 4
  • Controversies in Replication cfDNA Measurements
  • Deciphering and Targeting Lysosomes in Cancer
  • Defining the Significance of BRCA1 Variants of Unknown Significance
  • Defining Tumor Organ-systems with Single Cell Transcriptomics
  • Designing Biomarker Studies to Achieve Desired Clinical Applications
  • Game-Changing Technologies for High Through-Put Functional Characterization of Cancer Gene Variants
  • Metabolomic Methods for Cancer Research
  • Methods for Utilizing the Microbiome in Cancer Epidemiology Research
  • Modeling Tumor Dormancy
  • Novel Imaging Strategies in the Metastatic Niche
  • Peering through the Looking Glass: Imaging and the Metastatic Niche
  • Sample Size and Power Workshop for Basic, Translational, and Clinical Studies

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Plenary Sessions

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Opening Plenary
Achieving Equitable Patient Care through Precision and Convergent Cancer Science
Chair: John D. Carpten, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Physicist vs. physician: Digitizing clinical assessment, and using it for evidence-based prediction of outcomes
Peter Kuhn, University of Southern California Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, Los Angeles, California
Title to be announced
Jorge J. Nieva, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California
Therapeutic implications of DNA repair defects in cancer
Alan Ashworth, University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California
Defining the actionable genome
David B. Solit, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
Title to be announced
Levi A. Garraway, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana 
Title to be announced
Crystal L. Mackall, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

Title to be announced
E. John Wherry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Monday, April 1, 2019
Clinical and Translational Research in Diverse Populations
Chair: Lisa A. Newman, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York

Title to be announced
Olusegun I. Alatise, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria

Spliceomics: Alternative RNA splicing as a source of ancestry-related molecular targets in precision oncology and cancer disparities
Steven R. Patierno, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina

Title to be announced
Melissa B. Davis, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan

Genomic and epigenomic studies of Cholangiocarcinoma in diverse populations
Bin Tean Teh, National Cancer Center Singapore, Singapore


Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Manipulating the Immune System in Cancer Therapy
Chair: Padmanee Sharma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

T-cell therapy targeting unique cancer mutations
Steven A. Rosenberg, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

Redirecting T-cells for cancer immunotherapy using next generation bispecific antibodies and fusion proteins
Pablo Umana, Roche Innovation Center Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Taming the beast: Strategies to target the immune suppressive macrophage to enhance cancer immune therapy
Judith A. Varner, University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, California

Mismatch repair deficiency: A connection between the immune system and cancer genetics
Dung T. Le, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, Maryland

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Pathogen-Related Cancers: Implications for Populations and Public Health
Chair: Douglas R. Lowy, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

Screening nasopharyngeal carcinoma using plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA: technological and clinical insights
Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

Hepatitis B and C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma in the era of highly active antiviral therapies
Jean-Michel Pawlotsky, Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale, INSERM U955, Créteil, France

HIV and cancer: From despair to gene therapy
Ariela Noy, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

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Major Symposia  

  • AACR-Bayard D. Clarkson Symposium: Single-Cell Anaysis of Tumor Heterogeneity
  • Advancing Epigenetic Therapies for Solid Tumors
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Regulatory Use
  • At the Roots of Cancer: Biology and Regulation of the Hippo-YAP Pathway
  • Blood Biopsy for Response Monitoring
  • Bone Marrow Sensing of Distant Tumors: From Early Detection to Possible Therapy 
  • Cell-Based Therapies (Imm7)
  • The Changing Etiology of Liver Cancer: Needs for Prevention
  • Characterizing and Managing Cancer as a Complex Adaptive System
  • Circadian Rhythms and Cancer
  • Clinical Trials and Clinical Utility
  • Convergence of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Prediction in Cancer
  • Deregulation of Histone Modifiers in Cancer
  • Diverse Populations and Cancer
  • Earlier Detection of Lung Cancer 
  • Escaping Immune Surveillance
  • Evolution and Development of Resistance to Therapy
  • FDA Special Session with Richard Pazdur
  • Genomic Instability
  • Germline-Somatic Interactions in Cancer Risk and Tumor Evolution 
  • Hematologic Malignancies
  • Immune Cells that Translate the Language of Microbiota and their Role in Cancer
  • Immune Exhaustion in Cancer Therapies
  • Impact of a Brexit on Oncology Drug Development and Regulation
  • Mammalian Sirtuins, Energy Bioenergetics, Metabolism, and Carcinogenesis
  • The Matrix Reloaded: Influences of the Extracellular Matrix on Tumor Progression
  • Metabolism: The New Kids on the Block in Cancer Care
  • Metastasis: Evidence and Clinical Implications of Early Dissemination
  • Minimal Residual Disease: From Bench to Bedside
  • Minorities in Cancer Research Scientific Symposium
  • Molecular Determinants and Dynamics of Metastasis
  • Multilevel Consideration of Cancer Health Disparities: Contextual Factors to Molecular Features 
  • The Next Generation of Precision Cancer Medicine:  Recognizing and Exploiting the Complexity
  • Obesity and Cancer: Systemic Metabolic Dysregulation Meets Cancer Cell Metabolism   
  • Organ-Specific Immunity
  • Pediatric Oncology: Discovery, Development, Distribution
  • Prediagnostic Esposures and Tumor Mutational Signatures in Population Studies
  • Predictive Biomarkers
  • Presidential Select Symposium: Engaging Cancer Patients as Partners in the Research Process
  • Recently Approved Breakthrough Therapies and New Approval Endpoints
  • Regulation and Function of TP53
  • Regulatory Considerations for Liquid Biopsy
  • The Science of Survivorship: Long-term Survivorship in Vulnerable Populations
  • Systematic Elucidation of Nononogene Targets
  • Systems Biology and Cancer Immunology
  • Systems Epigenetics in Hormone-Driven Cancers 
  • Tobacco Session
  • Transcriptional and Gene-Regulatory States: How They Relate to Lineage Origin and Plasticity in Pediatric Cancer
  • Tumor Metabolism and DNA Damage Response
  • Vascular Regulation of Anti-tumor Immunity

Advances in Diagnostics and Therapeutics   

  • Cooperativity of Tumor Clones
  • Innate Immunity and Complement in Solid Tumors?
  • Intratumoral Approaches to Immunotherapy
  • Liquid Biopsy in Brain Tumors and Metastases
  • Modeling Treatment Response in Patient-Derived Organoids
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Nonpharmacologic Approaches to Improving Survival and Patient- Reported Outcomes
  • Proton Therapy
  • Recent Progress in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
  • Regulation of the Immune Microenvironment by Glycosylation
  • The Remarkable Utility of Proximate Biologic Samples: Molecular Detection of Endometrial Cancer
  • RNA Editing in Cancer Pathophysiology
  • Small Molecule Protein Degraders
  • T-Cell Bispecifics: What Have We Learned About T-Cell Engagers in the Clinic?
  • Tumor Treating Fields- A Fourth Modality in Cancer Treatment
  • Vaccines

Advances in Organ Site Research 

  • Advances in Brain Metastases 
  • Advances in Esophageal Cancer
  • Advances in Gastric Cancer
  • Advances in Multiple Myeloma
  • Advances in Pancreatic Cancer 
  • Biologic Therapy Advances in Pediatric Tumors
  • The Changing Face of Ovarian Cancer 
  • Genetic Predisposition in Hematologic Malignancies
  • Genitourinary, Bladder, and Renal Cancers
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors: Genomics, Genetics, and Therapy
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Glimmer of Light at the End of the Tunnel

Advances in Prevention and Interception

  • Engineering Meets Biology
  • Role of Chronic Stress in the Etiology of Cancer
  • Spectrum of Premalignant and Malignant Genomic Alterations in the “Healthy” Population 

Advances in the Science of Cancer Health Disparities

  • Novel Applications of Clinical Trials Research to Studying Disparities
  • The Science of Cancer Health Disparities

  • B Cells in Solid Tumors: Good or Bad?
  • Biden Cancer Initiative
  • Challenges and Opportunities of International Consortia
  • The Changing Economics of Cancer
  • Drugging the Undruggable
  • Elimination of HPV and Related Cancers
  • Fighting the IL-1 Inflammatory Pathway
  • The Future of the In Vitro Clinical Test Regulation
  • Immuno-oncology Combination Trials: What Went Wrong?
  • Implementation Science for Evidence-Based Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Practices in Defined Diverse Populations
  • The Integration of Nanotechnologies and Bioengineering for Cancer Research
  • Minorities in Cancer Research Forum
  • Radiomics: Separating the Hype from the Hope
  • The Science of Global Community Outreach
  • Science of Survivorship: The Intersection of Survivorship and Aging
  • Updates on Atlas Development

Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops
New this year, educational programming will begin on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. and continue through Saturday, March 30. Each year, 60 unique sessions are included in this program, and sessions are open to all meeting registrants. Popular programming such as the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists session and roundtable discussions, New Drugs on the Horizon sessions, From Chemistry to the Clinic sessions, and Clinical Trial Design workshops will once again be offered.

Policy Sessions  
Decisions made by policymakers in Washington, D.C., have a direct impact on cancer research and the progress being made against cancer in the United States and throughout the world. The AACR sponsors sessions with government leaders, academic researchers, patient advocates, and industry representatives to foster dialogue about emerging topics in science, health, and regulatory policy.

The Science and Health Policy Track includes sessions that will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about how policy impacts science, and vice versa. Science policy sessions will examine the current political environment affecting federal funding for the U.S. NIH and NCI, including ways for scientists to get involved in advocating for robust, sustained, and predictable budget increases. Health policy sessions will explore how scientific evidence can inform policy on cancer prevention and control and what impact policies are having on patients and communities. Past health policy sessions have covered topics such as tobacco control, the Affordable Care Act, and cancer survivorship.

The Regulatory Science and Policy Track includes informative sessions designed to highlight recent regulatory developments and provide an open forum for the consideration of issues that the FDA faces as the agency seeks to accelerate the pace of approval of safe and effective treatments for cancer patients. These sessions offer an opportunity for attendees to discuss cutting-edge issues in cancer drug, biologic, and diagnostic regulation with stakeholders from academia, industry, advocacy, and government. Past regulatory science and policy topics have included:

  • Case studies of recently approved breakthrough therapies
  • Regulatory considerations for developing CAR-T therapies
  • Reference materials for next-generation sequencing (NGS)–based tests
  • Implications of site-agnostic therapy approval for drug development

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