AACR Annual Meeting 2020


Beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 24, and continuing all day Saturday, April 25, 2020, a program of Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops will be presented. (An Educational Program Pass granting access to the complete educational program is available for a single flat fee of $50 for AACR members and $75 for nonmembers.) The Opening Ceremony and the Opening Plenary Session will take place on Sunday morning, April 26. The meeting will conclude at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29. The 2020 Program in Progress follows.

Plenary Sessions    

Sunday, April 26, 2020
Opening Plenary Session: Turning Science into Lifesaving Care
Chair: Antoni Ribas, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California

Howard Y. Chang, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Daniel Diniz De Carvalho, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ashani T. Weeraratna, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Olivier Elemento, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York

Alexander Marson, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Monday, April 27, 2020
Understanding the Molecular and Microenvironmental Determinants of Cancer
Chair: Christina Curtis, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Garry P. Nolan, Stanford University School of Medicine,
Stanford, California

Serena Nik-Zainal, University of Cambridge, Cambridge,
United Kingdom

Ross L. Levine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Jérôme Galon, INSERM, Paris, France

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Cancer Biology and the Changing Therapeutic Landscape
Chair: Sheila A. Stewart, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Tony Hunter, Salk Institute, La Jolla, California

William G. Kaelin, Jr., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chicago, Illinois

Dennis J. Slamon, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Leveraging the Immune System in the War on Cancer
Chair: Miriam Merad, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York

Zhijan James Chen, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas

Anjana Rao, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, La Jolla, California

Sergio A. Quezada, University College London Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom

Michel Sadelain, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

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Major Symposia  

  • Advances in Cancer Nanotechnology
  • Alternatives to Classical DNA Repair: How, When, and Where Are They Implemented?
  • Cancer and the Microbiome: Implications for Treatment Efficacy
  • Cancer Immunometabolism
  • The Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium: Building a Proteogenomic Atlas of Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer Chemoprevention
  • CRISPR Dependency Mapping
  • Cytokine Receptor Signaling
  • Deubiquitylating Enzymes (DUBs) as Targets for Cancer Therapy
  • Developing Rational Combinations of Targeted Drugs
    Diet, Clock, and Cancer
  • Drugging KRAS
  • Engineering and Modulating Natural Killer (NK) Cells for
    Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Epigenetic Origin of Cancers: Oncohistones and Chromatin Modifiers or Chromatin Deregulation in Cancer
  • Familial Predisposition: Precision Medicine and Targeted Therapy
  • From ‘Omics Data to Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers
  • Functional Precision Medicine: Choosing the Right Drugs
    for the Right Patient
  • Germline Influence on Immunotherapy Outcomes
  • Hypoxia and Genetic Instability
  • Imaging
  • Implications of CHIP (Clonal Hematopoiesis) on Human Health
  • Improving Therapy through Normalization of the Tumor
  • Matrix, Exosomes, and TME Cells in the Metastatic Niche
  • Mechanisms and Biomarkers for Response and Resistance to
    Immune Therapy
  • Modeling Metastatic Progression in the Mouse
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy for Melanoma and Other Cancers
  • New Approaches to Chimeric Antigen Receptors
  • New Combinations of Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies
  • Next Frontiers in Adjuvant Therapy
  • Next-Generation Epigenetic Drugs
  • Oligometastatic Disease: New Treatment Options and Opportunities
  • Paracrine Signaling in Cancer
  • Phase Separation, Transcription, and Cancer
  • Presidential Select Symposium: Precision Pediatric Cancer Medicine
  • Progress from Personalized Cancer Vaccine Trials
  • Radiomics in Oncology
  • The Role of Intratumoral Microbes in Modulating Therapy Response
  • Single-Cell Analysis: Changing the Landscape of Cancer Research
  • Stem Cells
  • T Cells in Cancer
  • TCR Targeting of Mutational Neoantigens
  • Tracking Tumor Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics: From
    Initiation through Metastasis
  • Tumor Cell Plasticity and Resistance to Cancer Therapies
  • When Is Transforming Growth Factor Beta Targetable?

Advances in Diagnostics and Therapeutics  

  • Advances in Diagnostic Tests
  • Advances in Drug Delivery
  • Canine Models for Tumor Immunotherapy and Immunogenomics
  • Computational Methods for Immunogenomics and Immunotherapy
  • DNA Damage Response
  • Hybrid Technologies for Cancer Imaging and Image-Guided
  • Management of Toxicity of Immune Cell Therapy
  • Overcoming Resistance to Third-Generation EGFR and ALK Inhibitors
  • Proton Therapy and FLASH Irradiation
  • Targeting Transcriptional CDKs in Cancer
  • Towards Real-Time Treatment Decision Making: Noninvasive
    Monitoring of Minimal Residual Disease via Liquid Biopsy

Advances in Prevention, Early Detection, and Interception

  • Exploiting the Microenvironment to Prevent Cachexia
  • Interception of Preneoplasia
  • Molecular Targets of Precision Prevention and Interception
  • Opportunities for Cancer Control in Rural and Frontier Populations
  • Radiation-Induced Cancers and Cancer Survivorship

Advances in the Science of Cancer Health Disparities

  • Evaluation of Racial and Ethnic Specific Xenografts as Models for Molecular Targeted Therapies
  • Global Factors Involved in Reducing Cancer Incidence
  • Pan-cancer Distinctions in Tumor Biology across Ethnicity and
    Genetic Ancestry
  • Precision Medicine in Underserved Populations

Advances in Organ Site Research

  • Advances in Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Advances in Endometrial Cancer
  • Advances in Sarcoma Therapy
  • Developing More Effective Therapies for Triple-Negative
    Breast Cancer
  • Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Emerging Concepts in Liver Cancer Research
  • Next-Generation Treatments for Melanoma: Building on Success
  • Pathways to Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
  • Solid Tumor Brain Metastasis
  • Targeting Signaling Pathways in Colon Cancer
  • Therapeutic Vulnerabilities and Resistance Mechanisms in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer
  • Treating Renal Cell Cancer with Targeted Drugs



  • Are There Cancer Stem Cells?
  • Biostatistics Pandemonium: Should Science Be Guided by p-Values?
  • CAR T-cell Therapy or T-cell Engager?
  • Data Science and Machine Learning: Will They Revolutionize Cancer Care and Research?
  • Disparities in Cancer Outcomes: Biology, Access, and Equity
  • Entrepreneurship in Developing New Cancer Therapies
  • Is the Abscopal Effect Real?
  • Microbiome Pandemonium: Checkpoints and the Microbiome
    Patient-Derived Models for Cancer
  • To Wake or Not to Wake the Sleeping Giant: How Best to Address Tumor Cell Dormancy and Treatment
  • What Is the Role for Oncolytic Viruses in Cancer Treatment?

Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops
Educational programming will begin on Friday, April 24, at 3 p.m. and continue through Saturday, April 25. The Educational Program is an integral part of the meeting and provides attendees with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base. For a flat fee of $50 for AACR members and $75 for nonmembers, meeting registrants can purchase an Educational Program Pass granting access to the complete educational program of more than 60 unique sessions covering all areas of cancer research, including the following popular multisession programs:

  • Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists. Annually, this two-part series combines a comprehensive review of a hot topic in the field with a roundtable session that enables attendees to participate in group discussions with leading experts in the field.
  • Chemistry to the Clinic. This three-part series provides attendees with foundational knowledge of critical elements of the drug development process, such as lead optimization, identification of targets, and drug modalities.
  • Clinical Trial Design. Over the course of three consecutive sessions, this Methods Workshop will provide attendees with a historical and methodologic understanding of clinical trials and demonstrate how to design an appropriate trial to answer the scientific questions presented by emerging treatments.

Policy Sessions  

Decisions made by policymakers in Washington, DC, 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, cancer survivors, and industry representatives to foster dialogue about the emerging topics of science, health, and regulatory science and 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, health insurance coverage, and the prevention and control of pathogen-related cancers.

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 liquid biopsy tests, implications of site-agnostic therapy approval for drug development, and applications for artificial intelligence/machine learning in regulatory decision-making.

The Science of Survivorship Track includes sessions highlighting new and high-value areas of research to address the array of challenges facing long-term cancer survivors. Sessions invite trans-sector discussion among the survivor and advocacy communities, basic and clinical researchers, the tech industry, health care providers, and government. Past science of survivorship topics have included aging and cancer, long-term survivorship and vulnerable populations, development of new survivorship models, patient-reported outcomes, data sharing, and patient engagement.

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