AACR, ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser Use Twitter’s Periscope to Live Stream “Breakthroughs in Cancer Research” From 2015 Annual Meeting

New Broadcasting Platform Allows Top Cancer Researchers to Engage Hundreds of Followers

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Richard Besser, MD, ABC News' chief health and medical editor, joined forces Tuesday afternoon on Besser's Twitter chat to share stories, observations, and significant research from the nation's top cancer researchers in conjunction with the AACR Annual Meeting, held April 18 to 22, in Philadelphia. The chat, called "Breakthroughs in Cancer Research," drew 406 participants who sent more than 2,000 tweets in the space of an hour. It was also streamed live through Twitter's Periscope.

Periscope is Twitter's new live-streaming video app. Its live feeds can be shot through iPhones and iPads and watched through smartphones, desktops, or laptops, either through the app or on Twitter's website.

"We are excited to take advantage of this new broadcasting platform to reach new audiences with the revolutionary research at this year's AACR Annual Meeting," said Rick Buck, senior director of communications and public relations for the AACR. "We interacted with cancer researchers and institutions across the country, cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in a wholly unprecedented way, and the response, combined with the efforts of the Twitter chat, was overwhelming."

A roster of the nation's most prominent leaders in cancer research participated in the Twitter chat, which was hosted by William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and editor-in-chief of Cancer Today, the AACR's quarterly magazine for cancer patients, survivors, and their family members and friends.

Periscope participants were: 

  • Jose Baselga, MD, PhD, AACR president and physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York;
  • Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, AACR past-president and the Donna S. Hall chair in breast cancer research and director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee;
  • Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, AACR Annual Meeting 2015 program chair and the Meyer director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, the Margaret and Herman Sokol professor in oncology research, and a professor of cancer biology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York;
  • Raymond DuBois, MD, PhD, executive director of The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University in Tempe;
  • Thomas J. Lynch, MD, Richard Sackler and Jonathan Sackler professor of medicine (medical oncology), director of Yale Cancer Center, and physician-in-chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven;
  • Emil Lou, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis;
  • Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, deputy cancer center director for translational research and the co-leader in molecular therapeutics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia; and
  • AnneMarie Ciccarella, cancer survivor and founder of Chemobrain Fog, a leading blog for breast cancer advocates.

The video content, which will stay on Periscope for 24 hours and is available on the AACR's YouTube channel, featured conversations between Nelson and all the thought leaders in an interactive format. Researchers and AACR staff also called out various trending topics on the Twitter chat, and discussed them live with Nelson in front of a Periscope audience.

"The 2015 Annual Meeting at AACR featured some truly groundbreaking research in immunotherapies and precision medicine, and we were proud to share some of those findings with Dr. Besser's online followers," said Dr. Nelson. "It was great to leverage this new video technology in conjunction with ABC News to spread the word to our audiences in a powerful way."

Follow the AACR Annual Meeting 2015 on Twitter: #AACR15.

Follow Dr. Besser's ABC News Twitter chat at #abcDrBchat.