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Leaders from Congress, NIH, NCI, and FDA to Address AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research will host its second Virtual Annual Meeting next week, June 22-24, 2020. The AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will feature a distinguished roster of world-class speakers, numerous invited talks, and more than 4,000 scientific posters, presented through an innovative virtual platform. The first AACR Virtual Annual Meeting, held April 27-28, 2020, attracted more than 61,000 scientists, clinicians, advocates, and other attendees.

In addition to groundbreaking scientific research, the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will include lectures and sessions on the most pertinent social and policy issues facing cancer and biomedical research today.

National Leaders to Address Attendees

The following government officials and policymakers will speak at next week’s meeting:

  • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and
  • Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), will all speak during the Opening Ceremony, Monday, June 22, at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Ned Sharpless, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will present the NCI Director’s Address Tuesday, June 23, at 12 p.m. ET.
  • Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will speak at the beginning of the COVID-19 and Cancer Research session Wednesday, June 24, at 11 a.m. ET.

Racism and Racial Inequities in Cancer Research

On Tuesday, June 23, from 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. ET, the AACR will convene a panel of experts from academia, government, industry, and the patient advocacy community to talk openly about the pervasive racism and social injustices toward Black Americans in our country and people of color around the world. This includes exposing significant discrimination and inequality in all areas of cancer research and treatment based on the color of their skin. The panel will discuss ways to achieve social justice and equality for all regardless of skin color, eliminate cancer health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by increasing minority representation in clinical trials, and ensure diversity and recognition of the accomplishments of minority scientists and clinicians in the cancer work force. The panelists are:


  • AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, FAACR, University of California Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center


  • John D. Carpten, PhD, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Marcia Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD, University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Lola A. Fashoyin-Aje, MD, MPH, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Kenneth C. Frazier, JD, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, FAACR, Roche
  • Russell J. Ledet, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Hannah Valantine, MD, U.S. National Institutes of Health
  • Robert A. Winn, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center

The Intersection of COVID-19 and Cancer

The AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will also feature the following sessions on COVID-19 and cancer:

COVID-19 and Cancer: Guidance for Clinical Trial Conduct and Considerations for RWE

Monday, June 22, 3:45 p.m. ET

This regulatory science and policy session will consider the use of real-world evidence in the context of oncology clinical trials affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minorities in Cancer Research Scientific Symposium: Health Inequities and Disparities in the COVID-19 Pandemic and Impact on Cancer Care Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved

Tuesday, June 23, 3 p.m. ET

This session will include observations, evidence, and perspective about the health inequities and disparities related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is significantly exacerbating disparities in cancer care.

COVID-19 and Cancer Research

Wednesday, June 24, 11 a.m. ET

This session will highlight the work of cancer researchers who have applied their expertise to COVID-19. NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, will provide opening remarks.

Regulatory Science and Policy Sessions

Finally, the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will include a Regulatory Science and Policy track featuring the following sessions, among others.

Monday, June 22:

9 a.m. ET – Regulatory Science and Policy poster session

1:30 p.m. ET – Under-representation in Clinical Trials and the Implications for Drug Development

3:45 p.m. ET – COVID-19 and Cancer: Guidance for Clinical Trial Conduct and Considerations for RWE

Tuesday, June 23:

12:25 p.m. ET – Engaging the Oncology Community to Advance Regulatory Science – FDA’s Project Renewal and Project Socrates

Wednesday, June 24:

1:45 p.m. ET – Tumor Response Evaluation Criteria for Intratumoral Therapy

4 p.m. ET – Hot Topics in Oncology Regulation

Additional Information

Please contact Kathleen Venango at [email protected] to register for the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II.

For more information about the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II, visit the AACR’s website.

Session information and abstracts not in the press program are available in the online meeting planner.

Follow the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II on Twitter at #AACR20.


Please contact the AACR Public Relations team with any questions:

Julia Gunther, associate director, [email protected] or 770-403-7690

Matthew Burns, manager, [email protected] or 610-618-0666

Kathleen Venango, coordinator, [email protected] or 215-290-5408 Rick Buck, senior director, communications and public relations, [email protected] or 856-562-5668