How the AACR’s Special Conference Series Makes Headlines

The public craves solid health information, and knowledge about cancer research and treatment is vital to their well-being. The AACR Communications and Public Relations Department often supports AACR special conferences with media relations campaigns to communicate this information.

These media relations activities at various AACR conferences have generated news in places like NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and US News & World Report.

David Tuveson, MD, PhD, of The Lustgarten Foundation and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, said increased media activity at these conferences has kept the public aware and “reasonably well-informed” about cancer, so it is important to continue to support media relations activities.

Tuveson was the co-chair of a recent AACR conference on pancreatic cancer in New Orleans, which was co-sponsored by The Lustgarten Foundation and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Press conference at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014

Inside the press briefing room at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014.

“You have to educate people beyond the podium that you might stand at in a classroom or conference,” said Tuveson. “It is important not to exaggerate findings beyond what can actually be supported by the results, but it’s not totally inappropriate to speculate about possibilities. We need to inspire and motivate the public about cancer research.”

Partnering with other cancer groups to help spread the word

In addition, the AACR at times partners with related cancer groups when developing special conferences to broaden its reach within the cancer community.

“There is a tremendous value to partnering with groups like The Lustgarten Foundation and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network because they bring additional audiences, like patient advocacy groups, to meetings like this,” said conference co-chair Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Bar-Sagi and Tuveson participated in one of the two press teleconferences hosted by the AACR at the pancreatic cancer meeting. The first teleconference featured news from Cancer Research that pancreatic cancer would surpass breast, colon, and prostate cancer as the number two cancer killer by 2030. It also included three abstracts that were presented at the meeting. The second teleconference provided an overview of the highlights of the meeting.

These press teleconferences generated news in places like Time magazine, CNN, CBS, ABC, and The Huffington Post.

The AACR holds media relations programs at several conferences throughout the year, including the following during the second half of 2014: Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Meeting, Advances in Melanoma: From Biology to Therapy, and The Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

For more information on AACR communications activities, please visit our newsroom at