New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference Draws to a Close

The Fifth AACR New Horizons in Cancer Research (NHiCR) international conference has concluded, and the more than 400 attendees are en route to their home countries, which included Australia, China, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Qatar, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States.

This year’s attendees, who represented basic, clinical, and translational cancer research, provided positive feedback on the 2.5-day meeting in Shenzhen, China. For example, Sy Leung of the University of Hong Kong said, “The broad field of global cancer research needs meetings like NHiCR to provide the opportunity to identify the scientific interests and priorities of new colleagues for potential collaborations as the field continues to grow.”

The final opening plenary session was dedicated to immunotherapy and research in targeted cellular immunotherapies and acute lymphoblastic leukemia; pancreatic cancer and overcoming “cold” immunological microenvironments; intrinsic tumor genomic and metabolic factors leading to immunoresistance; and cancer immunotherapy and lessons from immune tolerance.

Other sessions on the final day featured male- and female-specific cancers, new technologies, liver cancer, cancer prevention, and gastrointestinal cancers.

The AACR Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group (CICR) held a town hall with CICR’s ZK Wan, PhD, of Lynk Pharmaceuticals, Hangzhou, China. He talked about CICR’s origins, purposes, and activities and held discussions with early-career investigators on the career and scientific value of becoming part of the working group.

After the second set of 2019 NHiCR Poster Session Presentations and peer review of all poster form and content, two presenters received travel awards to attend the 2020 AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego. Yilin Wu, Peking University, won for a presentation titled “PTEN regulation of hemapoietic lineage choice through chromatin accessibility,” and Fuyan Xu, Sichuan University, won for a presentation titled “Fluphenazine, an Antipsychotic Agent, Inhibits Brain Metastases and Lung Metastases of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.”

Conference cochairs Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, of Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Care Center in Baltimore and Hong Wu, MD, PhD, School of Life Science in Beijing.

In concluding remarks, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, conference co-chair and AACR immediate past president, said, “the 2019 NHiCR in Shenzhen was a success on a number of levels: In its fifth iteration, it continued the tradition of broad-based scientific engagement; it was by nature interactive and featured thought leaders from the across the globe; and it provided a unique opportunity for colleagues in China, the Asia Pacific region, and worldwide to network across the landscape of cancer research and forge collaborations bringing us closer to the unified mission to prevent and cure cancer.”

Finally, we look forward to welcoming AACR member colleagues to join us for the inaugural AACR Cancer and Infection Conference, scheduled for November 8-10, 2019, in Hong Kong. This conference is part of a new AACR global initiative to hold a conference series on pathogen-related cancers in the parts of the world where they are most common.

The focus will be on cancers prevalent in Asia that are related to infection with hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and H. pylori, among others. The program will feature basic, translational, and clinical sessions with cross-cutting themes on prevention, early detection, screening, emerging therapies, experimental models, immunology, genetics, and epigenetics.  The conference cochairs are Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Anthony T.C. Chan, MD, of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Douglas R. Lowy, MD, of the National Cancer Institute, and Suet Yi Leung, MBBS, MD, of The University of Hong Kong. Please save the dates and join us.