AACR Virtual Annual Meeting I: A User’s Guide

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe this spring, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) launched a major transformation of its signature event, the AACR Annual Meeting. This year’s Annual Meeting will take place in two parts, held entirely online. Virtual Annual Meeting I will be held Monday and Tuesday, April 27 and 28. Virtual Annual Meeting II will take place June 22-24.

Access to Virtual Annual Meeting I is free, and we look forward to your participation. Here are some guidelines on how you can best experience Virtual Annual Meeting I.

The technology

The Virtual Annual Meeting platform is built for Google Chrome: version 80 and 81; Safari for Mac: version 12 and 13; Safari for Windows: version 4 and 5; or Microsoft Edge: version 80 and 81. Please check your browser version before accessing the Virtual Meeting site. Internet Explorer is not supported by the Virtual Meeting platform.

If you haven’t yet registered for the meeting, you can do so here. You’ll receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. The AACR’s information technology department will be available throughout the meeting; they can be reached here.

Registering for the meeting confers access to the myAACR portal. Sessions will be accessible through this portal. The Annual Meeting schedule at a glance provides an easy way to choose sessions that you’re most interested in. A single video containing all of the clinical plenary sessions, minisymposia, and symposia broadcast on each of the three channels will be available for on-demand viewing on the Virtual Meeting platform within six hours of the end of that day’s meeting. Two weeks after the meeting, individual session videos will be posted to the platform for on-demand viewing. These session videos will remain available on the platform through the end of the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II.

The program

Virtual Annual Meeting I will feature the release of data from approximately 40 clinical trials, including highly anticipated results from trials of treatments for breast cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma. Program organizers included the clinical trials in the first phase to ensure that any potentially practice-changing data will be made available for maximum patient benefit.

Also in Virtual Annual Meeting I, researchers will present minisymposia on topics including genomics, tumor microenvironment, novel targets, drug discovery, therapeutics, immunotherapy, biomarkers, and cancer prevention. A special minisymposium titled “Advancing Cancer Research Through an International Cancer Registry” will feature use cases of data available through AACR Project GENIE. There will be special sessions titled New Drugs on the Horizon, and a session showcasing emerging research on COVID-19 and cancer. The COVID-19 session will feature presenters from China, Italy, France, Spain, and New York City — places where the virus has had a widespread effect.

The poster sessions

Poster sessions are an important component of the AACR’s scientific meetings. While they will look quite different in our virtual format, they retain an important role in the communication of new scientific knowledge.

During Virtual Meeting I, researchers who had previously planned to take part in a poster session will make brief video presentations summarizing the data in their abstracts. The presentations will be available here. Presenters will not be available for live discussion, but they will provide contact information on their slides. Many will also be prepared to engage via social media.

For Virtual Meeting II, the presentations will be e-poster PDFs with an optional accompanying audio file describing the research. These will be accessible through an e-poster site, which we’ll share closer to the meeting date.

Virtual Annual Meeting on social media

Social media provides valuable platforms for collaboration among all meeting attendees. Our social media platforms are an engaging, efficient means of sharing knowledge, and as always, we encourage robust use of AACR social channels.

The AACR’s social media policies remain in effect through the Virtual Annual Meeting. We developed our policies to strike a balance between providing access to the latest research and protecting some researchers’ wishes of not having their preliminary and unpublished data shared openly on social channels or other publications.

You may notice that some presentations will include notes saying, “DO NOT POST.” Attendees must respect the presenters’ requests in these instances and refrain from posting any images from these designated slides or posters on social media.

You can follow the Annual Meeting and share content on Twitter with the hashtag #AACR20. You can also find Annual Meeting content on Facebook and LinkedIn.