In This Section


Beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 24, and continuing all day Saturday, April 25, 2020, a program of Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops will be presented. (An Educational Program Pass granting access to the complete educational program is available for a single flat fee of $50 for AACR members and $75 for nonmembers.) The Opening Ceremony and the Opening Plenary Session will take place on Sunday morning, April 26. The meeting will conclude at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29. The 2020 Program in Progress follows.


Friday, April 24, 2020
  • Benign Cells as Drivers of Cancer Progression: Fat and Beyond
  • Data-Driven Approaches for Choosing Combinatorial Therapies
  • Functional Precision Medicine: Techniques, Uses, and Challenges
  • HPV and Cancer: New Insights into Carcinogenesis and Therapy
  • Know Thy Organ: Lessons Learned from Lung and Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • Molecular Imaging in Cancer Research
  • Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Targeted Protein Degradation: Target Validation Tools and Therapeutic Opportunity
  • Unexpected Guests in the Tumor Microenvironment: The Tumor Microbiome 
  • Wound Healing that Never Actually Heals: The TME in Cancer Progression
Saturday, April 25, 2020
  • Analysis of Biological Imaging Data Using Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning from Research to the Cancer Clinic
  • Cancer Epigenetics
  • Cancer Increases in Younger Populations – Where Are They Coming From?
  • Cancer Stem Cells and Therapeutic Resistance
  • Carcinogens at Home
  • Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 1: Lead Optimization Case Studies in Cancer Drug Discovery
  • Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 2: Irreversible Inhibitors as Potential Anticancer Agents
  • Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 3: Next-Generation Medicines on Clinically Useful Targets
  • The Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium: Resources and Data Dissemination
  • Communication to Patients
  • EMT Still Matters: Let’s Explore!
  • Engaging the Oncology Community to Advance Regulatory Science- FDA’s Project Renewal and Project Socrates
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Approaches in Cancer Research, Diagnosis, and Therapy
  • Evaluating Immunocompetent Models to Build Greater Success in Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Evolutionary Pressures Drive Cancer Emergence
  • The Evolving Role of the Pathologist in Cancer Research
  • Exceptional Responders and Long-Term Survivors
  • Exploiting Metabolic Vulnerabilities in Cancer
  • Extracellular Vesicles in Cancer
  • Host-Microbiome Interactions in Inflammation and Cancer
  • Hot Topics in Oncology Regulation
  • How Many R’s in Radiobiology?
  • Immunotherapy, Immune Evasion in Myeloid Malignancies, and Therapeutic Implications
  • Informatics Technologies for Cancer Research
  • Metabolism and Tumor Microenvironment
  • Noncoding RNA in Cancer Progression
  • Novel Approaches in Single-Cell Analysis
  • Novel Diagnostic Approaches for Cancer Early Detection
  • Novel Strategies in Cancer Immunotherapy, The Next Generation of Targets for Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Novel Targeted Agents and Mechanisms of Resistance
  • One of These Things Is Not Like the Other: The Many Faces of Senescence in Cancer
  • Radiation and Immunotherapy
  • Recent Advances in Applications of Cell-Free DNA
  • Rewiring of the Tumor Microenvironment Epigenome for Cancer Therapy
  • Sex Differences in Cancer
  • Stress Adaptation and Resiliency in Cancer
  • The Three-Dimensional Cancer Genome
  • Tumor Cell Dormancy
  • Tumor Endothelium: The Gatekeepers of Tumor Immune Surveillance
  • Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists: Innovation and Discovery in Immune-Oncology
  • Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy for Nonimmunologists: Roundtable Discussions
  • Where To Screen: SubQ versus Orthotropic Metastatic Sites

MEthods Workshops

Friday, April 24, 2020
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Immunophenotyping in Population-Based Studies Using Omics Data
Saturday, April 25, 2020
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 1: Novel Approaches and Methods in Clinical Trial Design
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 2: Clinical Trials Issues with Molecularly Targeted Agents
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 3: Clinical Development of IO Agents
  • Clinical Trial Design: Part 4: Trial Design for Early Cancer Detection
  • Data Resources for Cancer Research
  • Emerging Models: Bring in the Engineers
  • High-Dimensional Imaging of Immune and Tumor Cells in Human FFPE Tissue
  • High-Throughput Screens for Drivers of Progression and Resistance
  • Implementation Science Methods for Cancer Prevention and Control in Diverse Populations: Integration of IS Methods in Care Settings
  • Interpretation and Analysis of Single-Cell Data from Bench to Bedside
  • Methods for Data Integration Approaches to Accelerate Cancer Early Detection
  • Minimal/Measurable Residual Disease: How to and Implications in Treatment and Trials
  • Models and Methods to Dissect Toxicity in Cancer Treatment
  • Probing the Niche Using Multiple Approaches
  • Translating Genetics and Genomics to the Clinic and Population

Plenary Sessions

Sunday, April 26, 2020
Opening Plenary Session: Turning Science into Lifesaving Care
Chair: Antoni Ribas, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California

Personal regulome navigation of cancer
Howard Y. Chang, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Turning the science of epigenetics into novel cancer early detection and classification approaches
Daniel Diniz De Carvalho, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Age against the machine: How changes in the aged tumor microenvironment govern response to therapy
Ashani T. Weeraratna, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Towards AI-driven cancer precision medicine
Olivier Elemento, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York

Reprogramming human T cells with CRISPR for cancer immunotherapies
Alexander Marson, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Monday, April 27, 2020
Understanding the Molecular and Microenvironmental Determinants of Cancer
Chair: Christina Curtis, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Pathology from the atomic scale on up
Garry P. Nolan, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

Harnessing the value of mutational signatures: Causes, mechanisms and clinical applications
Serena Nik-Zainal, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Clonal hematopoiesis and evolution to hematologic malignancies
Ross L. Levine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Title to be announced
Jérôme Galon, INSERM, Paris, France

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Cancer Biology and the Changing Therapeutic Landscape
Chair: Sheila A. Stewart, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Targeting secreted factors in the tumor microenvironment for pancreatic cancer therapy
Tony Hunter, Salk Institute, La Jolla, California

Using genetics to select and validate cancer drug targets
William G. Kaelin, Jr., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

Genetics in cancer care: From family reunions to the frontline of experimental therapeutics
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chicago, Illinois

Title to be announced
Dennis J. Slamon, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Leveraging the Immune System in the War on Cancer
Chair: Nina Bhardwaj, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York

Revving up antitumor immune response with cGAS
Zhijan James Chen, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas

Transcriptional networks in tumor-infiltrating T cells
Anjana Rao, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, La Jolla, California

Targeting regulatory T cells in cancer: From mechanisms to new therapies
Sergio A. Quezada, University College London Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom

CARs and HIT-CARs: Drivers of synthetic immunity
Michel Sadelain, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Major Symposia

  • AACR-Bayard D. Clarkson Symposium on Stem Cells, Leukemia, and the Niche
  • AACR-CSCO Joint Symposium: Single-Cell Analysis – Changing the Landscape of Cancer Research
  • AACR-JCA Joint Session: Tracking Tumor Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics: From Initiation through Metastasis
  • ACCELERATE-ing Pediatric Oncology Drug Discovery and Development
  • Advances in Cancer Nanotechnology
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Cancer Imaging
  • AI/ML in Cancer Research and Care: Progresses and Opportunities
  • Alternative DNA Repair Pathways and Their Drug Targets
  • The Cancer Dependency Map
  • Cancer Immunometabolism
  • The Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium: Building a Proteogenomic Atlas of Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer Interception: Immunologic and Pharmacological Advances
  • Cytokine Receptors in Immuno-Oncology: Discovery, Analysis, and Modulation
  • Deubiquitylating Enzymes (DUBs) as Targets for Cancer Therapy
  • Developing Rational Combinations of Targeted Drugs
  • Diet, Clock, and Cancer
  • A Discussion of the U.S. Vaping and Electronic Cigarette (e-cigarette) Epidemic: Understanding the Challenges and Emerging Science Needed to Inform Policy to Protect Public Health
  • Drugging KRAS
  • Engineering and Modulating Natural Killer (NK) Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Familial Predisposition: Precision Medicine and Targeted Therapy
  • From ‘Omics Data to Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers
  • Functional Precision Medicine in Cancer
  • Germline Influence on Immunotherapy Outcomes
  • Hypoxia and Genetic Instability
  • Implications of Clonal Hematopoiesis in Human Health
  • Improving Therapy through Normalization of the Tumor Microenvironment
  • International Regulator Panel
  • “itRECIST:” Determining Response from Intratumoral Injection
  • Matrix, Exosomes, and TME Cells in the Metastatic Niche
  • Mechanisms and Biomarkers for Response and Resistance to Immune Therapy
  • Metabolism and Chromatin Deregulation in Cancer and Cancer Heterogeneity
  • The Microbiome in Cancer Therapy: Hype or Hope?
  • Modeling Metastatic Progression in the Mouse
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy for Melanoma and Other Cancers
  • New Approaches to Chimeric Antigen Receptor Engineering
  • New Combinations of Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies
  • Next Frontiers in Adjuvant Therapy
  • Next-Generation Epigenetic Drugs
  • Options and Opportunities for Treating Metastasis
  • Overcoming Practice Challenges that Mitigate Value of Genetic Sequencing for Personalized Therapy in Cancer Care
  • Paracrine Signaling in Cancer
  • Phase Separation, Transcription, and Cancer
  • Presidential Select Symposium: Precision Pediatric Cancer Medicine – A Global Perspective
  • Progress from Personalized Cancer Vaccine Trials
  • Regulatory Considerations for Liquid Biopsy Development
  • A Session with Oncology Center of Excellence Director Richard Pazdur
  • T Cells in Cancer
  • TCR Targeting of Mutational Neoantigens
  • Tumor Cell Plasticity and Resistance to Cancer Therapies
  • Tumour Hypoxia and Genetic Instability: New Mechanisms and New Targets
  • The Tumor Microbiome and Its Role in Oncogenesis and Modulating Therapy Response
  • Under-representation in Clinical Trials and the Implications for Drug Development
  • Using Real-World Data for Regulatory Purposes in the Real World
  • When is Transforming Growth Factor Beta Targetable?

Advances in Diagnostics and Therapeutics

  • Advances in Drug Delivery
  • Canine Models for Tumor Immunotherapy and Immunogenomics
  • Computational Methods for Immunogenomics and Precision Oncology
  • Diagnostic Tests for Immunotherapy: Current CLIA Lab Testing and Future Directions
  • DNA Damage Response Treatment: Evolving Diagnostic Approaches, Understanding of Replication Stress, and Resistance Mechanisms to DDR Targeting Therapies
  • Hybrid Technologies for Cancer Imaging, Theranostics, and Image-Guided Interventions
  • Management of Toxicity of Immune Cell Therapy
  • Noninvasive Monitoring of Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) with Liquid Biopsies: Towards Real-Time Treatment Decision Making
  • Proton Therapy and FLASH Irradiation
  • Targeting Transcriptional CDKs in Cancer
  • Understanding and Overcoming Resistance to Third-Generation EGFR and ALK Inhibitors

Advances in Organ Site Research

  • Advances in Endometrial Cancer
  • Advances in Sarcoma Therapy
  • Developing More Effective Therapies for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
  • Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Emerging Concepts in Liver Cancer Research
  • Next-Generation Treatments for Melanoma: Building on Success
  • Pathways to Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
  • Solid Tumor Brain Metastasis
  • Targeting Signaling Pathways in Colorectal Cancer
  • Therapeutic Advances in Biliary Tract Cancers
  • Therapeutic Vulnerabilities and Resistance Mechanisms in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Advances in Prevention, Early Detection, and Interception

  • Connecting the Tumor Microenvironment with the Macroenvironment in Cancer Cachexia
  • Interception of Preneoplasia
  • Molecular Targets of Precision Prevention and Interception
  • Panel on Rural Cancer Control
  • Radiation-Induced Cancers and Cancer Survivorship

Advances in the Science of Cancer Health Disparities

  • Carcinogenic Exposures and Global Cancer Prevention
  • Pan-cancer Distinctions in Tumor Biology across Ethnicity and Genetic Ancestry
  • Precision Medicine in Underserved Populations
  • Utilization of Racial/Ethnic Specific ex Vivo and in Vivo Clinical Models for Discovery and Validation of Therapeutic Targets


  • Are Antitumor T Cells Exhausted or Dysfunctional? Does it Matter?
  • Are There Cancer Stem Cells?
  • Biostatistics Debate: Should Science Be Guided by P-Values?
  • Cancer Cell Dormancy: The Current Paradigm and the Challenges Ahead to Develop New Therapies
  • CAR T-Cell Therapy or T-Cell Engager?
  • Data Science and Machine Learning: Will They Revolutionize Cancer Care and Research?
  • Disparities in Cancer Outcomes: Biology, Access, and Equity
  • Embracing Entrepreneurship in Cancer Research
  • FDA Vision 2025 Forum
  • Microbiome Pandemonium: Checkpoints and the Microbiome
  • Minorities in Cancer Research Forum
  • The Myths and Realities of the Abscopal Effects
  • Patient-Derived Models for Cancer
  • What Is the Role for Oncolytic Viruses in Cancer Treatment?

Educational Sessions and Methods Workshops

Educational programming will begin on Friday, April 24, at 3 p.m. and continue through Saturday, April 25. The Educational Program is an integral part of the meeting and provides attendees with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base. For a flat fee of $50 for AACR members and $75 for nonmembers, meeting registrants can purchase an Educational Program Pass granting access to the complete educational program of more than 60 unique sessions covering all areas of cancer research.

Policy Sessions

Decisions made by policymakers in Washington, DC, have a direct impact on cancer research and the progress being made against cancer in the United States and throughout the world. The AACR sponsors sessions with government leaders, academic researchers, patient advocates, cancer survivors, and industry representatives to foster dialogue about the emerging topics of science, health, and regulatory science and policy.

The Science and Health Policy Track includes sessions that will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about how policy impacts science, and vice versa. Science policy sessions will examine the current political environment affecting federal funding for the U.S. NIH and NCI, including ways for scientists to get involved in advocating for robust, sustained, and predictable budget increases. Health policy sessions will explore how scientific evidence can inform policy on cancer prevention and control and what impact policies are having on patients and communities. Past health policy sessions have covered topics such as tobacco control, health insurance coverage, and the prevention and control of pathogen-related cancers.

The Regulatory Science and Policy Track includes informative sessions designed to highlight recent regulatory developments and provide an open forum for the consideration of issues that the FDA faces as the agency seeks to accelerate the pace of approval of safe and effective treatments for cancer patients. These sessions offer an opportunity for attendees to discuss cutting-edge issues in cancer drug, biologic, and diagnostic regulation with stakeholders from academia, industry, advocacy, and government. Past regulatory science and policy topics have included case studies of recently approved breakthrough therapies, regulatory considerations for developing liquid biopsy tests, implications of site-agnostic therapy approval for drug development, and applications for artificial intelligence/machine learning in regulatory decision-making.

The Science of Survivorship Track includes sessions highlighting new and high-value areas of research to address the array of challenges facing long-term cancer survivors. Sessions invite trans-sector discussion among the survivor and advocacy communities, basic and clinical researchers, the tech industry, health care providers, and government. Past science of survivorship topics have included aging and cancer, long-term survivorship and vulnerable populations, development of new survivorship models, patient-reported outcomes, data sharing, and patient engagement.