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Continuing Medical Education

Accreditation Statement

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education activities for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement

AACR has designated this internet live activity for a maximum of 12.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Credit certification for individual sessions may vary, dependent upon compliance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria. The final number of credits may vary from the maximum number indicated above.

Claiming CME Credit

Physicians and other health care professionals seeking AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM for this internet live continuing medical education activity must complete the online CME Request for Credit Survey by Tuesday, February 23, 2021. Certificates will only be issued to those who complete the survey. Your CME certificate will be sent to you via email after the completion of the activity.

Request for Credit Survey

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 12.75 Medical Knowledge Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) MOC program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.  

To receive ABIM MOC, participants must request MOC in the CME Request for Credit Survey and complete all questions. Once these steps are completed, AACR will submit your completion information via the ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System for the purpose of granting MOC points.

Printable List of CME-Designated Sessions

Statement of Educational Need, Target Audience, and Learning Objectives

The complexity and functional contribution of the tumor microenvironment in cancer progression continues to expand at the cellular, organ and systemic level.  This complexity is observed within mesenchymal cells, cells of the immune system, metabolism as a form of communication, the roles mechanical communication and organ specification play in tumor progression, aging and obesity as microenvironmental factors at the tissue and systemic levels, and the microbiota.

It has been appreciated for some time that the tumor microenvironment plays a significant role in disease progression, response to therapy, invasion and metastasis or conversely, restraint of growth, but the precise function of each constituent remains mysterious.  The Conference Cochairs developed a program that will bring together experts from diverse fields to explore this intricacy.  The conference will provide an up-to-date overview of the recent advances in tumor microenvironment research at the basic, translational and clinical application levels.  Significant focus will be placed on developing areas of the tumor microenvironment and exploring platforms that provide junior investigators time to present their work and interact with senior investigators.

The goal of this conference is to explore and share the most recent discoveries involving the intricacies of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Tumors are composite of many different cellular and non-cellular constituents that surround the malignant cancer cells harboring activating mutations in oncogenes or loss of tumor suppressors that drive tumor growth. The functional contribution of TME constituents such as leukocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells (both blood and lymphatic), and other stromal components is evolving. Additional components of the TME, such as secreted excellular vesicles and the microbiome, are increasingly recognized for their important role in cancer progression. It has been appreciated for some time that the TME plays a significant role in disease progression, but the precise function of each constituent remains unknown. A variety of infiltrating immune cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and angiogenic endothelial cells play expanding and critical functions in sustaining cell proliferation, evading immune response, promoting survival, activating invasion and metastasis, and reprogramming energy metabolism. Some constituents of the TME are also involved in restraining tumor growth and metastasis. The TME has also been shown to play a critical role in regulating response of cancer to various therapeutics.

As our definition of the TME continues to expand there is a need to bring together experts from fields that have not historically met under one roof (i.e. cancer, metabolism, aging and engineering, to name only a few). In addition, this growing complexity is throwing the paradigm that cell autonomous alterations are dominant in tumor progression.  We need to bring in younger minds with new ideas to challenge the entire community to re-evaluate these paradigms and uncover in which contexts cell autonomous versus extrinsic mechanisms drive progression and outcome. These ideas and discoveries will inform therapeutic best practices.

Current important areas of study include organ-specific metastatic niches, systemic drivers of progression from aging to obesity, mechano-signaling in the extracellular matrix as a driver of progression, longitudinal monitoring or elusive tumor cells, the TME driving tumor cell fate, the systemic TME, the immune TME, and the therapy-treated TME. The end goal remains a deeper understanding of the TME and of factors that contribute to metastasis and therapeutic response in order to design better treatments.

Only through a thorough continued understanding of the TME and collaboration between basic scientists and oncologists can new treatments be developed. For physicians to best aid patients, they must have a solid and current understanding of the complexities of the TME and new advances taking place in the lab that can eventually be applied to the clinic. Physicians will leave this conference with a wide breadth of in-depth knowledge of novel advancements surrounding the TME in the lab and the potential thereof for therapeutic applications.

After participating in this CME activity, physicians should be able to:

  1. Identify therapeutic targets in the TME that contribute to tumorigenesis
  2. Integrate next-generation single-cell analysis, systems biology, and integrative genomics to identify tumorigenic genes
  3. Integrate 3D extracellular matrices and high resolution imaging to monitor how tumor-stromal interactions contribute to tumor progression and metastasis
  4. Explain how aging and obesity contribute to tumorigenesis
  5. Detect dormant cells in the tumor microenvironment
  6. Identify and overcome immune evasion in the tumor microenvironment
  7. Assess tumor microenvironmental variants that can alter therapeutic responses

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of the AACR that the information presented at AACR CME activities will be unbiased and based on scientific evidence. To help participants make judgments about the presence of bias, AACR will provide information that Scientific Program Committee members and speakers have disclosed about financial relationships they have with commercial entities that produce or market products or services related to the content of this CME activity. This disclosure information is available below.

Planner and Speaker Financial Disclosure Index

Acknowledgment of Financial or Other Support

The AACR gratefully acknowledges the following commercial supporter:

Professional Education Grant


Questions about CME?

AACR Special Virtual Conference on the Evolving Tumor Microenvironment in Cancer Progression FAQ’s

Please contact the Office of CME at (215) 440-9300 or [email protected].