2019 Annual Report

Collaborations Advancing Cancer Science Worldwide

The AACR International Conference on New Horizons In Cancer Research was held May 3–5, 2019, in Shenzhen, China.
Cancer is a global scourge, and making progress against it requires a global workforce. The AACR worked with 12 international scientific organizations in 2019 to develop cutting-edge programs and educational opportunities in nine countries, supporting lifesaving cancer research worldwide.

International Fellowships: Forging Collaborations, Supporting Promising Careers

In 2018, the AACR and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) announced an international alliance to develop new programs and initiatives to accelerate the pace of progress against cancer. The first major initiative from this new partnership was launched at the Annual Meeting in March 2019 with the announcement of the AACR-CRUK Transatlantic Fellowships program. These four-year fellowships support early-stage postdoctoral researchers in pursuing their research projects in either the United States or the United Kingdom, and they will foster international collaborations while helping early-career scientists establish independent research careers.

Joint Conferences and Workshops

The AACR worked with cancer research organizations around the world to produce the following joint conferences, educational workshops, and symposia in 2019:

  • Eleventh AACR-JCA Joint Conference on Breakthroughs in Cancer Research: Biology to Precision Medicine
    Maui, Hawaii, February 8–12, 2019
  • CSCO Conference on Immunotherapy (Endorsed by AACR)
    Shanghai, China, March 22–23, 2019
  • AACR International Conference New Horizons in Cancer Research
    Shenzhen, China, May 3–5, 2019
  • Twenty-First ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Educational Workshop
    Zeist, The Netherlands, June 15–21, 2019
  • Advances in Pediatric Cancer Research
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 17–20, 2019
  • Fifth CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival
    Paris, France, September 25–28, 2019
  • Cancer Research UK-AACR Joint Conference: Engineering and Physical Sciences in Oncology
    London, United Kingdom, October 15–17, 2019
  • AACR-KCA Joint Workshop on Precision Medicine
    Seoul, Korea, November 14–15, 2019

Other International Collaborations

The AACR worked with several organizations to develop joint sessions for the following international conferences:

  • A.C. Camargo Next Frontiers to Cure Cancer Conference
    São Paolo, Brazil, May 16–18, 2019
    The AACR partnered with LACOG to offer a session on “Science behind the Trial,” in which Brazilian investigators presented the results of three clinical trials and AACR scientists discussed the biological underpinnings of each study.
  • International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML)
    Lugano, Switzerland, June 18–22, 2019
    The AACR worked with the ICML to develop three highlights of the scientific program:
    • In collaboration with the European School of Oncology and the ICML, the AACR organized a pre-conference workshop on “Bridging Liquid Biopsy into Management of Lymphoma Patients: Development of Frameworks for Clinical Research and Recommendations for Clinical Practice.”
    • AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), and ICML President Franco Cavalli, MD, cochaired a joint session on “Role of Nonclinical Models as Bridges to Early Clinical Trials.”
    • The AACR continued its sponsorship of the Gianni Bonadonna Memorial Lecture in honor of AACR member and ICML cofounder Gianni Bonadonna, MD. Ari M. Melnick, MD (right)—who chaired the Scientific Committee for the inaugural AACR conference on “Advances in Malignant Lymphoma,” which was held in the U.S. in June 2018 in cooperation with ICML—delivered the lecture, addressing the topic of “Precision Epigenetic Therapy for B-Cell Lymphoma.”
  • II Semana Brasileira da Oncologia
    Rio de Janeiro, October 22–26, 2019
    The AACR and the Brazilian Society of Clinical Oncology (SBOC) collaborated to develop a joint session on “The Molecular Biology Behind Targeted Therapies.”
  • ESMO Asia Congress 2019
    Singapore, November 22–24, 2019
    The AACR partnered with the conference organizers to develop two joint symposia on “Challenges in the Use of Genomics Platforms” and “CAR-T Cells / NK Cells.”

Poster Prizes and Travel Awards

In 2019, the AACR once again offered an expanded slate of opportunities to international investigators to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, and participate in the AACR Annual Meeting while also offering opportunities for AACR members to present their work abroad:

  • From 2016 through 2018, the AACR African Cancer Researchers Travel Awards provided financial assistance to meritorious early-career investigators in Africa to support their attendance at the AACR Annual Meeting. In 2019, the program was rebranded as the AACR Global Scholar-in-Training Awards (GSITA) and expanded to include eligible applicants from all low-, lower-middle, and middle-income economy countries. GSITA recipients who attended the Annual Meeting 2019 also participated in a networking and mentoring event hosted by Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, which included a tour of laboratory and clinical facilities, presentations by doctoral students, and research and career advice from Emory faculty and staff.
  • The AACR continued its partnership with the Chinese Society for Clinical Oncology (CSCO) to administer the CSCO Young Investigator Travel Awards in 2019. CSCO selected 15 AACR members who presented meritorious abstracts at the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 and provided them with travel support to attend and present their work at the CSCO 22nd Annual Meeting in Xiamen, China, in September.

World Cancer Research Day

The AACR joined ten other cofounding partner organizations to mark World Cancer Research Day on September 24. The goal of World Cancer Research Day was to raise awareness of the extraordinary impact of cancer science and to acknowledge the contributions made by cancer researchers to reduce the global burden of cancer.

Saumya Patel, PhD
AACR Global Scholar-In-Training Award Recipient