ASCO and AACR, Combining Forces

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raydubois.jpgThe joint ASCO/AACR symposium held yesterday at the ASCO meeting in Orlando, co-chaired by myself and Rich Schilsky, was a tremendous success. Not only was it well attended, but the topics presented led to an active discussion with the audience.

It was led off by Michael Pollak from Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, who spoke about the link between sugar metabolism and cancer risk. Provocative data was presented showing links between IGF-1 and cancer. 

The second speaker, Dan von Hoff from TGEN in Phoenix, explained how the Hedgehog pathway works and three ways that it may serve as a target for the treatment of patients with basal cell carcinoma. Dan presented some early phase data from patients with advanced disease that had remarkable responses to drugs that target the Hedgehog pathway. 

Lastly, Garth Powis from M. D. Anderson described the most recent advances in the PI3K signaling pathway and new drugs being developed that target this signaling pathway. Although in early stages, this work seems very promising and likely will lead to the development of new targeted therapies for cancer patients.  
Thus, combining forces between ASCO and AACR worked well for this symposium. A similar "joint" symposium was held at the recent AACR meeting in Denver and it was quite successful.

I'm not sure what the future holds in store, but hopefully the new leaders of both organizations will be able to work together and continue to sponsor these joint symposia. Bringing together the laboratory and clinical scientists is quite informative and useful.

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