Experts Converge on Houston to Advance Cancer Prevention Research

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The world's only comprehensive cancer prevention conference opened Sunday in Houston.

The eighth annual American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference brings together prevention researchers in all disciplines striving to understand and prevent cancer.

 "This meeting represents the full spectrum of prevention research -- from the study of molecular pathways to clinical applications, behavioral and social aspects, all the way to population level research," says conference chairperson Ernest Hawk, M.D., vice president for cancer prevention and head of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

About 600 scientists are attending 29 topical sessions with 270 posters being presented during two evening sessions.

The top 10 abstracts were chosen for inclusion in their relevant sessions, two by scientists from the lab of Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology. Post-doctoral fellow Xiaofan Zhang, Ph.D., presents on genetic variations related to micro RNA (miRNA) and how they reflect the risk of recurrence for head and neck cancer patients and the likelihood that they will develop a second cancer. Meng Chen, Ph.D., presents on genetic variations in the sonic hedgehog pathway and clinical outcomes in bladder cancer.

Keynote speaker Sunday was Waun Ki Hong, M.D., head of M. D. Anderson's Division of Cancer Medicine and a pioneer in the field of cancer chemoprevention. Hong showed how current research on personalized treatment for lung cancer patients will lead to personalized chemoprevention.

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