The Symposium on Cancer Research held recently at MD Anderson brought together internationally recognized scientists from academic, industry and regulatory agencies to describe and discuss state-of-the-art approaches to personalized cancer therapy and prevention. Symposium chairs were Waun Ki Hong, M.D., Stanley Hamilton, M.D., and Lajos Pusztai, M.D., D.Phil.
More than 300 participants attended presentations and poster sessions, at which 12 awards were given. In a very dynamic set of lectures that engendered active discussion, the speakers covered systems approaches to discovering the best markers to guide therapy and emphasized new technologies that will revolutionize how we assess patient health and disease.
Several cutting-edge examples of how personalized medicine is being brought to specific diseases, including breast and lung cancer, were presented in depth. The integration of this approach in MD Anderson's Phase I program was showcased, and new lab-based insights focusing on models and signal pathways also were discussed.
Important cautionary tales on the appropriate use of bioinformatics and conforming to regulatory requirements were included to help the audience understand the larger context in which these exciting developments are moving to the clinic.
Keynote lectures were given by Joe Gray, Ph.D. and Waun Ki Hong, MD. The Bertner Memorial Lecture was delivered by Carlo Croce, M.D., and the Heath Memorial Award by Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D. Michael Davies, M.D., Ph.D., won the Wilson Stone Award.