Annual Meeting Considers Shape of Things to Come in Cancer Research

PrintPerspectives on the future of cancer research and care, including the latest on CAR T-cell therapy, Big Data management, and international partnerships, will highlight the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, September 30 – October 2, in Chicago.

Stanton L. Gerson, MDIn the meeting’s first panel discussion, four distinguished cancer center leaders will share their insights and predictions for how academic cancer centers will evolve over the next decade. The discussion will be moderated by AACI President Stanton L. Gerson, MD, director of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Gerson will be joined by Candace S. Johnson, PhD, president and CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center; and Steven T. Rosen, MD, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Gerson will also provide an update on AACI’s Network Care Initiative, including results of a survey looking at network management; standardization of care and the use of care paths; collaboration among cancer centers and community sites; employment network models; and access to clinical trials.

Roy Jensen, MDThe meeting will mark two major leadership transitions for AACI. Roy A. Jensen, MD, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, will become the association’s new president and will introduce his presidential initiative, which aims to develop a comprehensive, cancer-specific clearinghouse of model legislation for AACI cancer centers to share with their state legislators. In addition, Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH, will preside at her final annual meeting after 19 years as AACI’s first executive director. Jennifer W. Pegher, who has served for six years at AACI as director of government relations and deputy director, will be the new executive director.

The annual meeting program includes a panel discussion on the nuts and bolts of
developing a CAR T-cell therapy program, including intake and management issues,
standard operating procedures, financial challenges, and regulatory requirements.
Approaching cancer care from a high-tech angle, a panel moderated by Moffitt Cancer
Center Director Thomas A. Sellers, MD, will convene commercial and academic players
in the Big Data arena with an eye toward enhancing dialogue and developing stronger
linkages that could lead to expanded information-sharing and improved patient care.

With a growing number of cancer centers establishing partnerships with countries in
the developing world, the AACI annual meeting will include an overview of cancer
research and treatment efforts in several countries including Kenya, Malawi, and Cuba,
where U.S. sanctions are creating unique collaboration challenges.

Meeting attendees will also hear a report from NCI Director Norman E. Sharpless, MD,
and a panel will examine revised guidelines for NCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant
application.

Richard and Susan RogelOn Monday, October 1, AACI will present its first Champion for Cures Award to Richard and Susan Rogel in recognition of their $150 million gift to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was renamed Rogel Cancer Center in their honor.

Also on October 1, Charles M. Perou, PhD, will receive the AACI Distinguished ScientistCharles M. Perou, PhD
Award. Dr. Perou, a pioneer in breast cancer research and precision medicine, will deliver a talk focused on sequencing studies for gene expression analysis, specifically, on research results showing the value of sequencing-based approaches in breast and lung cancers. The May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Perou is also the faculty director of UNC Lineberger’s Bioinformatics Group, co-director of its Breast Cancer Research Program, and a professor in its Genetics and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine departments.

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AACI to Recognize Pioneers in Research, Philanthropy at Annual Meeting This Fall

On Monday, October 1, AACI will present two awards highlighting the importance of scientific discovery and philanthropic support in the cancer community.

Charles M. Perou, PhDCharles M. Perou, PhD, will receive AACI’s Distinguished Scientist Award in recognition of his accomplishments in the field of precision medicine and his groundbreaking research in characterizing the diversity of human tumors, which has profoundly impacted the treatment of patients with breast cancer.

The May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Perou is also the faculty director of UNC Lineberger’s Bioinformatics Group, co-director of its Breast Cancer Research Program, and a professor in its Genetics and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine departments.

Richard and Susan Rogel will be presented with the inaugural Champion for Cures Award in honor of their transformational philanthropy in support of cancer research and care.Richard and Susan Rogel

AACI established the Champion for Cures Award to recognize individuals who demonstrate significant leadership in supporting efforts to cure cancer. Earlier this year, the Rogels pledged $150 million to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was renamed Rogel Cancer Center.

Their gift—the largest in the University of Michigan’s history—will fund endowed professorships, competitive research grants, and scholarships, and will help the cancer center establish a collaborative network that will bring international experts to campus for 6 to 12 months to develop innovative new projects.

“Donors are an integral part of the ecosystem of cancer care,” said AACI President Stanton L. Gerson, MD, director of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. “AACI wanted to honor a family like the Rogels, who’ve demonstrated their commitment to the success of the cancer center through their investment in research.”

The award presentations are a highlight of the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, scheduled September 30 – October 2 in Chicago. The event convenes AACI cancer center directors and executive-level administrators with leaders of national cancer research and advocacy groups, industry, and government health agencies to develop solutions to common challenges and to share best practices.

Register for the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting.
View the meeting program.