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What You Should Know from AACR

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The ABTA was pleased to be among the more than 19,000 scientists, clinicians, healthcare professionals, patients and survivors, and supporters from around the world to hear the latest advances in cancer science and medicine during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in April. 

Our very own Heather Calderone, PhD, Director of Research & Grants, and Jennifer Chang, PhD, Science Manager share their top three takeaways from the 2022 meeting, which also included several ABTA Alumni Research Network (AARN) members.

Key Takeaways

Heather Calderone, PhD
Heather Calderone, PhD, Director of Research & Grants
Jennifer Chang, PhD
Jennifer Chang, PhD, Science Manager


Researchers continue to find better ways to harness the immune system to treat GBM, despite the disappointing results in immunotherapy treatment for brain tumors. Some innovative approaches include integrating new investigational drugs with available immunotherapy treatments; targeting different molecules in immune cells; and using chemotherapy drugs to increase tumor mutations, so immune cells better recognize them. 

Tumor Evolution 

Scientists recognize that understanding how tumors evolve over time is vitally important to getting ahead of cancer. Therefore, the AACR has formed a new working group, Tumor Evolution, focused on just that. The goal: for oncologists to be better prepared with effective treatments when tumors recur, by studying tumor evolution from pre-cancer to cancer and through treatment. 

Brain Metastases 

Former ABTA Discovery Grant recipient Josh Neman, PhD of the University of Southern California, delivered a compelling talk about brain metastasis from the perspective of cancer neuroscience. The session focused on identifying and understanding how cancer cells prime their locations of metastasis prior to migration from the primary tumor location. Understanding the molecular pathways that allow cancer cells to set up their ideal growing environment in a new organ system is vital to stopping cancer from spreading throughout the body. 

Learn more about AACR

Jennifer Chang, PhD, and Mike Olin at the AACR 2022 Annual Meeting
Jennifer Chang, PhD, and Mike Olin, PhD, University of Minnesota
Heather Calderone, PhD, with Scholar-in-Training Awardees supported by the ABTA
Jessie Schlacks

Jessie Schlacks

Jessie is Managing Editor of the bi-monthly e-newsletter MindMatters. Submit story ideas or questions to jschlacks@abta.org.