Key discoveries in most cancers remedy to be unveiled through the 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Assembly

CHICAGO, December 13, 2020 / PRNewswire / – During the AACC Annual Virtual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo 2020, leading scientific experts will delve into the breakthrough advances that represent the future of cancer care. One plenary session will focus on the innovative treatment known as T-cell therapy, while another will highlight the latest discoveries in tumor metabolism that could lead to new, more effective cancer drugs.

Expanding the reach of T cell therapy

T-cell therapies train the immune system to target and destroy tumor cells and have proven to be a promising alternative to chemotherapy and radiation in recent years. Immunotherapy has fewer side effects and can significantly increase patient survival rates as T cells can live in the blood for years after a patient is treated for the first time. So far, however, T-cell therapy has only received Food and Drug Administration approval for blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia and has shown less success with solid tumors.

In the plenary session “T-cell therapies against cancer: CAR-Ts and beyond” Catherine Poller, MD, MBChB, will highlight ongoing work to improve T cell therapy in solid tumors such as breast and lung cancer, especially in patients who have relapsed and / or are unresponsive to conventional treatment.

“We are striving for a time when patients no longer need chemotherapy and radiation and instead only receive targeted therapies such as antibody and cell-based therapies that specifically kill the cancer cells without killing the healthy cells,” said Dr. Bollard. He is director of the Center for Cancer Treatment and Immunology and the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy at the National Research Institute for Children in Washington, DC

In addition to discussing the latest developments in T cell therapies, she will provide a detailed overview of the methods by which they have been developed, from the use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and artificial T cell receptors to ex vivo expansion of the T cell -Targetings tumor proteins.

Understand what drives cancer growth

Involving T cells in the fight against cancer isn’t the only alternative to chemotherapy and radiation therapy on the horizon. For the past 20 years Ralph DeBerardinis, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallasfound that cancer growth is driven in part by metabolic changes in tumor cells that enable better access to and better use of key nutrients. In other words, he found that the way cancer feeds itself is different from the way normal tissue does. In the plenary session “Metabolic Reprogramming in Human Cancer: Insights into Mechanisms and Possibilities for New Therapies”, Dr. DeBerardinis discuss his efforts to understand the metabolic differences of cancer – and how this could pave the way for better treatments.

As part of this discussion, he will explain the techniques scientists use to analyze the metabolism of cancer cells. One such method, stable isotope tracking, involves infusing tumors with labeled nutrients and has allowed researchers to determine how different tumor metabolic activities correlate with patient outcomes. This finding, in turn, could influence the development of new strategies to fight cancer.

“By analyzing the metabolic properties of tumors, we hope to identify predictive traits that correlate with the aggressiveness of the disease and possibly even identify reprogrammed signaling pathways that could drive cancer progression and could be targeted with therapies,” said Dr . DeBerardinis.

Additional cancer research to be presented at the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting 2020 includes a study that analyzed the success rate of a fecal immunochemical test for colorectal cancer screening. The study found that this non-invasive test can reduce the need for colonoscopies and improve patient outcomes by detecting colon cancer early.

Session information

Registration for the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting is free for media representatives. Reporters can register online here:

Cancer therapies

Session 13001: T Cell Therapies For Cancer: CAR-Ts and Beyond

Session 12001: Metabolic Reprogramming in Human Cancer: Insights into Mechanisms and Opportunities for New Therapies

Abstract B-331: Serum-based multiplex protein assay for the early detection of colorectal cancer and precancerous stages in a FIT-positive population

About the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo 2020
The AACC Annual Scientific Meeting offers 5 days full of opportunities to find out about exciting science 13-17 December, all available on one online platform. This year there is a concerted focus on the latest updates on testing for COVID-19, including a conversation with the current test tsar of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, Admiral Brett Giroir. Plenary sessions will include discussions on using artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve patient outcomes, emerging cancer therapies, creating cross-functional diagnostic management teams, and accelerating health research and medical breakthroughs through the use of precision medicine.

At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo virtual, more than 170 exhibitors will fill the digital floor with displays and vital information on the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2 testing, mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point care and automation.

About AACC
AACC is committed to better health through laboratory medicine, bringing together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, doctors, scientists and executives from around the world who specialize in clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, laboratory management and other areas of the advancing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, offering programs that foster scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise and innovation. More information is available at

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