AACR Awards Scientific Honors and Lectures at 2019 Annual Meeting

Ahead of the 2019 Annual Meeting, the American Association for Cancer Research announced the recipients of a number of scientific awards and lectureships. Honorees will be recognized for their achievements during the AACR Annual Meeting, which is being held March 29–April 3 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ahead of the 2019 Annual Meeting, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced the recipients of a number of scientific awards and lectureships. Honorees will be recognized for their achievements during the AACR Annual Meeting, which is being held March 29—April 3 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Included among the many award winners isRaymond N. DuBois, MD, PhD,who will be presented with the Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research on March 31 during the meeting. DuBois, the dean of the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and professor in the Departments of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Medicine, and a past president of the AACR, was granted this honor in acknowledgement of his work in the early detection, interception, and prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC) globally.

He is known for his discoveries that helped to explain the progression of CRC and the role of anti-inflammatory agents in the tumor microenvironment. He has also been a part of the integration of aspirin and anti-inflammatory mediators for the reduction of cancer risk and prevention of progression.

“In addition to his groundbreaking research, Dr DuBois’ exceptional leadership in the scientific community has garnered national and international acclaim. I am thrilled that he has been chosen by the selection committee to receive this award. We look forward with great excitement to honoring him with this award,” Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR, said in a statement.

As a part of the award, DuBois will be presenting an award lecture on inflammation and inflammatory mediators as potential targets of cancer prevention or interception on April 1.

The AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship is being awarded toJeffrey A. Bluestone, PhD. Bluestone, the president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), is being honored for his work in molecular biology toward characterizing the function of CD28 and CTLA-4. His research has been a significant foundation for a greater understanding of the role of the immune system in cancer development and progression.

Bluestone, who is also director of the Hormone Research Institute in the Diabetes Center of UCSF, is perhaps best known for his involvement in the discovery of CTLA-4, yet he has also developed models to create treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases and has focused on the role of regulatory T cells in the immune system.

His lecture, entitled “T Cell-Mediated Immune Tolerance in Health and Disease,” will be delivered on March 31.

“Dr Bluestone is a world-renowned researcher whose novel work on immunity has led to significant advances in the treatment of cancer and other diseases,” Foti said in a statement. “His work has helped us better understand autoimmunity, T-cell function, and immune system checkpoints. The AACR is thrilled to honor Dr Bluestone and his groundbreaking work with this well-deserved lectureship.”

Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH,will receive the AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research during the 2019 AACR Annual Meeting. The honor is being presented in recognition of Chan’s role in the prevention and treatment of CRC with aspirin and precision chemoprevention.

The AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award is given to a young researcher (below the age of 51) who has contributed noteworthy translational or clinical research to the field. The award was established in 2017 for the extraordinary contributions from physician-scientist Waun Ki Hong, MD, who passed in January 2019.

“Dr Chan is an outstanding physician-scientist whose novel findings on the role of aspirin in colorectal cancer have contributed to bringing the field of chemoprevention to the forefront of cancer research,” said Foti. “We are proud to honor the memory of my dear colleague, friend, and mentor, AACR Past President Waun Ki Hong, by recognizing Dr Chan with this award.”

Chan, the chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and vice chair for the Division of Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, will present his lecture on the who, when, and why of giving aspirin for the prevention of cancer on April 1.

The AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship is being awarded toCharles L. Sawyers, MD.His award lecture on lineage plasticity in cancer will be presented on April 1.

Sawyers, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College, is being honored for his research into the mechanisms of drug resistance to treatments such as imatinib (Gleevec) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and hormone therapy in patients with prostate cancer. Such work has led to the development of treatments for patients that have developed resistance, including dasatinib (Sprycel) for patients with CML and both enzalutamide (Xtandi) and apalutamide (Erleada) for metastatic prostate cancer, which he co-discovered.

“Dr Sawyers is a highly esteemed physician-scientist, and we are delighted to recognize his exceptional body of translational and clinical research,” said Foti. “His groundbreaking discoveries have provided deep insight into the mechanisms of drug resistance and have led to the development of new molecularly targeted therapies that are benefiting countless patients worldwide. He is greatly deserving of this prestigious accolade.”

The honor of the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research goes to renown physician-scientistAlberto Mantovani, MD.Mantovani is professor of experimental medicine and pathophysiology at the Humanitas University in Milan, Italy and is president of the International Union of Immunological Societies. He is being recognized during the AACR meeting for his research on tumor-associated macrophages acting as mediators of cancer progression.

“His pioneering research showed that macrophages in the tumor microenvironment can promote tumor development, establishing a mechanistic relationship between inflammation and cancer, and providing new opportunities for therapeutic targeting. We look forward to honoring Dr Mantovani with this year’s Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award,” said Foti.

Mantovani will present his award lecture on the role of macrophages and inflammation in cancer on March 31.

Emil J. Freireich, MD, DSc (Hon.),a professor of leukemia and director of the Adult Leukemia Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is being recognized with the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. The award is given to a person who has made significant contributions to cancer research that have had a lasting impact on the field.

Freireich is being honored for his contributions to clinical techniques and research on leukocyte and allogeneic platelet transfusions as well as for the engraftment of peripheral blood stem cells. He has also established the use of combination chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of childhood leukemia. He will receive his award on March 31.