AACR’s Capitol idea

American Association for Cancer Research’s annual conference for 2010 heads to the nation’s capital and offers some new features

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is highlighting its plenary sessions this year, among a few other changes from last year, as it presents its AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 from April 17-21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

"We will have a major plenary session each morning unopposed by other sessions, so that all attendees can hear about the latest discoveries in four very important research areas from the world's leading experts," says Jeffrey Ruben, AACR's director of program development. "The plenary sessions this year will be very exciting. They are 'Innovations in Translational Cancer Medicine,' 'The Cancer Genome,' The Complexity of Cancer' and 'Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment: Mechanistic Insights and Therapeutic Opportunities.' I would also direct attention to the many state-of-the-art sessions on translational research, drug development, biomarkers and clinical research and trials."

In addition, Ruben says, attendees can enjoy addresses by the directors of the NIH and the NCI, award lectures, and late-breaking minisymposia.

"We have added Meet-the-Expert sessions and award lectures to the Saturday schedule, in addition to the Educational Sessions held that day," he adds. "Additionally, we have shortened the poster sessions from four hours to three hours, to allow presenters to attend more talks."

The overall theme of this year's meeting is "Conquering Cancer Through Discovery Research," and Ruben says it will highlight novel approaches and technologies being used in the laboratory, innovative preclinical science, clinical trial results and more.

"We are very excited about the depth of science that will be represented at the AACR's 2010 annual meeting," says Dr. Tyler Jacks, AACR president. "We are expecting thousands of researchers, scientists, clinicians, health care professionals and others from around the world to attend and learn about the latest breakthroughs in cancer research."
In fact, anticipated attendance is 17,000 to 18,000, and Ruben says registration is ahead of last year's pace, adding "Washington is always a popular location for the annual meeting."

During the course of the meeting, some 6,300 papers will be presented as posters and short talks, and attendees will have ample opportunity to network and socialize as well.

"The annual meeting is the premier event where the best minds in cancer research meet and exchange ideas," says Dr. Frank McCormick, program committee chairperson for the annual meeting. "Cancer breakthroughs emerge from collaboration between investigators, and there is no better place to sow the seeds for these interactions than at the annual meeting."

Professional advancement sessions

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) would like to remind attendees that the Professional Advancement Series has long been an integral part of the annual meeting experience. This year, many of the sessions are brand new, with sessions for investigators at every level—from high school students to senior faculty. For AACR Members, all sessions in the 2010 Professional Advancement Series are free (unless otherwise noted) with the annual meeting registration. For those who are not yet AACR nembers, an additional fee of $50 to $75 per session applies.

If you haven't pre-registered by the March 31 deadline, there will be limited first-come, first-served onsite registration for these sessions. Just some of the presentations that will be offered are: Navigating YOUR Career Path; 13th Annual Grant Writing Workshop; Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship; Landing a Job in Industry: Decoding the Black Box of Application Systems; Minorities in Cancer Research Forum; How to Mentor and Be Mentored: Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Scientists; Career Paths in Cancer Drug Development; and Getting Your Research Published: Insider Views.

Plenty of plenaries

In a change from previous programs, the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 will present a new major plenary session each morning from April 18 through April 21. Several speakers in these plenary sessions have recently published articles in AACR journals on topics related to their plenary presentations. Presentations cover tumor cell anchorage, translational cancer medicine, the cancer genome and progression and metastasis.

AACR hosts Middle East conference

DEAD SEA, Jordan—From March 7-10 at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center, the AACR hosted the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research: From the Laboratory to the Clinic. The AACR says that this is the only major cancer conference set to take place in the Middle East this year, researchers from more than 27 countries attended, and the conference provided data on geographical variations in cancer instances. Topics included the tumor microenvironment, microRNAs, signal transduction and novel therapeutic development.

Touring by tastebuds

D.C. offers culinary tours for those who prefer to let their appetite lead their sightseeing

At least two operations allow you the chance to take tours of the nation's capital with food at the core of the journeying: Movable Feast and D.C. Metro Food Tours.

Movable Feast
Described as a "three-hour nibble-and-nosh fest to D.C. phenomena that celebrates the locally grown and locally invented," this walking tour is offering on Saturdays, rain or shine, leaving at 1:30 p.m. from outside the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station.

According to the organizers, the subject matter runs from "the inaugural party turned food fight to Mrs. Terrell's quiet milestone in civil rights," and they, "our territory first covers the heart of downtown, where nary a suit in the lunch-hour crowd realizes he's swarming in Washington's former market neighborhood. These days, think bubble tea, ginger scones and coffee roasted only a stone's throw away."

Cost is $15 per person, with kids 3 years old and younger being free, and the price doesn't include snacks. Those who go on the tour also need to bring along a subway fare card, the folks at Movable Feast note, "as we'll next be hopping the Metro to catch two of D.C.'s most famous drop-in eateries. We'll introduce you to an edible creation known as a half-smoke, then stop in for a dessert course at the bakery/café founded by one of D.C.'s Food Network celebrity. Want to know which iced tea President Obama prefers?  We'll show you where to buy it."

Reservations aren't necessary, they say, but groups of 25 or more should notify Movable Feast in advance. To pay in advance, visit www.zerve.com/WashWalks/Feast.

DC Metro Food Tours
This operations offers cultural walking food tours and culinary events that "bring you to the area's most historic and diverse neighborhoods," the owners say, adding that participants will "learn about the architecture and history of each neighborhood from our highly trained guides, including famous residents, historic sites and events."

Those who take part will be able to enjoy an array of specially created dishes from locally owned and operated restaurants during stops throughout the tour, and DC Metro Food Tours says, "As you taste each dish, your guide will explain the chef's inspirations, origin of ingredients, cooking techniques, and connections to the area's history."

Tours include Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, U Street, Little Ethiopia and Old Town Alexandria, and prices for most of the tours are $50 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance as tours usually sell out quickly ahead of time.

For more information, call (202) 683-8847 or visit http://dcmetrofoodtours.com/.

Areas of note
Just a sampling of the areas you might visit while at the AACR meeting

This city is a place of many neighborhoods. Here are a few of special note to get you interest piqued:

Adams Morgan
Named for D.C.'s first segregated schools, the all-black Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School and the all-white John Quincy Adams Elementary School, this area has long been  to immigrant communities from Africa, Asia, South and Central America. Convention and visitors types call Adams Morgan "a global village in the heart of the city" and note that you can catch live music most nights of the week throughout the neighborhood and find cheap eats and white tablecloth restaurants for all palates and pocketbooks. Also in plentiful supply are locally owned shops with unique clothing, jewelry, art, furniture and household goods.

Capitol Hill/Capitol Riverfront

Located east of the Capitol dome, and reaching into the northeast and southeast quadrants of the city, this area was once known as Jenkins Hill and was picked by city designer Pierre L'Enfant to be the seat of the legislative branch of government. The Barracks Row section of the neighborhood takes its name from the nearby Marine Barracks, home to the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Located north of the National Mall between the White House and the Capitol, you'll be spending plenty of time here, because this is where the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located. Also, there is Penn Quarter, a dining and entertainment area named for its proximity to Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as museums, theatres, galleries, restaurants, lounges and hotels. "Must-see" sights include the International Spy Museum, Newseum, Madame Tussauds, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, Ford's Theatre, Chinatown and the Verizon Center sports venue.

Bordered by the Potomac River to the south, no one knows for certain if this area is named after King George II of England or for town founders George Beall and George Gordon, but historians seem to agree that it's not named for George Washington. Sights include Georgetown University, the C&O Canal, the Kreeger Museum and Tudor Place, and the area is known for its designer and mainstream boutiques, beautiful architecture and its many cafes, restaurants and bars.

New products and services debut at AACR 2010 meeting

Seq-Array microRNA discovery and profiling services
LC Sciences
Seq-Array offers a customized solution to high-throughputgenome-wide microRNA discovery and profiling, especially in species withlimited or no microRNA sequence information available. The combination of deepsequencing technology, advanced bioinformatics and our innovative µParaflocustom microarray platform forms a comprehensive service package tailored toyour specific research needs. Following exploratory sequencing of small RNA andextensive bioinformatic analysis, which defines the comprehensive set ofsequences, microarray probes are designed and efficient profiling on custommicroarrays is performed.
For more information, contact LC Sciences
www.lcsciences.com or (888) 528-8818 
Visit us at AACR Booth #1949

XF Extracellular Flux Analyzer
Determine cell metabolism in minutes in a microplate. Important in cancer, diabetes, obesity, aging, toxicity, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative research. Only XF Analyzers perform the Seahorse Stress-Test to determine basal oxygen consumption, glycolysis rates, ATP-turnover and respiratory capacity in a single experiment, allowing you to assess all the bioenergetic components of metabolism in real-time in cells, primaries, islets and isolated mitochondria.
For more information, contact Seahorse Bioscience
www.seahorsebio.com or (800) 671-0633
Visit us at AACR booth #2345

CDAS oncology service platforms
With more than 200 human cancer cell lines available in-house, Caliper Discovery Alliances & Services (CDAS) offers complete drug pharmacology programs measuring a variety of parameters, including cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle progress. Recent efforts to better characterize in-house cancer cell lines (such as identification of specific mutations and selective biomarker analysis) now enables CDAS to select cancer cell lines with more granularity and relevance to maximize the outcome of clients' studies.
For more information, contact Caliper Life Sciences
www.caliperls.com/CDAS or (800) 543-4141
Visit us at AACR booth #1133/1134

Microplate-based antibody array
Utilizing expertise in antibody and ELISA technologies, the Proteome Profiler 96 microplate-based antibody array aims to make multi-protein detection more efficient than ever. The assay relies on a 96-well microplate that is pre-spotted with a carefully selected panel of capture antibodies in each well. When experimental samples are added to the wells, up to 16 different proteins can be detected simultaneously in a single sample using a two-site sandwich immunoassay.
For more information, contact R&D Systems Inc.
www.RnDSystems.com/go/ProteomeProfiler96 or (800) 343-7475
Visit us at AACR booth #2152

AquaMax 96-Cell Wash Head
The new 96-Cell Wash Head for the AquaMax 2000/4000 Microplate Washer from Molecular Devices delivers gentle, yet thorough, cell washing. This new cell wash head was designed to meet a voiced customer need, and helps ensure cell retention, cell integrity and optimal assay performance from one run to the next.
For more information, contact Molecular Devices
www.moldev.com or (408) 747-1700
Visit us at AACR booth #2040

Scepter automated handheld cell counter
Scepter is the first automated cell counter to fit into the palm of your hand. It reports cell counts and cell volumes within 20 seconds and displays histograms of cell distribution by volume or diameter. The histogram provides an instant snapshot of the health of the culture. Results can be stored on the instrument or downloaded to a computer.
For more information, contact Millipore Corp.
www.millipore.com/scepter or (800) 645-5476
Visit us at AACR booth #1234

Reverse-phase protein arrays
Validating potential cancer biomarkers? ProteoScan Cancer Lysate Arrays allow you to assess protein expression in hundreds of cancer tissues in a single experiment. ProteoScan are high-density reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA, or RPA) assembled from 432 cancer/normal tissue lysates. With protein-specific antibodies, ProteoScan enables quantitative identification and validation of protein expression profiles and post-translation modifications associated with 11 types of cancer.
For more information, contact OriGene
www.origene.com, (888) 267-4436 or Techsupport@origene.com
Visit us at AACR booth #1027

StemSelect Small Molecule Regulators 384-Well Library I
The new Calbiochem StemSelect library consists of about 300 well-characterized, robust and cell-permeable InSolution compounds that have been shown to regulate cell fate. This library can be used for cell-based assays, method development and validation and identification of novel compounds that can regulate cell fate, such as stem cell maintenance, expansion, differentiation and reprogramming.
For more information, contact EMD Chemicals Inc.
www.emdbioscience.com/StemCells or (800) 854-3417
Visit us at AACR booth #126

Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer System
A simplified high-performance flow cytometer, the Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer System features two lasers, two light scatter and four fluorescence channels. Priced comparable to a fluorescent plate reader, the compact C6 has no special set-up requirements. The C6 has built-in capabilities to measure cell concentration and can accommodate large assay runs with the optional, automated CSampler.
For more information, contact Accuri Cytometers Inc.
www.AccuriCytometers.com, (734) 994-8000 or CustomerService@AccuriCytometers.com
Visit us at AACR booth #736

ValuProbe BHQ probe
Biosearch Technologies' ValuProbe BHQ probes are a cost-effective solution for real time qPCR. These Dual-Labeled BHQ Probes are traditional FRET probes incorporating a 5' FAM fluorophore and a 3' BHQ-1 quencher. They are delivered at 10 nanomoles with a 3-5 day turnaround and cost $95. Probes are RP-HPLC purified and quality controlled by ESI-TOF mass spectrometry.
For more information, contact Biosearch Technologies
www.biosearchtech.com/valuprobe or (800) 436-6631
Visit us at AACR booth #1012

New miRNA profiling service
Asuragen's new miRNA profiling service utilizes our superior labeling technology along with Affymetrix's GeneChip miRNA array to enable researchers to reliably analyze miRNAs for 71 different species with only 100ng of total RNA input and unparalleled sensitivity. The reliability of Affymetrix arrays, combined with Asuragen's quality controls and optimized methods, provide high-quality, cost-effective solutions for miRNA research.
For more information, contact Asuragen Inc.
http://asuragen.com/Services/services/miRNA_expression/, (512) 681-5200 or orders@asuragen.com
Visit us at AACR booth #426

AlphaLISA and AlphaScreen SureFire
PerkinElmer's new Alpha Technology "No Wash" immunoassay kits enable the study of cellular pathways and biomarkers by offering more options for human and mouse targets. The new assays provide comprehensive tools for researchers to generate rich data with increased sensitivity, to help advance the study of diseases like cancer, inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. The kits simplify complex protocols and increase the ability to automate high-throughput processes.
For more information, contact PerkinElmer Inc.
www.perkinelmer.com/alphatech or (800) 762-4000
Visit us at AACR booth #210

SAGEspeed Custom Knockout Animal Platform
Introducing the SAGEspeed Custom Knockout Animal Platform, exclusively from Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs. Need a knockout rat or mouse created quickly? Through patent pending processes utilizing Sigma Life Science's proprietary CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease technology, SAGE labs designs, produces and delivers knockout animals to customers in four to six months, about one-third of the time it takes to create knockouts using conventional technologies.
For more information, contact Sigma-Aldrich
www.sageresearchmodels.com or (800) 325-3010
Visit us at AACR booth #1812

KINOMEscan broadens profiling options with custom kinase assay panels   
Well-recognized as the industry leading service provider of kinome-wide profiling, available through the scanMAX panel of 442 kinase assays, KINOMEscan introduces personalized screening solutions to support kinase drug discovery and safety profiling. Customers can now benefit from access to the largest commercial collection kinase assays with the flexibility to tailor a custom assay panel to support lead optimization projects.
For more information, contact KINOMEscan, a division of Ambit Biosciences
or (800) 644-5687
Visit us at AACR booth #1448

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