Return to AACR: Every Time I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In

The 2012 AACR Annual Meeting starts on Friday, March 31st in Chicago, IL.  Guess who’s been “elected” to represent my company at a “mini-symposia”?  I have been scrambling to prepare materials, slides, and everything has to go past our marketing and legal teams.  At least two conference calls a day for the last five days. My company has OCD about logos… you can’t invert the colors, you can’t size them larger than such and such, etc.

Sorry for the lapse in video and blog entries, but the concept of “free time” is elusive of late.  I’ll try to bring back some photos or stories.  I think the big idea this year is going to be circulating tumor cells, and if I can find the time, I’ll put together an entry on them. The other hot topic, and one I’ll probably work into my own 10 minute session, will be long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs).

This is the video from last year’s annual meeting… I haven’t seen one from this year.

March of Progress in Cancer Treatment

I came across this today, and I thought it might give some people hope for the future.  The source is: Cancer Research UK, Survival Statistics for the most common cancers.

What really strikes me is the number of cancers where 5 year survival is over 50%.  Pancreatic, Lung and Esophagus cancer are still very deadly, though.

Now take a look at where we’ve come from since 1971:

You can see that many cancers have radically improved in 10 year survival.  There’s still much room for improvement, but I take a lot of comfort in the progress we’ve made and are continuing to make.

My postdoc was at a cancer research center that shared a building with a cancer treatment clinic.  Every day I’d walk past the waiting room and the chemo chairs and see someone’s mother, grandmother, father, brother, sister awaiting treatment.  It was great motivation to take my job seriously.  F–k Cancer, Support Cancer Research!