AACR Conference Features Latest Research on Impact of Environmental Carcinogens and Potential Pathways to Cancer Prevention

The American Association for Cancer Research will host a conference titled Environmental Carcinogenesis: Potential Pathway to Cancer Prevention in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 22-24, 2019. This conference will bring together researchers from around the world to review the role of environmental exposures in the cause and progression of cancer; highlight new conceptual and technological advances in the field; and outline the steps required to implement preventive measures.

Presentations at the conference will address topics including precision prevention, or using the latest knowledge of biology, genetics, and underlying cancer mechanisms to design better preventive interventions; workplace and neighborhood exposure to carcinogens and how they can contribute to cancer health disparities; and innovative approaches for measuring exposure to cancer-causing agents, both external (wearables) and internal (biomarkers).

The conference organizers have identified four highly rated abstracts to be presented at the meeting that reflect the breadth of the field and may be of interest to the media. These abstracts are embargoed until June 21, 2019 at 12:05 a.m. ET:

  • Alberto Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, CPH, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will present an abstract titled “Silicone-based wristband passive samplers in the detection of firefighter occupational carcinogenic exposures.” Researchers tested the use of silicone-based wristbands on firefighters to detect and characterize their exposure to ambient hazardous chemical compounds.
  • Larisa Gearhart-Serna, Duke University, will present an abstract titled “North Carolina environmental quality is associated with distant/metastatic breast cancer: evidence for rural-urban disparities.” This study found that cumulative environmental quality is associated with distant/metastatic breast cancer, and that these effects can differ by location.
  • Terry Hyslop, PhD, Duke University, will present an abstract titled “Latent Class Analysis of Multi-Pollutant Exposure.” This abstract describes a model that incorporates the joint behavior of individual pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and heavy metals. The model informs overall exposure levels and provides clear measures of multi-pollutant exposure. Notably, 12 percent of U.S. census tracts were found to be in the highest levels of all three categories of pollutants.
  • Alexis Temkin, PhD, Environmental Working Group, will present an abstract titled “Exposure-based assessment and economic valuation of adverse birth outcomes and cancer risk due to nitrate in United States drinking water.” Health and economic analyses presented in this study suggest that lowering exposure to nitrate in drinking water could lead to economic benefits by alleviating the impacts of nitrate-associated diseases.

Highlighted abstracts are available here. The full scientific program is available here.

In addition, the conference co-chairs are available to discuss the meeting and provide expert commentary on the studies above and environmental carcinogenesis research in general:

  • Margaret L. Kripke, PhD, FAACR, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Kripke’s research has provided insight into how an immune system compromised by UV radiation contributes to the development of melanoma and increased vulnerability to infectious diseases. She served on the President’s Cancer Panel from 2003 to 2011 and has contributed substantially to the field of environmental science.
  • Ernest T. Hawk, MD, MPH, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Hawk is vice president and division head for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at MD Anderson. His research interests include chemoprevention; improvement of minority and underserved populations’ participation in clinical research; and the integration of risk assessment, behavioral science, and preventive strategies in clinical or public health settings.
  • Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Rebbeck leads molecular epidemiology studies of cancer etiology, outcomes, health disparities, and global health, work that has led to an understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of breast, prostate, skin, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Contact Julia Gunther at julia.gunther@aacr.org or 215-446-6896 to schedule interviews with presenters or conference co-chairs. For more information about the meeting, read this Q&A with the conference co-chairs on the AACR’s blog, Cancer Research Catalyst.