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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

DCEG Participates in the 2014 AACR Meeting

In April, several DCEG staff members took part in the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in San Diego, California. This five-day event highlighted the latest scientific advances in basic, clinical, and epidemiologic cancer research. The theme of this year’s meeting was Harnessing Breakthroughs – Targeting Cures.

Jonine Figueroa (Photograph credit: © AACR/Vera LaMarche 2014)

Jonine Figueroa, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-chaired a mini-symposium on recent developments in molecular and genetic epidemiology. Several DCEG investigators gave talks during this session, including Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., who spoke on “Exome sequencing identified POT1, a telomere shelterin gene, as a major susceptibility gene for familial cutaneous malignant melanoma;” Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D., who presented “Imputation from The 1000 Genomes Project identifies rare large effect variants of BRCA2-K3326X and CHEK2-I157T as risk factors for lung cancer; a study from the Transdisciplinary Research in Cancer of the Lung (TRICL) consortium;” and Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., who highlighted “Translational implications of the 19q12 bladder cancer GWAS signal for aggressive bladder cancer.” Dr. Figueroa also participated in a methods workshop on pathoepidemiology of breast cancer and spoke about the “Value of collecting normal tissue.”

Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Division Director, was invited to speak at a forum on “Controversies and challenges posed by incidental findings from tumor genome analysis.” He also delivered a presentation at an NCI-Sponsored Session on approaches to post-GWAS research. His talk was titled “Future directions for the discovery and characterization of the spectrum of cancer susceptibility variants.”

Wenqing Li (middle) receives an AACR Scholar-in-Training award. (Photograph credit: © AACR/Phil McCarten 2014)

Leticia Nogueira, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Meredith Shiels, Ph.D., both gave talks at a mini-symposium focused on new insights related to cancer risk and survival. Dr. Nogueira discussed “Childhood BMI is associated with risk of adult pancreatic cancer,” and Dr. Shiels presented findings on “Circulating inflammation markers and subsequent lung cancer risk: A discovery and replication study.” Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., gave a lecture on “Racial disparities and genetics of prostate cancer,” for a session on current concepts in epidemiology.

In addition, DCEG scientists presented nearly 30 posters at the meeting, and seven fellows received AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards:

Kathryn Hughes Barry, Ph.D.
“DNA methylation patterns in peripheral blood and the relationship with cancer susceptibility loci at chromosome 8q24”

Christopher Kim, Ph.D.
“Past use of coal for cooking is associated with all-cause mortality in the prospective Shanghai Women's Health Study”

Wenqing Li, Ph.D.
“Epigenome-wide association study of normal lung tissues identifies hypomethylation of multiple CpG sites associated with cigarette smoking”

Kristin A. Moy, Ph.D.
“Serum alpha-tocopherol, beta carotene and cancer survival in the ATBC Study”

Orestis A. Panagiotou, M.D.
“Causal effects of delaying smoking initiation on subsequent lung cancer risk”

Wei Jie Seow, Sc.D.
“Telomere length in white blood cell DNA and lung cancer: A pooled analysis of three prospective cohorts”

Meredith S. Shiels, Ph.D.
“Circulating inflammation markers and subsequent lung cancer risk: A discovery and replication study”