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Europe’s biggest cancer conference takes a big picture view of cancer drug discovery

24
Sep
2015

Thousands of cancer researchers across the world are descending on Vienna for one of the biggest dates in the international cancer calendar – the European Cancer Congress (#ECC2015)

Posted on 24 September, 2015 by Henry French

Last held in 2013, the European Cancer Congress – also known as ECCO – is one of the world’s most important conferences in cancer research.

Scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research are well represented on the programme of rolling lectures, poster presentations and scientific symposia, with a large proportion of our researchers making the trip to learn, meet colleagues and form new collaborations.

The keynote speech to open the conference, delivered by Dr Margaret Foti, Chief Executive of the American Association of Cancer Research, will focus on new funding models for accelerating progress against cancer – and the big picture view on how policy issues affect cancer research is also reflected in a dedicated stream of conference sessions on clinical trial design and cancer regulation, which runs alongside tracks which focus on the latest research in different cancer types.

The ICR’s Dr Eva Sharpe picks up that policy theme with her talk on behalf of our Chief Executive, Professor Paul Workman, on the vital importance of taking risks in developing novel approaches to cancer treatment – and five ways of encouraging innovation by fixing our broken drug ecosystem.

Elsewhere, the ICR is represented by many of our top researchers:

  • Professor Kevin Harrington is participating in a session on radiotherapy, immunotherapy and virotherapy. Immunotherapy will be a major theme of the conference.
  • Professor Ian Judson will chair a session on metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, as well as taking part in a symposium on sarcoma treatment.
  • Professor Andrew Tutt will be taking part in a special session on management strategies to treat women with breast cancer who inherit high-risk gene mutations – including advanced cancer.
  • Professor Robert Huddart will participate in a session on reducing toxicity from radiotherapy.
  • Dr Timothy Yap is one of the speakers in an ‘Oxford-Style’ debate on drug development policy, focusing on the issue of whether drugs used in combination treatments should first show effectiveness on their own
  • Professor David Dearnaley will take part in a session on predicting which patients will suffer the worst side-effects from radiotherapy.
ECCO’s media team will also be issuing a steady stream of news from data presented at the conference – so the next few days could see media coverage for many different studies at the cutting edge areas of cancer research.
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