Director's Message: Engaging in Remote Learning Opportunities, Upcoming Virtual AACR Annual Meeting

Today is Friday and our weekly seminar starts at noon - remember to unmute and clap with us at the end of the presentation! This refrain is especially needed for the upcoming - Monday and Tuesday, April 27 and 28 - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Part I of its annual meeting in virtual format and is available to you at no cost. The second part will be held June 22-24, 2020.

For those working at home, take a break and learn something new. For those coming in every day to maintain research momentum, stay safe, and when you are done, participate from home. Social distancing is easier that way. And for those on the front lines of the incredible clinical cancer care for our patients, thank you, and if you get a moment, tune in!

Though it is a departure from the format of past meetings, the caliber of science is the same, and the virtual meeting format offers a unique opportunity for a large audience to participate at no cost. Part I will feature high-impact paper presentations, including discussion of clinical trials, basic and translational science, and a “New Drugs on the Horizon” symposia that include first disclosures of innovative small molecules and biologics that have recently entered phase I clinical trials. I encourage you to sign up for the meeting and block at least part of the time to hear exciting research presentations and support your colleagues.

More large meetings will follow this path in the future. The virtual format is a great opportunity to participate in something that may have been inhibited by travel, to draw together experts from across the country to tackle a research or clinical problem, or just connect with others in an increasingly isolated environment.

Whatever the topic - AACR’s Annual Meeting, our weekly Cancer Center Seminar Series, faculty candidate presentations, community organization talks - please continue to log-on, participate, support each other and share ideas. This exchange of information is essential to keep us all at the cutting edge.

COVID-19 is a horrendous virus, and the outpouring of innovative research that many of us are focused on will help solve this puzzle. And we will return to our work on the even greater complexity that is cancer. Keep your ideas flowing!!

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center